A second batch of random shots from around Sofia. Picking up where I left off in my previous here and there post here is another shot of the Regional History Museum, and former city bathhouse, seen through the fountain that stands in the square in front of the museum. I’ve taken a lot of photographs of this scene so if you think you’ve seen this before, you have.
Graffiti is everywhere in Sofia but nobody seems too concerned. On some of the newer and uglier communist era buildings more ‘artistic’ or colourful graffiti could be considered an improvement. Less so on these slightly older, more pleasing structures. This one, like many others, shows the signs of a lack of maintenance, but visually I find these kind of careworn, tired buildings appealing.
Czar Samuel was ruler of the First Bulgarian Empire at the end of the 10th and into the early 11th centuries. He spent most of his life expanding Bulgarian territory and fighting the Byzantine Empire but, as if often the way, after his death the Byzantine’s triumphed and the Bulgarian Empire collapsed.
This sculpture, unveiled in 2015 on the 1,000 anniversary of Samuel’s death (he died in 1014, but close enough), generated controversy at the time, partly because of the style, partly because of the location, but mostly because of the glow in the dark eyes! The sculptor, Alexander Haitov, said that he glowing eyes ‘radiate internal heat’ but most people thought they were a bit silly. So when the LEDs behind his eyeballs died in 2018 they were not replaced.
Finally, a few evening shots. The first is the facade of the Ministry of Defence building, something I did not realise at the time. Fortunately, nobody arrested me for photographing in a sensitive area. The next picture is of the Ivan Vazov National Theatre, another favourite location with this nice long water feature leading into the pedestrian square in front of the building. The last one is of a sculpture from an Austrian artist whose name escaped me that was a temporary installation on a vacant plinth in the City Garden. The plinth once housed the mausoleum of Georgi Dimitrov, the first communist prime minister of Bulgaria. Dimitrov’s embalmed body was removed in 1990 and the mausoleum itself controversially demolished in 1999. Other than occasional temporary installations such as this one the site has stood empty ever since.