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‘’Founders of the Bulgarian State’’ Memorial Complex Eight concrete blocks forming a spiral that symbolize the country’s historic prosperity

‘’Founders of the Bulgarian State’’ Memorial Complex

Shumen, Bulgaria
ARCHITECTS NAME: Georgi Gechev, Blagoi Atanasov


  • SPACE TYPE: Monument

Tags: Bulgaria, memorial, monument, Totally Lost 2015

In the Bulgarian mythology, well before the appearance of human beings, the earth was inhabited by a race of giant named the Ispolini. It is difficult not to invoke these mysterious figureheads while walking the site of the «Founders of the Bulgarian State Monument / Паметник 1300 години България » in north- eastern Bulgaria.

Since 1981, perched on the heights of the town of Shumen, this huge monument visible 30km round, commemorates more than 1300 years of Bulgarian history. The sculptors then in charge of the project, Krum Damyanov and Ivan Slavov, gave to kings and heroes once the appearance of these towering giants of stone, echoes of the past forever frozen in concrete.


Text by Hélène Veilleux

The memorial complex ‘’Founders of the Bulgarian State’’ is located on the top of a hill near Shumen, and it is visible from a distance of 30 km. It was built in 1981 to commemorate the 1300th anniversary of the Bulgarian State. 1300 steps take the visitor from the city centre to the monument.

Eight concrete blocks forming spiral symbolize the country’s historic prosperity. Major events from the history of the First Bulgarian Empire (681 – 1018 A.D.) are represented by 21 monumental sculptures and a mosaic triptych – the biggest open-air mosaic in Europe. A giant lion statue was placed on the top of the monument. It is made of 2000 granite elements with a total weight of 1000 tonnes.

The memorial has been visited by over two million people since its inauguration in 1981. Since 1992 it is even possible to hold a civil marriage there.





veilleux helene


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CONTRIBUTOR: Hélène Veilleux