According to wikipedia ...

"Buzludzha is a historical peak in the Central Stara Planina mountain range in Bulgaria and is 1441 metres high. In 1868 it was the place of the final battle between Bulgarian rebels led by Hadji Dimitar and Stefan Karadzha and the Turks. In 1891 the socialists, led by Dimitar Blagoev, assembled secretly in the area to form an organised socialist movement. In honour of this act the Buzludzha Monument was built."

However, despite the fact that the monument was opened in 1981, to celebrate the 1300th anniversary of the founding of the Bulgarian state, it's now a ruin: the roof is full of holes, the windows are gone, the murals inside the building are crumbling, and the building is covered in graffiti and anti-communist slogans.

So, that's the history ...

Last Friday, Craig and I headed up there and parked in the car park at the bottom of the hill. We then spent the next 25 minutes dragging ourselves up the extremely steep path, and arrived panting, on the verge of a coronary, at the summit. We then discovered the road, which would have been a slightly easier way to get there :)

Anyway, I'm still researching the building, so can't tell you much more about it at this stage – other than that it's definitely one of the most fascinating buildings I've ever come across – but do have another four shots that I'll post at some point soon. If you're interested, Craig has posted a slightly more natural interpretation of the interior here:

http://www.id7.co.uk/portfolio/archives/1010261900_clean.php

As always, let me know what you think.

On a technical note ...

I've categorised this one as an HDR image, but it's not, at least not in a technical sense. I did use multiple exposures (a bracketed sequence of 11 images: 1 EV spacing, 1/250s to 4s), but manually blended them rather than creating a 32 HDR bit image which I then tone mapped. I did try using Photomatix Pro but, on this occasion, couldn't produce a version I was especially happy with. The 'show the original', in this instance, is the .5s exposure from the original sequence.

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Buzludzha #1 / 27 October, 2010 [click for previous image: Daniel and Catherine #7]
Buzludzha #1 / 27 October, 2010 [click for next image: Buzludzha #2]
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