While passing through the center of the Bulgarian city of Dimitrovgrad, you can’t help but feel like a Lilliputian who has somehow escaped from Gulliver’s Travels and ended up in the real world. The reason: a 6-meter wide, 2.4-meter high, 1.5-ton bench – the biggest in Bulgaria.
It sits at the entrance to Maritsa Park, behind the Town Hall in the center of Dimitrovgrad. Not that you really need directions, because at that size you could hardly miss it.
Just to make sure you get the scale right, next to the biggest bench there is a normal bench, and next to that, a mini-bench. That way you can impersonate whichever character from Gulliver’s Travels you like. The Holy Trinity of Benches has been here since 2011, and has even been on tour around Bulgaria several times.
Other gigantic furniture
To keep the giant bench company, three more pieces of gigantic furniture surround it – a table, a chair and a huge night lamp. The table is 2.5 meters high and weighs 1.6 tons, with a 3 by 6 meter tabletop. The chair is a bit more than 3 meters high.
Standing at the foot of this garden furniture for giants, you will see that
a) (philosophical conclusion) everything in this world depends on scale;
b) (the tourist in you has spoken) you cannot resist the temptation to sit down and take pictures;
c) without you noticing it, strange thoughts start going through your mind – what would happen if all park benches were like that? How would it feel to have a beer here? Would the table make a good shelter in a storm? Is the bench really this big, or am I getting smaller or something?
Opposite the bench there is a huge red metal heart, where you can lock a padlock as a symbol of eternal love. The first planetarium in Bulgaria with an astronomical observatory, named “Giordano Bruno”, is also nearby. Make sure you go for a walk in the beautiful parks in Dimitrovgrad – “Maritsa”, “Penyo Penev” and “Nikola Vaptsarov”.
The first thing most Bulgarians associate with Dimitrovgrad is communism; this was the first town built during the regime, using the voluntary labor of workers for its construction. Because it was planned by the authorities, three big parks were included in the design, and today the town is among the greenest places to live in Bulgaria.
Ask about the Town Hall and go behind the building to find the bench. You can take a bus from Sofia to Dimitrovgrad from the central bus station, or you can go by train.
All photos: © Maria Angelova/ 203challenges