Collectors of old postcards and photographs taken in communist Bulgaria are displaying very interesting specimens on Facebook. Their section on Sofia alone is worth a virtual visit. On the page belonging to the group “Изгубени в миналото” (“Lost in the past”), younger Bulgarians and expats in particular might be very surprised about many of the photos. Most of the latter are transporting the aura of a very different Bulgaria straight into the beholder’s observation slits.
The postcard above shows the former Hotel Pliska, which accomodates a bank nowadays. The card was supposedly printed in 1967. The only issue: The hotel was not built until 1969. What else are we noticing? Could anything be missing in this picture? Indeed, there is no Zarigradsko Chaussee, at least not in its present form. This area of Sofia, which is pretty loud and hectic these days, obviously was a haven of quietude, half a century ago.
Other pictures show Sofia University, different intersections and streets in the city center as well as some of the same apartment blocks we are confronted with today. But they were in a much better state. Most photographs in this collection were taken between 1964 and 1980.
The only photo, which could have been taken five minutes ago, shows the National Palace of Culture, which was built with the help of student brigades some 36 years ago and inaugurated in 1980.
Interested? Link: The Изгубени в миналото photo collection
Photo at top of page by Изгубени в миналото.