Socialist architectural masterpieces in Bulgaria: "1300 Years Bulgaria" monument in Shumen

Zlata Golaboska | Live the World

November 23, 2022

The socialist architecture lately drags the attention of the public more than ever before. The main reason is the fact that even decades after, the objects representing this style still look "avant-garde and futuristic". Clear lines mark delightfully the buildings of this wave. Everything has first started between 1932 and 1988 in the Soviet Union, and spread through more countries during the time that Yugoslavia and Bulgaria have been facing communism. Today, we can still admire some of the most significant architectural monuments of this period. Following the ideology of socialism, some of the often celebrated elements through art are the youth, sunlight, unity, industry and new technology.

The entrance to the monument. Photo credits: ©Sludge G

This is why many of the objects of this era look like machines. This style doesn't believe in a pure aesthetic; function is necessary. Architecture fits perfectly in this concept. Along with the Bu[ludza monument](, the Hotel Rodina in Sofia and a theatre building in Sliven, I am now presenting to you the " 1300 Years of Bulgaria monument", located in Shumen.

A little bit about Shumen

Shumen is a city in the western part of Bulgaria. It is said that it's older than 3200 years and its name originates from "Shuma", which means forest. In the anthem of the city, you can spot one line pointing to the fact that the existence of Bulgaria starts from here.

In the memory of everyone that contributed to the raising of Bulgaria, there is a monument built on a plateau above the city. This monument is accessible by foot through a long staircase, and by car. If you decide to walk, be prepared; you'll climb up to an approximately 300m height. From up here, if you manage to shift your focus from the magnificent monument built in 1981 in the cubist style, you can enjoy the panoramic view of the city. The authors are the Bulgarian sculptors Krum Damyanov and Ivan Slavov. They have created a timeless sculpture, visible from 30 km away. The monument celebrates every important person that played a role in the development of Bulgarian's existence.

Part of the mosaics. Photo credits: ©Sludge G

The contrast between the colorful mosaics and its monolith concrete, as well as the combination of the smooth surface with its cubist expressions, will no doubt make the visit of this architectural gem extremely memorable.

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