The Largo, a colossal complex of Stalinist buildings, has been at the center of much of Bulgaria’s recent history.
Erected in the 1950s, on top of the very heart of the ancient city of Serdica, the large ensemble was part of a master plan to change the face of Sofia after the Communist party’s ascend to power.
The building at the center of the complex served as the administrative headquarters of the Communist Party for over 40 years. Its 40 000 sq m and 3 km of corridors used to hold many of the Party’s secrets.
In 1990, several months after the fall of the Berlin wall, the big ruby red star that used to crown the building was taken down by helicopter. Interestingly, the star has since completely vanished.
Its smaller predecessor, however, is on display at the Museum of Socialist Art in Sofia.
The building is now used by the Parliament and a big Bulgarian flag sits in place of the red star.
The other buildings in the complex are also of interest.
The Central Universal Store, TZUM, envisioned as a showcase of Communist Bulgaria’s affluence, can be seen on the left.
TZUM department store
The Presidency and the Sheraton hotel are on the right.
Change of guard ceremony in front of the Presidency Building
Do not miss the small St. George rotunda, considered the oldest building in Sofia, now tucked between the Sheraton and Presidency.