Sofia is the capital and the largest city in Bulgaria. It is the 13th largest city in the European Union with a population of 1,204,685 inhabitants according to the census in 2011, which represents 16.4% of the population of Bulgaria. It is located in the central part of Western Bulgaria, in the Sofia Valley, surrounded by the mountains Vitosha in the south, Lyulin in the west and the Balkan Mountains in the north. Its total area is 492 square kilometers and the average height above sea level is 550 m. This makes it the fourth highest capital in Europe. It is built on the four terraces of Iskar and its tributaries Perlovska and Vladayska (Eleshnitsa). In the central part of the city, as well as in the districts Ovtscha Kupel, Knyazhevo, Gorna Banya and Pancharevo there are mineral springs. The climate in Sofia is temperate – continental. It is a basic administrative, industrial, transport, cultural and educational center of the country, with one-sixth of Bulgarian industrial production concentrated here. Here are also the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, many universities, theaters, cinemas, as well as the National Art Gallery, archaeological, historical, natural science and other museums. Sofia is named after the late antique cathedral “Sv. Sofia” (“Saint Sofia”). This is complemented by the national homage to the Holy Martyr Sofia, the mother of the three holy martyrs – Vyara (faith), Nadezhda (hope) and Lyubov (love), and there the “divine wisdom”, ie Christ, of constant worship . which can not be assigned a specific day of the year is subject to, was the feast day of the saints – September 17 – adopted as a feast day of Sofia, is also celebrated January 4, when the city of Ottoman rule in 1878 by the Russian Troops was liberated. Sofia was founded on April 3, 1879 by the Constituent Assembly at the suggestion of prof. Marin Drinov declared capital, as an old Bulgarian city, far away from the Turkish border and with a central location in the Bulgarian countries, according to the then understandings. April 1879 by the Constituent Assembly at the suggestion of prof. Marin Drinov declared capital, as an old Bulgarian city, far away from the Turkish border and with a central location in the Bulgarian countries, according to the then understandings. April 1879 by the Constituent Assembly at the suggestion of prof. Marin Drinov declared capital, as an old Bulgarian city, far away from the Turkish border and with a central location in the Bulgarian countries, according to the then understandings.
The National Palace of Culture (NDK) is a large building in the center of Sofia, which is mainly used for concerts and other cultural events. The largest hall has 5000 seats. It was projected in 1981 by a team of “Glavproekt” Sofia, with main projector Arch. Alexander Barov. NDK is visited by about 1.6 million people per year.
The statue in the city center was named “Sv. Sofia” by its sculptor Georgi Tschapkanov. Since it does not conform to the rules of the canons of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, the statue was never blessed and consecrated by an Orthodox priest.
The Sofia Mineral Bath is located in the city center and was built at the beginning of the 20th century on the site of an old Turkish bath. Over the course of several decades, it served as a public bath with hot mineral water. Since 1986 it is in the process of reconstruction.
The largest park in Sofia is Borissova Gradina (Boris III’s Garden), also known in the recent past as the Park of Freedom. There are several small lakes, playgrounds, monuments, the stadium “Vasil Levski” and the largest outdoor swimming pool in Sofia. The oldest garden is the city garden, founded in 1872. Other well-known parks in the capital are the Western Park, the Northern Park and the Southern Park. In Sofia there are 95 centuries-old trees that will be included in a list for special protection. The idea belongs to the foundation “Pysatsch Tschasovnik” (“hourglass”).
Links for the region
http://www.sofia.bg – Web site of Sofia Municipality
http://www.sofiabook.com/ – Guide to sightseeing, museums, entertainment.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c9/Sofia_Collage_TB.png – Pictures from Sofia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sofia – Information about Sofia