The heavy artillery of Sofia’s cultural life. The National Palace of Culture was built upon the idea of Lyudmila Zhivkova, the daughter of Bulgaria’s longest-serving communist leader Todor Zhivkov. Opened in 1981, the massive building became the largest cultural and convention center in the country. The National Palace of Culture is valuable not only for its architectural heritage and beautiful adjacent park, occupied by skaterboys, youngsters and old citizens, but also for its current hospitality for important cultural events, such as Kinomania and Sofia Film Fest movie festivals. There are many concert and theatre spaces and a new National book centre with a 24/7 bookstore and bar, and in 2018 this building will welcome the Bulgarian presidency of the European union.