- Mitch Brezounek
- 38 sec
- 0.064 ETH
Inflation, credit, profit,
corruption, manipulation of life.
Their reigns collapse,
the outcasts bite their fingers,
their games are confiscated
and the finger is pointed at them.
Author of the historical text: Evelina Kelbecheva
The monument in Varna is called Park-Memorial of the Bulgarian-Soviet Friendship and is one of the biggest in the country. It surmounts the Turna tepe Hill, standing 110 meters high, just northeast of the city of Varna. Initially, on this place there was a Brotherhood Mound with an ossuary of the guerilla fighters against so-called monarchic-fascist regime. The bones were removed on September 7, 1958, and relocated to the Pantheon in Varna. T
he idea for a monument of the Red Army dates from 1958, but initial bidding competitions failed. The winners of a new contest in 1973 were the sculptors Kamen Goranov, Evgeny Baramov and Alyocha Kafedjiiski, all from Varna. Construction began in 1974 with 27,000 workers who “voluntary donated” their labor. The inauguration was on November 13, 1978. It should be noted that this monumental sculpture amounted to relatively 56% of all the artistic production in Bulgaria during the years 1976-1979. The honoraria paid for the sculptors and architects was nearly 10 million leva. A specially created State Commission for Monumental and Applied Arts and Architecture supervised the entire process of the monumental propaganda in Bulgaria, which escalated over the years. The gigantic monument in Varna represented a new style in monumental propaganda, adopted in the 1970s known as brutal modernism. The size of the memorial was significantly bigger than monuments from the 1950s and 1960s. The main material used was concrete. The site is 400 square meters. The monument is 23 meters high and 48 meters wide and has a bomb shelter underneath. 10,000 tons of concrete and 1,000 tons of iron were used. A staircase of 301 steps, called “The Staircase of the Victors” ascends it. On the two wings, there are 7 figures, each 11.5 meters high. The four figures on the right represent armed Soviet soldiers and the three on the left are Bulgarian women welcoming them with bread and salt. Big halls are located inside the wings. In the middle of the monument, an eternal fire burns in a bronze cube.
The historical link between the Bulgarian and the Russian peoples is represented in a big stone wall 22 meters long. The sign reads: Friendship from Centuries and for Centuries to come The gate to the monument is made of 3.5 tons of bronze. 180 projectors light the monument in order for ships passing by to spot the monument. The public hears the Seventh symphony of Shostakovich there. 11,000 bushes and 10,000 trees were planted in memoriam for 20,000 fallen Soviet soldiers. A special irrigation system was built for them. Many official delegations visited regularly the monument during the Communist era.
In 1989, the monument was robbed, the gates of the internal section were closed and the internal visitor center ceased to function. On June 25, 2009, the biggest flags in the European Union were placed next to the monument – of Bulgaria and the European Union, each one measuring 279.5 square meters. The posts, build by the Ministry of State Administration, are the tallest such posts in Europe at heights of 52.6 meters each.
On August 22, 2012, three of the female figures in the monument were covered with masks in three colors. There is a speculation that this act was in support of the arrested members of the Russian punk group “Pussy Riot”. The operation was very risky.
On March 28, 2018, the backside of the monument was painted with different colors. This was called “vandalism” by the local press.