In the late 1940s, when the Communist regime was in the process of establishing itself in Bulgaria, the government made a thrust towards heavy industrialisation, collectivised farming and building new infrastructure, including new cities
At the same time it found itself facing with severe labour shortages. What they did was to convince young Bulgarians... to work for free, in exchange for the promise of a brighter Socialist future where everyone would be given according to their needs and everyone's input to society would be commensurate with their abilities. The Communists were successful. Thousands of young Bulgarians joined the youth task force, misleadingly called brigade, and helped boost the national economy by building railway lines, water dams and reservoirs, power stations and... a whole new city in southern Bulgaria which predictably was given the name of the first Communist leader post-1944. The new town, modelled on similar projects in the USSR, remains to this day. It is a must-visit location for anyone interested not only in 20th century architecture and urban planning but also in the lifestyle of Bulgarians behind the Iron Curtain.