Sunday 24 November 2013

Buzludzha, the flying-saucer-monument in the Balkan mountains, sad part of our history

 I was not sure if I would like to blog about this very special place in Bulgaria. Before I went to Buzludzha I felt it is a very sad part of the recent Bulgarian political history. The UFO-like looking communist monument Buzludzha(or Buzludja, "Бузлуджа" in Bulgarian) was opened officially in 1981, costed around 7 million euro (biggest part was donations from all Bulgarian citizens) and was a shining start of the communist memorials in Bulgaria, its is still the biggest ideological monument in Bulgaria. It took 7 years to finish the project and a lot of artists were involved in the interior decoration. The huge "spaceship" (called also "flying saucer" because of its unusual shape) is located at peak Buzludha in the Balkan mountains at 1444m height. It was used for less than 10 years for different meetings and gatherings, one big one every summer with over 40.000 people. Unfortunately I have never seen it myself in its glory and original state. Below you will also only see it in its current state: abandoned, vandalised, and devastated...

After 1989 when the power change took place the monument was closed for public, which however did not stop vandals to steal the expensive marble, colourful glass and other building materials from it....After no maintenance for over 20 years (the building is 35 years old) the state is tragic. The ceiling is falling apart, the inside of the big meeting hall is shattered into pieces, few mosaics have survived and ONLY the very spooky+huge red circle ceiling (with hammer&sicle and the communistic motto "Proletariat from all countries: get united!") still supervises everything and everyone from above. The only possitive thing about the current state is that this monument made it in the TOP 10 list of abandoned places in Europe... End of 2011 the goverment gave the monument back to the Bulgarian Socialistic Party, so lets hope that this monument will be restored and receive the respect it deserves.

Saturday 16 November 2013

And more street art from Sofia...painted outdoor electric boxes, part 3

Its November starts to get grey, foggy and cold, so I am presenting today some colourful shots from the Sofia street-art scene. I have written 2 times before about the painted outdoor electric boxes here and there. Every time I am home depending on which streets I walk,  I  do discover new ones! So below you may enjoy my latest discoveries from the streets Rakovski, Graf Ignatiev, Patriarch Evtimii and the Sofia University!

Tuesday 5 November 2013

Beautiful details in Rouen....

The charme of Rouen is hidden in the little and beautiful details: the artistic sign of the next boulanger (shop for artisanal bread), the wall decoarted with shells, the old&magic art-deco decorations.... One feels and sees that Rouen was an important and rich city in the past! In the 16th century the city was important harbour town for products exchange with Brazil.  Victor Hugo was calling the city: city of tausend church towers. A lot of architecture was destroyed during the Second World War bombing. However over 2000 colombage houses are still well preserved.

Saturday 2 November 2013

Rouen, the charming and cozy capital of Upper Normandy

I am soooo falling for the French province Normandy...and this love is more than something new, I am in love with this part of France since I first passed there:-) Its the unique cocktail of cozy towns, cute villages with lovely restored colombage houses, breathaking coast line rocks and view, yummy seafood and tons of apples, preferably in bottle of cider!

So this year I was very happy to visit the capital of Upper Normandy, the city of Rouen. And was I pleasantly suprised that the big city has still managed to keep a cozy center with fantastic selection of restaurants, bars and local boutiques. The architecture is breathtaking (churches, the cathedrale) and there is an amazing chocolatier at almost every second corner....And last but not least: here you are in cheese&wine paradise:-)