Uchilishte is Bulgarian for "school". Thousands of schools in Bulgaria stand abandoned. These buildings are the most visible consequence of the ongoing depopulation of the country.
1989 marked the end of communist rule in Bulgaria. Ever since, the Bulgarian population has been in decline. The country has got the most extreme population decline in the world. In 28 years time Bulgaria's population has dropped from 9 to 7 million. A decline of more than 20 percent.
As the population dwindles, there are less and less children to fill the schools. Every year dozens of schools close their doors as education is centralised in the bigger towns. In 2008 alone, more than 300 schools did not reopen after summer. Some of the buildings have been renovated and are back in use as housing or as hotels. Most of the schools remain abandoned.