Socialist Sofia in Sofia Old City Tours
Although many monuments had been destroyed or neglected after the Communist regime, we can still see many of them in our Sofia Old City tours.
The Communist regime, like in other communist countries, left its mark on the landscape. Pretty successful, one would say.
When you look at the monuments and you compare them, you might notice that they differ in size. The bigger, the better, according to communist mentality.
Let’s see some of the socialist hot points in Sofia…
Ministry of Councils and Presidency House
Both buildings are located on each side of the yellow brick road. The road was the wedding present from the Austro-Hungarian Empire for the marriage of Ferdinand I and Princess Marie Louise of Bourbon-Parma on April 20, 1893. If you think that yellow represents freshness, happiness, positivity, clarity. Also energy, optimism, enlightenment, remembrance, intellect, honor, loyalty and joy. What could be the better gift for them to put around their place.
Still the centre of Sofia is proud to have these same yellow bricks. Nowadays, it has even entered the Bulgarian language. And it is often used in the expression ‘to have been born or grown up on the yellow pavement’.
The Council of Ministers building is the working place of the Bulgarian Prime-Minister. Also, the Bulgarian government meets there every week. The Prime-Minister’s office windows face the Presidency which is 100 metres away from the Government building.
Sofia Old City Tours – Soviet Army Monument
Due to the 10th anniversary of the liberation from Germans, the Monument to the Soviet Army was built in 1954.
Brotherhood Mound – a hidden obelisk monument
The obelisk had been erected for the remains of 17 partisans who died in the fight against fascism. It is as much as 41-metre high granite obelisk. On each site of the obelisk you can see the joy of the Bulgarian people on 9th September 1944. It is the date when we celebrate the Liberation of Bulgaria form fascism.
Sofia Old City Tours – Museum of Socialist Art
In the summer of 2011 a group of artists painted “pop icons” on the Soviet Army memorial. That was ‘the last drop that made the cup run over’. Immediately the country put itself in action and the government decided to establish museums in Bulgaria. As a result of that decision the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Ancient Sofia, and the National Museum Complex (renamed as “the Bulgarian Louvre”) were established. Soon after that the Museum of Socialist art also was established.
A treacherous big red star is standing out in the garden and speaks itself about times not so bright but a fact for some people.
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Kambanite – a bell monument in the outskirts
The Bells Monument shares the children’s faith in the good and bright days to come. The days without war and violence. The park with the bells was the idea of Lyudmila Zhivkova. She was a respected patron of the arts. She established the monument through the “Banner of Peace” organization with support from UNESCO. More Information
Sofia Old City Tours – Communist Friendship Bridge
The Friendship Bridge is another communist monument. It was built in 1953. It symbolizes especially the brotherhood between Bulgaria and the Soviet Union. The bridge is an impressive ensemble of statues.
National Palace of Culture with part of the Berlin wall on display. And Monument of the casualties of the communist repressions in Bulgaria
The National Palace of Culture is a multifunctional complex. It’s a mixture of modern architecture and plastic arts. It was built between 1978 and 1981 to mark the 1300th anniversary of the Bulgarian statehood. The wonderful spaces are spiritualized by more than one hundred works of the monumental painting, woodcarving, tapestry and sculpture. It is also a Monument of the casualties of the communist repressions. It shows a part of Berlin wall as well.
You could get an idea of communist Sofia from our short descriptions of some of the key communist monuments. Joining our Sofia Old City tours can only add a lot more to what you already know and make you experience ‘a piece of communism’.