Sofia the Capital

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Sofia is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria. It is located in the western part of country at the foot of the mountain Vitosha, and is the administrative, cultural, and industrial center of the country. Sofia got its present name in the 14th century after the name of St.Sofia Church, which means wisdom in Greek. On 3rd April 1879 the town became a capital.

The history of Sofia dates back to the 7th century BC. Sofia was originally a Thracian settlement called Serdica, named after the Thracian tribe of Serdi. The city was destroyed by the Huns in 447, but rebuilt by Byzantine Emperor Justinian I and renamed Triaditsa. Sofia was captured by the Bulgarians for the first time in 809. Afterwards, it was known as Sredets, the name given to it by the Slavs. It was renamed Sofia in 1376 and conquered by the Ottomans in 1382, becoming the capital of the Turkish province of Rumelia for more than 4 centuries.

From the earliest times, Sofia’s main attraction has been its thermal springs, which are still in public use today, as a water source. Its strategic location on military and trade routes made it an important administrative centre in Roman times and one of the most urbanized cities.

During World War II, Bulgaria became part of the Axis and Sofia was heavily bombed in British and American raids – 3000 buildings were destroyed and 9000 damaged. In 1944 the Soviet Army took the capital and Bulgaria became part of the Eastern Bloc. Communist Sofia underwent a period of rapid industrialisation – new factories and high-rise apartment blocks grew up to form extended ugly suburbs. The city centre is dominated by neo-classical Stalinist architecture.

However, the side streets and century-old commercial quarter reveals the true magic of Sofia – a very European city of tree-lined boulevards and balconied buildings by 19th-century Russian and Viennese architects, standing among a cluster of ancient Orthodox churches.

22 comments on “Sofia the Capital

  1. […] town of  Vidin is located in the northwestern Bulgaria, 200 km from Sofia, on the bank of the Danube […]

  2. […] halfway the Sofia-Varna route, 250 km away from each. The historical and architectural reservation in Tryavna is […]

  3. […] lies 160 km north-east of Sofia along the banks of Beli Ossam river in the foothills of the Central Balkan Mountains. It is famous […]

  4. […] is situated in the Central Balkan Mountains along the Beli Vit River 110 km away from Sofia, surrounded by beautiful peaks. It is the starting point for many breathtaking hiking routes and […]

  5. […] The city of Svishtov is located in the northern part of Bulgaria, on the bank of the Danube River (there is a port). Here is the most southern point of the river. Svishtov  is situated 260 km from Sofia. […]

  6. […] located in the central part of northeast Bulgaria on the main roadways Sofia-Varna and […]

  7. […] is located 160 km south of Sofia on the E-79 motorway in the sunniest part of Bulgaria at an altitude of 224 m in the foothills of […]

  8. […] town of Sevlievo is situated in the central part of Bulgaria, 178 km away from the capital Sofia and 283 km from […]

  9. […] in the central part of the Danubian Plain, past the Vit River. At 174 km to the north-east of Sofia Pleven has a centuries old and very rich […]

  10. […] the border with Greece, 20 km east of Zlatarevo, at the border of Macedonia, and 189 km away from Sofia. It is located at the northern foot of the Belassitsa […]

  11. […] is situated 170 km north-west of Sofia and is a regional […]

  12. […] town of Kresna is located in the Kresna Gorge on the main road Sofia – Kulata. The Kresna Gorge is a picturesque and narrow valley made by the river Struma, which […]

  13. […] situated in the eastern part of the Balkan Mountain 328 km east of Sofia. It is a town with beautiful architectural examples from the Late Revival – more than 110 houses […]

  14. […] Gotze Delchev is located in South Bulgaria at the foot of the beautiful Pirin Mountains. It is 115 km from the town of Blagoevgrad and 220 km from Sofia. […]

  15. […] to the Balkan mountain’s passes in the valley of the Yantra River. It is situated 220 km from Sofia, 150 km from Plovdiv, 274 km from Varna, 234 from Bourgas and some 153 km away from the town of […]

  16. […] of the most beautiful towns in Bulgaria. It lies at the foot of the Rila mountain, 100 km south of Sofia. The border of the Republic of Macedonia is immediately to the west, and the Greek border is 130 km […]

  17. […] town of Belogradchik is located 182 km. northwest from Sofia. Belogradchik is an old settlement when the Romans have built a fortress among the rocks, named […]

  18. […] is situated in the Western Rhodopes, 156 km south-east of Sofia. This is a town with very rich history connected mostly with the tragic fate of April uprising its […]

  19. […] 17th SeptemberVyara, Nadezhda, Lyubov The 17th September is a Christian holiday dedicated to the saints Vyara, Nadezdha and Lyubov, and their mother-Sofia. In Bulgarian language the names mean Faith (Vyara), Hope (Nadezhda) and Love (Lyubov, and their mother Sofia (Wisdom). The main religious virtues are named after them. People who with such name celebrate their name-day the same way . This date is the official holiday for the capital of Bulgaria – Sofia. […]

  20. […] capital Sofia has officially applied to become the European capital of sport in […]

  21. […] 165 km away from Sofia and only 6 km south of the famous ski resort Bansko. It is situated in the foot of Pirin mountain at […]

  22. […] incident has not led to a decrease in Israeli tourists, with the country’s Ambassador to Sofia Shaul Kamisa Raz asserting that the flow to visitors from Israel to Bulgaria has increased by a […]

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