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By now you are probably feeling inundated by all the monstrous Soviet Army monuments, the statues of "heroic" partizani and the other Socialist Realism constructions that dot the countryside from Vidin to Varna and from Silistra to Simitli. In fact, there is hardly a town or village in Bulgaria whose central square does not have some sort of "monument" designed to celebrate the 1944 Communist coup and the Communist camp system it generated. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of these.

After the 1989 collapse of Communism, when it emerged that the Communist rulers were responsible for more deaths than Bulgaria had ever suffered in a war, a very different type of monument started to emerge. There are fewer of them and they are a lot less spectacular than the state-commissioned Communist stuff, yet they are here, a sombre reminder that in the 20th Century Bulgaria, supported by the Soviet Union, spent 45 years as a cog in the wheel of one of the world's cruelest social experiments.

In this picture you can see a simple mock-up of a chapel and two plaques commemorating hundreds of citizens shot or worked to death in a notorious Communist-run labour camp in northern Bulgaria.

Where in Bulgaria are you?

Email your answers to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and you can win a weekend for two at Park Hotel Troyan, a great place to start a mountain adventure. The winner will be selected in a draw

Amanda LeesAmanda Lees provided Samokov as the right answer to the "Where in Bulgaria are you?" competition in Vagabond 59-60 and will enjoy a weekend for two in Chateau Montagne Hotel in Troyan. Amanda is a writer and a broadcaster, and divides her time between London and her house close to the village of General Toshevo. For her four years there she already boasts good skills in both Bulgarian language and folk dancing, finding the latter more entertaining and challenging than going to the gym. Her friends in the country are one of the things she likes most about Bulgaria; two more are the unspoiled rural beauty and the peaceful surroundings around her home. Amanda takes a natural dislike to Bulgaria's obvious shortcomings: the "guys in huge cars" who play untouchable and the bureaucracy. Vagabond brings her enjoyment with the diversity of contributions, the occasional provocative tone and the gorgeous photographs, which "are always a treat".

Read 3147 times Last modified on Thursday, 30 June 2016 13:43

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