Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria

Thursday, 13 November 2014 - 03:30 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  4 minutes

Orlov Most junction © Boby Dimitrov

Orlov Most junction © Boby Dimitrov

Sofia is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria and the 12th largest city in the European Union with a population of 1.27 million people. It is located in western Bulgaria, at the foot of Mount Vitosha and approximately at the centre of the Balkan Peninsula. Sofia has been ranked by GaWC as a beta- world city. Many of the major universities, cultural institutions, and businesses of Bulgaria are concentrated in Sofia.

Prehistoric settlements were excavated in the centre of the present city, near the royal palace, as well as in outer districts Slatina and Obelya. The well-preserved town walls (especially their substructures) date back before the 7th century BC, when Thracians established their city around a mineral spring, which exists to the present day. Sofia has had several names in the different periods of its existence. Its ancient name, Serdica, derives from the local Celtic tribe of the serdi who inhabited the region since the 1st century BC. During the Middle Ages, it was one of the major commercial centres of the Bulgarian Empire, along with Tarnovo. Sofia’s population remained small until 1879, when it was declared a capital of the Principality of Bulgaria after the Liberation of Bulgaria from Ottoman rule.

Mall of Sofia © Nikola Gruev Sofia Airport © Aisano Mall of Sofia © Apostoloff National Palace of Culture © Apostoloff National Opera and Ballet © Apostoloff Military Club - Nenko Lazarov © imagesfrombulgaria.com Government buildings © Svik Cyril and Methodius National Library © Pascal Reusch Central Market Hall © Apostoloff Business Park © Tourbillon Sofia Collage © Todor Bozhinov Orlov Most junction © Boby Dimitrov
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Military Club - Nenko Lazarov © imagesfrombulgaria.com
The following are some of the most culturally and economically significant districts:

  • Oborishte is in the very center of the city, where most landmarks and administrative edifices are located. It is known for its predominantly neo-Renaissance and Viennese architecture, extensive green belts and yellow cobblestones.
  • Sredets neighbours Oborishte and shares some of its specific architecture. It is the site of Borisova gradina (Gardens of Boris) and the Vasil Levski National Stadium.
  • Vazrazhdane is an economically active district where many trade centres and banks, along with some light industry manufacturing companies, are located. One of its main boulevards is Marie Louise Boulevard, the site of the Central Sofia Market Hall, TZUM and St Nedelya Church.
  • Mladost is the one of the largest districts in terms of population (second only to Lyulin) with its 110,000 inhabitants. It is generally poor in landmarks and administrative institutions, but it concentrates the headquarters of numerous domestic and international companies, large-scale department stores, official vehicle dealerships, and Business Park Sofia at its southern end. The architecture is a combination of Socialist-era apartment blocks, industrial enterprises and new buildings, most of which were constructed after 2004. Mladost has excellent transport connections to all remaining districts of Sofia.
  • Vitosha is located on the foot of Vitosha Mountain. It holds a key location as it is the site where the Sofia ring road and Bulgaria Boulevard cross. Luxury estates and villa complexes dominate in Vitosha district. It has good connections to both the city centre and the nearby mountain resorts. Boyana is the site of the presidential residence, the Nu Boyana Film studios, the National Historical Museum and the Boyana Church.

Read more on City of Sofia, bulgariatravel.org – Sofia, Wikitravel Sofia and Wikipedia Sofia. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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