In March 1981 the first stage of the construction of the National Palace of Culture was completed, which included Hall 1 and its adjoining premises. On 14 March of the same year, a concert was held in the glamorous hall, especially for the National Palace of Culture builders. It was then that the “musical signal” of the Palace – the melody of “Vravvi, narode vazrodeni” by the composer Panayot Pipkov – sounded for the first time. This first concert in the history of the National Palace of Culture featured the Bulgarian National Radio Choir and Orchestra under the conductorship of Vasil Stefanov, the representative choir “Bodra Shmina”, the ensemble “Philip Kutev”, the illusionist Orfi, the Bulgarian National Radio Pop Orchestra conducted by Vili Kazasyan, as well as Bogdana Karadocheva, Emil Dimitrov and other stars of Bulgarian music and pop who later became legends.

And the most interesting fact, a memory of witnesses, is that, even during the concert in honor of the builders of the National Palace of Culture, the work on the site continues. The rush is great, not only to make the palace in time for the celebrations of the 1300th anniversary of Bulgaria, but also because of the 12th Congress of the Communist Party of Bulgaria, which is being held at the National Palace of Culture on March 31. This event is also considered the official opening of the Palace.

At that time, heating had already been installed in Hall 1. During the preparations for the congress it became clear that in some places in the hall there were no sensors to measure the temperature. Therefore, it was decided to reserve seats in the places of the missing sensors, where a decently dressed person with a thermometer in his hand would be placed to report the state of the indoor temperature.


During the congress, a plaster module from the decorative suspended ceiling in one of the file rooms falls and attracts the attention of the military officers. They see the incident as a deliberate act targeting one of the guests. Then Grigor Stoichkov – a plenipotentiary of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union for the construction of the National Palace of Culture – informs the chief officer of the Ministry of the Interior that no one was injured and no unnecessary noise should be made. In fact, it was the first time that so many heavy plaster blocks were being installed and the fall of one of them was an accidental incident that shows the tight timeframe in which the main rooms of the National Palace of Culture were built. The building was finally completed by the end of 1981.

The articles for the project “NDK is #soSofia” were developed by Viktor Topalov, author at “Bohemian Sofia” in collaboration with the #soSofia team. 

The project uses visual archives from the National Film Centre, the State Agency “Archives”, the Bulgarian Visual Archive and information from the following sources: 

Miloshev, Yordan, NDK – memories of builders | Sp. 1 – 1982, 6 – 1984, 3-4 – 1986 | Mircheva, Simona, Palace in the Life of the City | Tromkov, Ilia. National Palace of Culture “Lyudmila Zhivkova” | Milev, Ivo. “The Life and Death of Lyudmila Zhivkova | BNT. Aleksandrova, Albena. Kovachev, Oleg. Study of beauty from within | Interview – Gyurov, Vasil. Gyurov, Konstantin. Places of everyday life. Cravaai. | Langova, Sonya. Shofelinov, Ivan. Cohen, Emil. Film – We from Kravay. | Trifonova, Teodora. BTV News. 18.07.2017 Ready project for the soldiers’ memorial has been there for years. | Veselinov, Veselin. Liternet. Memorial to the fallen of the 1st and 6th infantry regiments. | NDK Press Center | |  | Thank you for talking to the NDK teams. | All Day NDK. | DJ GIORGIO. | Sofia Graffiti Tour.

The NDK is #soSofia project is realized with the support of the Cultural Heritage Entrepreneurship Programme of the National Culture Fund and the help of our loyal friends from Storytel, Fashion Days, Beefeater and DEVIN.


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