‘Lost Bulgaria’: A time machine made of photos

Written by on May 15, 2017 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on ‘Lost Bulgaria’: A time machine made of photos

Note: This article was previously published by F&F Magazine, which is now part of The Sofia Globe.

Many of us live in Bulgaria. Whether we were born here or not does not really matter. We might still feel at home in Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, Burgas or any other place down here. Or we might just be interested in this country, including its difficult past.

This is about “Lost Bulgaria”, a huge collection of photos, mainly showing a different Bulgaria. The truly interesting pictures include official events with the leaders of the communist regime, but also “normal” people sitting in cafés or walking the streets. They look different, compared to today. So does absolutely everything around them.

It is not just about communist times, but also the times of fascism, and there are even loads of pictures taken before that. “Lost Bulgaria” has it all. It is a time machine made of thousands of photos. The times when Sofia’s outer districts looked almost like villages are included. So are the times when those apartment blocks in the outskirts of Sofia were new.

There is a lot we can learn, by looking at that treasure. Moskvitch vehicles were actually assembled in Bulgaria. Which expat would know? Earthquake damage on buildings, fashion shows, young Bulgarians chilling out in 1988, not knowing that communism was about to collapse and die a year later.

Who knew that Ray Charles and Tina Turner were on Bulgarian TV in the 1980s? Well, seeing Brezhnev shaking hands with fellow dictator Zhivkov is not a surprise, but still interesting. Hotel Marinela, formerly Hotel Kempinski Zografski, was called Hotel Vitosha back then? O.k..

The database is searchable by decade, by city, or by anything. “Lost Bulgaria”. Highly recommended. “Lost Bulgaria” is reachable here.

All photos by “Lost Bulgaria”

A policeman talking to a child, in communist Bulgaria. Photo by Lost Bulgaria.
A policeman talking to a child, in communist Bulgaria. Photo by Lost Bulgaria.
Pedestrians in Sofia, in the 1980s. Photo by Lost Bulgaria.
Pedestrians in Sofia, in the 1980s. Photo by Lost Bulgaria.
Kids at Doktorska Gradina in Sofia, cooling down in the 1940s. Photo by Lost Bulgaria.
Kids at Doktorska Gradina in Sofia, cooling down in the 1940s. Photo by Lost Bulgaria.
Well, the entrance to Sofia looked like the entrance to a village in the 1930s. Photo by Lost Bulgaria.
The entrance to Sofia in the 1930s. Photo by Lost Bulgaria.
Tina Turner, being interviewed on Bulgarian TV in 1981. Photo by Lost Bulgaria.
Tina Turner, being interviewed on Bulgarian TV in 1981. Photo by Lost Bulgaria.

Comments

comments

About the Author

Imanuel Marcus, the founder of foreignersandfriends.com, is Associate Editor of The Sofia Globe.