Camping Veliko Tarnovo

Quality – Nature – Tranquillity

The Buzludzha Monument in Bulgaria is close to the Shipka road. From the road the pathway wends its way to the monument at the top.


Buzludzha is a peak in the Central Balkan Mountains of Bulgaria. The peak has been a site of historical importance since the 1800’s. The mountain is to the east of the Shipka Pass near the town of Kazanlak. The peak is 1,432 metres (4,698 feet) high. It was renamed to Hadzhi Dimitar in 1942 but remains popularly known as Buzludzha. The peak’s name comes from Turkish word : buzlu which means ‘icy’ In English. People call the monument the Spaceship as it does slightly resemble the Starship Enterprise.

A place of national importance

The peak was the location of many battles over the years. In 1868 it was the location of the final battle between Bulgarian rebels of the Ottoman Empire. On 31 July 1868 , Hadzhi Dimitar and a band of 30 rebels fought a losing battle against 700 Ottoman troops. Sadly, only four hundred Bulgarians survived. Their action served as an inspiration for the Liberation of Bulgaria from the Ottomans ten years later. There was a bitter battle. Soldiers fought a few miles away at the Shipka Pass.

In 1891 the Bulgarian Social Democratic Workers Party chose the site for the first congress. This later became the Bulgarian Communist Party led by Dimitar Blagoev. In 1944 the peak was the scene of fighting between Communist partisans and detachments of the Bulgarian Army.

Construction of the monument

A early as 1898 the people wanted a national monument at the peak to commemorate these events. Consequently, the Communist Party built Buzludzha Monument between 1971 and 1981 by public request. In 1974, explosives created a new flat foundation. They also lowered the peak by 9 metres (30 feet) – to its current height of 1,432 metres (4,698 feet).

The site also has several other monuments commemorating other important events in Bulgarian history:

  • a statue of Hadzhi Dimitar,
  • a relief of the 1891 Congress,
  • and a monument to the partisans who fought there in 1944.

The monument today

For several decades the people abandoned the monument. The post-Communist government did not allocate funds to maintain the monument. The opulent tiled interior and the structure soon became battered by the icy weather. Snow often covers the mountain in the winter months. However since 2019 there has been a pro-active plan to re-open the monument to visitors. Currently it is not possible to enter the monument. Notwithstanding that, it is well-worth a visit to connect with Bulgarian history and enjoy the spectacular mountain views. A detailed history and plans for the future are on the monuments official website.

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