About the National Palace of Culture
The National Palace of Culture is located in the downtown area of Sofia(the capital of Bulgaria, is the largest multi-functional conference and exhibition center in south-eastern Europe). The National Palace of Culture first open doors in 1981 in celebration of Bulgaria's 1300th anniversary.
The center was initiated by a suggestion of Lyudmila Zhivkova(the 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. The landscaping of Bulgaria Square in front of the National Palace of Culture was made 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 colors. Large bright murals depicting historical figures and events cover the main wall of many of the smaller halls. In 2011, the National Palace of Culture was restructured and turned into a commercial company, but it still remains a state property. It is self-sustainable and it does not receive any subsidies.
The National Palace of Culture is equipped with 13 halls and 15,000 m² of exhibition area, a trade center and a car park. The main hall can seat over 3,000 people.
There's plenty of going on all year round. The National Palace of Culture is a popular place for all kind of exhibitions like STROIKO 2000 which is the biggest specialized trade fair for architecture, construction and furnishing in Bulgaria since 1993. It is held twice a year - in spring and autumn.
In 2012, Red Bull had a bike competition named "Red Bull Ride the Palace" which was held in the National Palace of Culture and brought thousands of sports fans to the National Palace of Culture doors.
Photos Credit: Official Red Bull Website
Right in front of the National Palace of Culture you will see very beautiful fountains which change their colors at night. Many tourists and locals hang out in this area at night. Close by the National Palace of Culture, there are numerous restaurants, night clubs, bars, and also the Vitosha boulevard which is the very center of Sofia's downtown area.