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Hidden Gems | Austrian Architecture in Bankya


The old bathhouse  in my hometown is truly one of its kind in the region.

The Bankya Central Bathhouse is just a short car drive away from downtown Sofia.  Designed by Munich based architect Arthur Hocheder:the unique Neo Baroque building lies amidst a town which once was one of the most prominent destinations with mineral springs in the country.

However, the post-communist transition to modern democracy has taken its toll on many such buildings across Bulgaria. The sudden loss of central control, mixed with poorly functioning local institutions has left hundreds of architectural landmarks to the whims of fate.

While I was taking these photos I was filled with fury and sadness alike. Buildings like these are destined to fall apart: local power games leave them rotting, because dimwit people with power think they would profit more if the land is cleared for new, fancy hotels or cafes. They don’t even grasp how much profit (in the cultural, touristic, historical and financial sense of the word) they can get from restoring precious gems like this piece of architectural beauty.

If it is not too late, I would really like to do something to change this.


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