The Snail House – Sofia, Bulgaria - Atlas Obscura

The Snail House

A flamboyant five-story building in Bulgaria resembles a crawling snail. 


The Simeonovo neighborhood in the outskirts of Sofia, Bulgaria isn’t known as a hotspot for many tourists. Yet, hidden in the hinterland, there lives a gigantic snail whose flamboyant rainbow coloration will stop passersby in their tracks.

Painted in swirls of red, orange, green, blue, and brown, Bulgaria’s Snail House is five stories tall and is said to have “no straight walls, corners, or edges.” Although it may look like a daycare center or a children’s museum, the Snail House is actually a residential area, the location where many eager spouses have begged their less enthusiastic partners to live inside a multicolored slug.

The architect of the Snail House, Simeon Simeonov, has built this rainbow snail abode in anything but a conventional manner. Featuring two tentacles atop its head and curved windows on its side, the snail was ingeniously designed to make all of the building’s appliances appear to be part of its decor.

The Snail House’s door, for instance, is painted to be the slug’s mouth, requiring residents to be “swallowed alive” before entering. Simeonov also substituted a standard chimney with a big yellow bee on the snail’s back. In addition to conducting smoke, the bee’s horns double as both night lights and lightning arresters.

At the Snail House, even the eyes have a purpose. The house’s air and gas ventilate through the eyelids and exit through the snail’s big red eyes. The radiators at the Snail House are disguised as frogs, ladybugs, and pumpkins.

Perhaps the most symbolic feature of this giant escargot, however, is its symbolic meaning for preserving the planet. The Snail House is constructed entirely with lightweight and eco-friendly material, making it truly energy efficient. 

The next time you pass through the Simeonovo neighborhood, be sure to visit the Snail House, a building so bizarre that you’ll have to drive by at a snail’s pace to get a good look at it.

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