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National Palace of Culture

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The National Palace of Culture (; abbreviated as НДК, NDK), located in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, is the largest, multifunctional conference and exhibition centre in south-eastern Europe. It was opened in 1981 in celebration of Bulgaria's 1300th anniversary. The centre was initiated at the suggestion of Lyudmila Zhivkova, daughter of the communist leader of the former People's Republic of Bulgaria Todor Zhivkov. The project was designed by a team of Bulgarian and foreign architects led by Alexander Georgiev Barov (1931–1999) along with Ivan Kanazirev. The landscaping of Bulgaria Square in front of the National Palace of Culture was designed by another team of architects and landscape engineers, led by Atanas Agura. Internally, the building exhibits a unified style, employing an octagonal motif and heavy, dark colours. Large bright murals depicting historical figures and events cover the main wall of many of the smaller halls. During the '90s, immediately following the change of the political model in the country, the NDK lost a significant portion of its property, including infrastructure, commercial areas, and car parks. Since 2011, the NDK has been restructured into a commercial company, but it remains a state property. It is self-sustaining, receiving no subsidies. The first public financial report of the Palace was released in 2012. A substantial part of the revenues are invested annually in new projects and its own cultural events. The Festival and Congress Centre (FCC) is the Varna branch of the NDK. It was founded in 1986 and it is gradually becoming the center of some of the most prestigious events in the field of art and culture. FCC is host to artistic events and festivals, scientific meetings, seminars, and more. FCC is the face of Bulgaria when it comes to prestigious international congress organizations such as ICCA, EFCT, AIPC and it is included in the only pan-European network of cinemas, Europe Cinema, in the European Union (EU). In July 2005, the National Palace of Culture was proclaimed the best congress centre in the world for the year by the International Organization of Congress Centres. The conference centre is equipped to host a variety of events, including concerts, multilingual conferences, exhibitions, and shows. It has an area of 123,000 square meters on eight floors and three underground levels. The National Palace of Culture has 13 halls and 15,000 square meters of exhibition area, a trade centre and a car park. The main hall can seat over 3,000 people. The Sofia International Film Festival takes place in the NDK.
  • Боян Станиславски

    4 months ago

    The park used to be a fantastic place and now we ca only see the remnants of its greatness. Build in 1981 it literally moved the center of Sofia from around what we today call Independence Sq to the area around Vitosha blvd. and the National Palace of Culture. The park was designed to combine relaxation/walks area with kids' playground and a special place for dogs owners (at the back of the Palace). Now most of it has been taken over by skaters, the playground is a mess, same as the "doggy" place. Around the Palace things are under renovation and one can never be sure what will the result be. The saddest moment in its contemporary history was July 2017 when the remnants of the monument "1300 years of Bulgaria" were removed. I still give it four stars. It serves people well, but it's a far cry from what a fantastic place it used to be in the `80.

  • Светослав Петков

    3 days ago

    A monsterous building. One of the landmarks in Sofia. Has a good park there for casual hanging out and short walks.

  • Georgi Chompalov

    21 days ago

    Great place to have a beer outside or just relax on the benches. It's very good in the summer - the whole city is here :)

  • Nikolai Vasilev

    a month ago

    It's nice historical place in the center. I can't wait to see is after they finish the reconstruction

  • Mat Wilk

    a month ago

    Nice park in the centre, a lot of people during the hot summer and whole groups of people splashing water on each other under the vigilant eye of the local police.