This essay discusses the various architectural and design elements that helped define the communist-era landscape of Bulgaria. The conclusions presented here are based on observations made by the author while living in Bulgaria and research into the literature on communist architecture and design in the East Bloc. Bulgaria was the member of the East Bloc that most closely followed the architectural and design model established by the Soviet Union and exported to its satellite states following the Second World War. This didactic model was intended to present a certain image of communism and its achievements. Despite physical changes that came with the end of communism in Bulgaria, the country has retained a significant communist-era landscape. Bulgaria, therefore, presents an opportunity to examine many of the architectural and design elements typical of the East Bloc, both how the communists intended them to be interpreted and how these buildings and monuments made the transition to the postcommunist era.
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