Rotunda of St George

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Rotunda of St GeorgeThe Rotunda of St George /Rotonda Sveti Georgi/ is the oldest architectural value of Sofia, standing in the courtyard behind the Sheraton Hotel. It was built during the fourth century as a Roman temple which was almost completely destroyed by the invasions of the Huns but 200 years later rebuilt by emperor Justinian.

During the Ottoman rule the church was turned into mosque and the paintings were covered with Islāmic decoration. After their removal in 19th century by the restoration were discovered three layers of frescoes. As the name suggest the building is a circular chapel with small rectangular extensions.

With a red brick exterior, the church inside holds some impressive frescoes, including the fourteenth-century portrait of Christ the Pantocrator and twelfth-century frieze of 22 prophets. Many of the paintings below are much older. Remains of public buildings of the Roman-era Sofia surround the rotunda.

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