Home    Number 3, 2014

"Mafi a Baroque": The Post-Socialist Aesthetics, Architecture, and Urban Planning in Bulgaria

Type of publication: Research Article

About author(s)


post-socialism, urban planning, organized crime, architecture, taste, Bulgaria


This paper is devoted to an architectural style that has developed in Bulgaria, locally known as ”Mafia Baroque” among experts in architecture and urban planning. The emergence of this style is usually linked to the general decline of power among intellectual elites and the specific decline of architects and planners, who were sidelined as arbiters of ”good taste”. The name of this style highlights public concern over the growing influence of criminal networks and dissatisfaction with urbanization in Bulgaria since 1989. The way in which Mafia Baroque is viewed in Bulgarian society represents one among several aspects of public anxiety about failing to meet Western European standards of economic and political change.


Holleran, M. 2014. “Mafi a Baroque”: The Post-Socialist Aesthetics, Architecture, and Urban Planning in Bulgaria. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 3: 87-105

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