|A big red star used to be where now the Bulgarian flag is. Top of the Party House.|
Much of what I am telling you here in this post is what I have learned during a pilot tour* to the Largo. The complex allegedly was designed by the best Bulgarian architects of the time, with the supervision by the soviets, and it drew inspiration from the Bulgarian medieval past (see the shapes of the lamps and the arches inside). It just so happened that the architects were trained during the pre-communist era.
The Party House imitates classicist palaces (Roman/Italian, French) - note the columns; the round foyer & ceiling; the straight axis design. Simultaneously, the building includes decorative elements depicting the fruits and products of the Bulgarian countryside: clusters of grapes, roses, wheat ears, so it brings the palace closer to farmers & proletarians - the 'right' communist folks. Details are a very important element of this building.
The House was constructed of local, Bulgarian, staples, with the exception of Bohemian glass chandelliers, the material for which was brough over from Czechoslovakia. (The only original chandeliers still in use nowadays can be found at the nearby Hotel Sheraton).
*If all goes well, the tour should be up and running from approximately November 2013 - check for the updates here. The tour is part of the Southeastern-Europe-wide ATRIUM project.
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After the fail of socialism in the 1990s the Largo buildings remained more or less the same, apart from the fact that the hammers-and-sickles were dutifully removed from the decorative ornamentations, as well as the big red star from the top of the Party House. No more Lenins, Stalins and similar figures can be found at the Largo today - if you are feeling nostalgic you can go and see some of them (as well as the said red star) at the Museum of the Socialist Art. Plus, the Mausoleum of Georgi Dimitrov, the former socialist leader, dissapeared from the face of the earth.
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Now time for some images:
|Hammer and sickle removed.|
|The round ceiling & chandellier.|
|Ceiling, the main hall.|
|Corridor (there are 3 kms of them in the building).|
|Balconies, with grape clusters & roses.|
|Hammer & sickle removed.|