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Sofia (Bulgarian: София) is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria and the 12th largest city by population in the European Union, with 1.4 million people living in the Capital Municipality. It is located in western Bulgaria, at the foot of Mount Vitosha, and is the administrative, cultural, economic, and educational centre of the country.
Sofia was first mentioned in the sources as Serdica in relation to Marcus Licinius Crassus’ campaigns in 29 BC. The name Serdica or Sardica (Σερδική, Σαρδική) was popular in Latin, Ancient Greek and Byzantine Greek sources from Antiquity and the Middle Ages; it was related to the local Celtic tribe of the Serdi.
Sofia’s development as a significant settlement owes much to its central position in the Balkans. It is situated in western Bulgaria, at the northern foot of the Vitosha mountain, in the Sofia Valley that is surrounded by mountains on all sides. The valley is the largest one in the country with territory of 1,186 square kilometres (458 sq mi) and average altitude of 550 metres (1,804 ft). Three mountain passes lead to the city, which have been key roads since antiquity, connecting the Adriatic Sea and Central Europe with the Black and Aegean Seas.
It is located 130 kilometres (81 mi) northwest of Plovdiv, Bulgaria’s second largest city, 340 kilometres (211 mi) west of Burgas 380 kilometres (236 mi) west of Varna, Bulgaria’s major port-cities on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast. The city is situated at less than 200 kilometres (124 mi) from the borders with three countries: 55 kilometres (34 mi) from Kalotina on the Serbian border, 113 kilometres (70 mi) from Gyueshevo on the frontier with the Republic of Macedonia and 183 kilometres (114 mi) from the Greek border at Kulata.
Bulgarian "meze-мезé" appetizer (with mastika is great)
Romanian Dacia store in Sofia 🙂 (in last years more and more bulgarians buy Dacia cars)
Front view of the renovated Central Railway Station in Sofia (renovated and reconstructed in the 2000s under Milan Dobrev and Olympic Stadium Munich-style tensile elements of 4,500 m² were added)
A cute little bulgarian cat (kotka :P)
Bulgarian coach at first class in the train Bucharest-Sofia
Konstantin Velichkov (Константин Величков) Blvd
Konstantin Velichkov Metro Station
The same station operational since 28.01.1998
Bulgarian tram in old center
Holy Sunday Church (Bulgarian: църква „Света Неделя“ Sveta Nedelya), probably built in the 10th century
Vitosha Boulevard (булевард "Витоша")
Central Sofia Market Hall (It was opened in 1911 and is today an important trade centre in the city)
Banya Bashi Mosque (Баня баши джамия) build in 1576
Sofia Public Mineral Baths (It was built in the early 20th century near the former Turkish bath -then destroyed- and was used as the city's public baths until 1986)
Bulgarian National Bank (down you can observe Viennese yellow cobblestones)
A turtle at National Museum of Natural History
Grand Hotel Bulgaria, near the National Museum of Natural History
The Russian Church or the Church of St. Nicholas the Miracle-Maker, built in 1914 is dedicated to the patron-saint of the Russian Tsar at the time Nicholas II
The early Byzantine Church of St Sophia was built in the 6th century on the place of an ancient Roman theatre and several earlier churches.
The gold-domed Alexander Nevsky Cathedral was built in the early 20th century in memory of the 200,000 Russian, Ukrainian, Belorussian and Bulgarian soldiers, who died in the Russo-Turkish War, 1877–1878. It is one of the largest Eastern Orthodox cathedrals in the world. The cathedral's gold-plated dome is 45 m high, with the bell tower reaching 50.52 m.
The Monument to the Tsar Liberator is an equestrian monument in the centre of Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. It was erected in honour of Russian Emperor Alexander II who liberated Bulgaria of Ottoman rule during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78.
St. Clement of Ohrid University of Sofia (Софийски университет „Св. Климент Охридски)
National Assembly of Bulgaria
Monument to the Soviet Army built in 1954, near to Vasil Levski National Stadium
Monument of Vasil Levski in Borisova Gradina (Boris's Park)
Slaveykov Square (Площад Славейков)
St. Sedmochislenitsi Church which was created between 1901 and 1902 through the conversion of an abandoned Ottoman mosque, and was inaugurated on 27 July 1903. The church is named after Cyril and Methodius and their five disciples, known in the Orthodox Church collectively as the Sedmochislenitsi.
Georgi Rakovski Street (Улица Георги Раковски)
A nice old Jaguar 🙂
The Church of St George is a late Roman rotunda dated from 4th century situated in the courtyard of the Sheraton Sofia Hotel. It was constructed with red bricks and is considered the oldest building in Sofia. It is known for its Medieval frescoes in the central dome dating from 12-14th centuries.
Serdika Metro Station (into operation since October 31, 2000)
The biggest shopping mall in Bulgaria (Serdika Center)
The mall is located on the Sitnyakovo Blvd.
It has 210 stores with a commercial space of over 51,000 square meters on three levels, and office space of some 30,000 square meters
Inside of Central Railway Station (Централна железопътна гара) located near Central Bus Station (Централна автогара София, Tsentralna avtogara)
Martenitsa (мартеници) is a small piece of adornment, made of white and red yarn and worn from March 1 until around the end of March (or the first time an individual sees a stork, swallow or budding tree). In Romania we also have a similar but not identical holiday on March 1, called "Mărţişor".
The train ticket from Ruse to Sofia which was 17 leva-34 lei-9 euro (the distance is 405 km)
Bus and metro tickets are 1 leva, which mean 0.50 euro or 2 lei
National Museum of Natural History