National Palace of Culture Congress Centre, Sofia

Civic Center · Architectural Building
The National Palace of Culture, 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 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 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 .
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  • I enjoyed my time, although brief, at the National Palace of Culture and its expansive grounds. Unfortunately it decided to rain on my visit (sigh), but on clear, sunny days with possibly a cool...  more »
  • Built during socialism, it is the largest congress center in Southeast Europe. It is now used mainly for cultural events. The building is very interesting and the place is always very lively.  more »
  • Absolutely huge building. Hangover from past regime was built as show of power. Very interesting inside with nice art and sculptures. Great meeting rooms with lots of space. View from the top floor.....  more »
  • Not much to see outside. The fountains leading to it are not all operational. If it is, it may look a lot better. But the flower bed is beautiful.
  • Didn’t go inside to explore more but just the outside and it’s great place to have a walk in this area with slight breezy weather and watching the water fountain definitely a good one. It has big park within the area that can be great for a walk, perhaps picnic or just having coffee, food, drinks closer to the area.
  • A prime example of the engineering and architectural prowess of the socialist regime in the country. The building hosts many cultural and musical events and is generally seated in the most central part of the city. The encompassing park holds more monuments and memorials and is filled with young couples, skaters and tourists. Another tourist essential
  • Very beautiful place and very nice building in Sofia. I hope that all of visiters of Sofia will find time to see this place. Historical story from 80's communist govrnment will be good to hear. Also,if possible, please enter into the building to feel a part of past times.
  • What a cool place for walking or running in the city. Even at night it is full of people. It is really popular place in the city. If it is your first time in Sofia you must go there. The view is amazing and really good spot of pictures. You can find a lot of young kids practicing skate.

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