In Sofia, in front of the NDK, there are two fountains. One of them is underground, at the metro level:

NDK underground fountain

Now, I'm not saying that every single fountain in the world is expected to have a deeper meaning, but is one has been obviously designed with something in mind and it's nearly the weirder fountain I've seen in my traveling.

I tried asking to local residents, but surprisingly it seems that nobody ever thought about it. And funnily enough, while it seems (at least, that's what I've been told) I'm currently living in the house where the architect which could have designed it lived, the current owner of the house has no idea about the fountain too.

I obviously tried some Internet search, too, but came to nothing. So, can someone shed some light on this? What is the meaning, if any, of this humid piece of art?

  • NDK in general means National Place of Culture as seen on Wiki
    – rshah4u
    Jun 15, 2017 at 9:16
  • @rshah4u OP is asking about the meaning of fountains, not the abbreviation used.
    – Giorgio
    Jun 15, 2017 at 14:01
  • So many upvotes, so few (none, actually) answers :-(
    – motoDrizzt
    Jun 16, 2017 at 7:53

1 Answer 1


If there is any ulterior significance to an below-grade fountain, it is long buried, along with the individuals who were involved in the project, from its very concept to a long-overdue realization. It may have been the site itself, cratered by bombs, littered with a haphazard collection of buildings including military barracks and a train station and coal yard, along with a huge swath of barren land.

It may have been the evolution of the concept to build a large-scale cultural center; more accurately, for it to be bigger and better, grander and more grandiose than any other. An international design competition collapsed and the project became a collaboration, in both the best and worst senses of the word, between architects, engineers, government ministers and officials, and an assortment of others with varied and various credentials.

The NDK, both interior and exterior, is massive: the structure and its grand views, its promenade and allee, its fountains, both at- and below-grade, the latter both a water feature and a sculpture garden. It's a very Modernist construct (or Brutalist?), and implies that the design is simply that, a well-realized, below-grade sculpture and water feature that engages individuals on multiple levels.

  • 3
    [citation needed]
    – motoDrizzt
    Jun 19, 2017 at 6:53
  • 1
    @motoDrizzt what ... LOL, you need my academic credentials in architectural history (as this is my analysis), or are you good with a link? I did use Banister Fletcher's History of Architecture; do you want that reference?
    – Giorgio
    Jun 19, 2017 at 14:22

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