Offbeat Video

By Josh Saunders

These ‘out of this world’ photographs capture a soviet monument that looks like a UFO straight out of a sci-fi film.

With a large spaceship-shaped dome and a beaming silhouette from its centre, it would be easy to confuse the Buzludzha monument with a scene from an alien flick.


But the attraction near to Kazanluk, Bulgaria played host to the country’s socialist communist party with its large hall, 70 metre tower and striking mosaic artwork.

The site, which was abandoned in 1989 after the collapse of the Soviet Union, was visited by urban explorer Bob Thissen.

After a two-hour mountainous trek through the snow, Bob photographed the incredible location which was the set for Hollywood film Mechanic: Resurrection with Jason Statham.

Bob from Heerlen, The Netherlands.said: “The building itself looks like a flying saucer while the ceremonial hall with the soviet sickle and the view from the top are all great.

“The lower parts are completely covered by snow, it looks like a sci-fi scene to me. It’s out of this earth.

“It’s the biggest and most impressive communist monument in Bulgaria.


“I like the drone-shots the most, as you can see how big and majestic this building is, the winter conditions made it look perfect.”

Without road access, Bob had to make a two-hour snowy hike through the Balkan Mountains which he shows on YouTube channel – Exploring the Unbeaten Path

He said: “The hike was long and cold, at night temperatures reached to -18 degrees.

“The massive amount of snow made it a pretty exhausting hike, you couldn’t see any roads so we had to find the monument in the dark with GPS.

“The sky was amazing with uncountable stars and the milky way.

“It is way more fun and rewarding than parking your car in front of the monument during summer.”


Among the murals and artwork in the Buzludzha monument are key figures of communism and the synonymous five-pointed red star.

Formally known as the House-Monument of the Bulgarian Communist Party, work started in 1974, taking nearly eight years to build.

Bob said: “Large images of Lenin and Marx looked over the arena built for state functions and celebrations.

“In the picture, you can see the ceremonial hall with the Soviet sickle on the ceiling.

“Above it all blazed a red star-shaped window in honour of Soviet Russia.”

To see more of Bob’s work visit here or follow their explorations on YouTube here.