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From the end of the Second World War until the fall of communism in 1990, Bulgaria was a communist state ruled by the Bulgarian Communist Party. Then called the People's Republic of Bulgaria, the country allied closely with the Soviet Union and was heavily influenced by Soviet policies and politics.

Like the rest of the Eastern Bloc, the leaders of the People's Republic of Bulgaria too were eager to leave the mark of communism by building hundreds of monuments across the country. After the end of the Soviet rule, these monuments became reminders to decades of tyrannical rule and of oppression—a period of history modern Bulgarians are keen to forget. Some statues, like those of Lenin and Stalin, were pulled down but others were left standing but neglected, defaced and ransacked.


The Torch Monument, part of the Buzludzha Monument, sits at the bottom of the Buzludzha peak in the Central Balkan Mountains. Photo credit: Rob Schofield/Flickr

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