A Soviet relic in Bulgaria’s cultural capital
Whatever your political leanings I’m sure you’ll agree that Soviet-era statues and memorials are quite impressive. From the flying saucer-esque Buzludzha Monument in Bulgaria to The Motherland Monument (Ukrainian: Батьківщина-Мати, Russian: Родина-мать) in Ukraine’s capital city, Kiev. The whole structure is 102 m (335 ft) high – even the sword is huge at 16 m (52 ft) long!
Bulgaria has around 150 stone/steel and concrete monuments scattered around the country. It wasn’t all Lenin or Stalin, many celebrated the connections between Bulgaria and the USSR, mainly the support received during the Russo-Turkish wars with sculptures showing the gratitude of the Bulgarians for the Soviet help.
Both Mr & Mrs Foodie like a bit of Soviet history so sought out the Hillock of Fraternity in Plovdiv whilst we were there earlier this year.
The Hillock of Fraternity is featured in this video from MØ
The Hillock of Fraternity Hillock of Fraternity, Plovdiv or Brotherly Mound is located within the relaxation and culture park (релаксация и култура парк).
It’s within walking distance, just over 30 minutes on foot, from the city centre and is at the Western end of the park next to Mall of Plovdiv.
You can walk right up to it but sadly you can’t get inside as the metal gates are bolted shut.
But peek past the chained entrance to see the 90m long sculpture composition which is dedicated to the liberation of Bulgaria from Ottoman rule and the unification of Bulgaria.
It’s a bit like a brutalist stonehenge-cum-flying-saucer.
Thracian kings once ruled this part of Bulgaria and so the memorial replicates the burial mounds of Thracians. Inside are the bones of Bulgarian partisans to continue that connection with Bulgaria and this is not just your run of the mill pro-Soviet memorial. There was also once an “eternal” flame…which has long gone out.
The monument was unveiled on the 30th anniversary of the “socialist revolution” in Bulgaria by party leader Todor Zhivkov.
Relaxation and Culture Park, Boulevard of Freedom, Plovdiv
релаксация и култура парк, свобода булевард, Пловдив
Not open inside but available for 24 hr viewing outside
Lubomir Chinkov, Vladimir Rangelov
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