Olli Thomson

Looking Up

Visually, Sofia lacks the impact of some of the other central and eastern European cities that opened up to visitors following the collapse of the various communist regimes. Architecturally, much of the city is quite utilitarian in style with the grander building that often cluster together in other locations separated and scattered and therefore lacking the same impact. Walking around, though, I did notice that amid the plainer buildings there were still a few that demonstrated a grander vision or ambition. At ground level this is not so obvious given that, as with so many cities, the facade on the lower floors has often been ripped off to make way for stores and offices. The older form only comes into view when looking up.

Sadly, many of these building are in very poor repair and it seems unlikely that funds will be found to restore them. More likely they will be torn down and replaced with generic steel and glass blocks, functional but nondescript. Today, I photographed a number of these buildings and facades, mostly on Boulevard Maria Luiza. Here are the pictures.

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