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[DAY1 pt.2] Founders of the Bulgarian State Monument

We drove around Varna trying to find the right way to Shumen. It was a bit tricky to drive around town and searching for the right way. After a brief stop to lunch, we bought a map of Bulgaria. Now we got our bearings and hunger straight.

The country side is quite beautiful and idyllic. Once you get out of larger cities, all the factories are replaced with orchards and fields. I bet the agriculture is not very developed – similar to Croatia.

Once we got to Shumen, the first thing you can see – as in every other town we visited, our destination the monument of the “Founders of the Bulgarian State”. The sheer amount of concrete used made the monuments really hard to miss. This one was even on a small hill beside the town.

The other building that caught our attention was a very tall object in the city center – like a lookout tower of incredible height. We visited it after visiting our monument. (In next blog post)

 "The Monument to 1300 Years of Bulgaria"

“The Monument to 1300 Years of Bulgaria”

The massive monument “Founders of the Bulgarian State” or also known as “The Monument to 1300 Years of Bulgaria” was built 1981. on a plateau above the city of Shumen.
The main idea was realized and implemented through mosaic works and figures of Bulgarian leaders and founders, by a team headed by Prof. Krum Damyanov. It represents the foundation, recognition and prosperity growth of the First Bulgarian State, built in concrete in a Cubist style.

Built in concrete in a Cubist style.

Built in concrete in a Cubist style.

The kings and heroes appear as towering giants of stone, lurking forever behind the corners of this geometric building. It is meant for both close and distant perception. The eight blocks of visible concrete, forming a spiral symbolizing the gradual development and prosperity of the Bulgarian state. The monument can be reached by a processional concrete stairway from Shumen, or by road.

The kings and heroes of Bulgaria.

The kings and heroes of Bulgaria.

It stands at a height of 450 m above sea level and can be seen from 30 km away. Unlike the Buzludzha Monument and many other Bulgarian monuments from the communist era, the Shumen memorial has been kept up over the years, beautifully maintained and a favorite spot for weddings and photo shoots.

As usual – we found an entrance to the building (yes, it’s a building). The concrete blocks are hollow inside and you can climb to the roof. Josip was the one that went to the top.

View from the roof

View from the roof.

After filming and shooting the monument, we descended into the town of Shumen to buy some supplies and food. The “plan” for the day was to reach an abandoned military base on top of a mountain until 16pm. As I recall it was close to that time as we were descending into town…

Basically, in order to speed things up we decided to split up. Josip and Matija went to explore the mysterious erect object in the city centre, Vjeko and me (Mihovil) went shopping. Overall, the day was quite windy and sunny. After realizing the guys are taking their time at the building, we sat down in a park waiting for the guys to come and regroup. We then realized that the erect building is next to the Shumen Police station.

 

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