Today we have 52 hotels in Sofia

Attractions


Sofia became a capital of Bulgaria as recently as 1879.
The city’s history buildings date from the turn of the century up until the 19 30’s, when there was a rush to bring the city up to date and turn it into a modern European capital.
Evidence has been found that Sofia was inhabited as early as 7000 years ago.
Thracian and Roman remains can still be seen dotted around the city: in the underpass in front of the presidency, behind the military club, and behind the Sheraton hotel. Sofia’s thermal springs meant that it was always an attractive place for settlement. There are later Roman rule, Sofia was known as Serdika; from the middle of the 6th century the Byzantines renamed it Triaditsa and from the 9th century onwards during the First Bulgarian Kingdom it took on the Slavonic name of Sredets. The city finally became known as Sofia from the beginning of the 15th century taking on the name Sofia (Wisdom), from st. Sofia church.

Interesting sites to see in the center of Sofia




Tsar Osvoboditel monument- sits in the middle of Narodno Sabranie Square. It portrays the Russian Tsar Alexander II on a horseback. It was erected as a jester of gratitude to the Russian tsar and his troops, who finally liberated Bulgaria in 1878 from Ottoman rule. The statue itself is a 14 meters high bronze by the Italian sculptor Arnoldo Zocci. Not far from the monument you will see the golden domes of a far grander gesture of the nation’s gratitude.







National Assembly (Narodno Sabranie)
Build by in three stages between 1884- 1928, it was designed by a Bulgarian architect who had been living and working in Vienna.
The slogan on the facade above the entrance “Obedinenieto Pravi Silata”, loosely translated means “United we are strong”.





Alexander Nevski Cathedral
Without a doubt the most spectacular building in Sofia. It is named after St. Alexander Nevski, a Russian tsar who saved Russia from the invading Swedish troops in 1240 and became the patron saint of Tsar Alexander II.
Build between 1882 and 1912, in the neo- Byzantine style marble in the entrance area, typical for Russian churches in the 19th century, the cathedral is 76 meters long and 53 meters wide and is said to hold up to 7000 people. Some of Russia and Bulgaria’s best artists of the time worked on the interior with its five aisles and three altars. Sienna and carrera marble in the entrance, stained glass windows, Venetian mosaics and dramatic murals such as “The Lord God Sabbath” in the main cupola, and “The day of Judgment” above the exit, onyx and alabaster columns on the thrones, all add to the richness of the interior without making it in any way gaudy. The spectacular external golden domes were covered in gold leaf, donated by Russia in 1960, and have just been regilded.

St. Sofia is the oldest Eastern Orthodox Church in Sofia and after major restoration and renovation works, reopened to the public less than five years ago; it once again plays an important role in the day- to day rituals of Sofianites. Sveta Sofia is in fact the church that gave its name to the present day capital back in the15th century.
The simple red- brick church dates back to the 5th/ 6th century, when it was the site of Serdica’s necropolis. Under Ottoman rule it was turned into a mosque, but an earthquake in 1818 toppled the minaret. After the liberation it was restored as a church.
Outside St. Sofia burns an eternal flame of the Unknown Soldier, set up in 1981 to honor the nation’s war casualties.

Opera house is situated on the corner of Rakovski and Vrabcha Street.

National Gallery for Foreign Art
Formerly a printing house, its 18 or so halls are since 1985 home to collections from all over the world, including works by the likes of Van Dyke, Rodin, Picasso and Goya.

Across Vassil Levski Blvd. on either corner with Shipka str. are two further impressive educational establishments. The Cyril and Methodius National Library with a statue of the two brothers in the garden area directly in front, and Sofia University, another Baroque- style building from 1920’s. The large sitting figures depict the brothers Evlogi and Hristo Georgiev, who donated the land and funds for this building.




The city Gallery- The building, originally a casino till 1944, than in 1070’s it became the home of the City Gallery, although the gallery itself was first known as The City Museum. The collection consists of predominantly 20th century paintings and sculptures by Bulgarian artists. The gallery often hosts musical recitals and vanguard events.

The national Palace of Culture(NDK)
A monolithic structure that is almost impossible to find your way around. Even the people that work there don't seem to know where the different halls are located. Built in 1981 to mark the country's 13th centennial, it is Sofia's most prominent modern landmark housing concert halls, exhibition space, offices, shops and restaurants. Throughout the year (except August) it hosts a variety of cultural events from classical to 'vanguard'; concerts, film festivals, art exhibits, fashion shows and trade fairs as well as major conferences. Hall 1 the largest of 12 halls seats approximately 4000 and is used for major concerts, including international pop stars, as well as movie premieres.
The smaller Halls 8 and 9, twice a week host classical recitals or chamber music. The various halls and foyers themselves are home to some of the most impressive specially commissioned contemporary art.

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