My least favorite city so far with its crumbling sidewalks, buildings that have been condemned or should be, the lack of neighborhood restaurants, oh and let’s not forget the mosquitoes that love me. Saying all this, Mitch liked this city, but then again, those pesky mosquitoes never attacked him. Walking is a favorite pastime of ours, but I’m not a good walker, meaning I tend to trip when the sidewalks are uneven or in this case, crumbling. The solution is very easy, pay attention! But that’s easier said than done when you are looking at the sights. Believe it or not, there are walking classes you can take, maybe I’ll have to look into that. ? ?
We went on a wonderful sightseeing tour of the city, so much ancient history here that it took the city over 40 years to complete the subways because they kept finding ruins and wanted to preserve the history.
Sofia is a city of religious tolerance where many religions and denominations coexist. Every day Christians (Orthodox and Catholics), Muslims and Jews meet and practice their faith - openly, without fear and hatred. I love the tolerance practiced in this city and I hope that one day the city will be a great tourist stop, I just don’t think it’s there yet.
Changing of the Guard
The Sofia tram network is a main public transportation facility
The Lion is the national animal of Bulgaria and they are everywhere
Saint Sofia Statue - This statue stands in the spot where the giant statue of Vladimir Lenin stood during the communist era. It’s prominent position and name makes many people think it’s a symbol of the city; however, the statue is incredibly controversial. The city is not named after Saint Sofia but rather is named after the church of Sveta Sofia, which originally was named after Hagia Sophia in Constantinople and not the saint. In addition, the statue is highly sexualized and bears pagan iconography, and it scandalized the church when it was erected.
St. Sofia Church, this church that gave the city of Sofia its name in the 1300s. For two centuries after the Ottoman invasion this was a mosque, but was abandoned after one earthquake in the 1800s brought the minaret down and another killed the Imam’s two son’s. They were happy to give it back to the Christians
The Church of St Petka of the Saddlers is a medieval Bulgarian Orthodox
The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is a cross-domed. The cathedral's gold-plated dome is 148 ft high, with the bell tower reaching 174 ft The temple has 12 bells.
The Russian Church, officially known as the Church of St Nicholas the Miracle-Maker, is a Russian Orthodox church in central Sofia
Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. Joseph
The predominant religion in Sofia is Bulgarian Orthodox; however, there is a small Catholic population in the city. The Cathedral of St. Joseph’s was originally destroyed during the Allied bombing raids during World War II, and restoration was a difficult process under the anti-religion Communist party. However, the Cathedral has been restored in its original location. Pope John Paul II laid the foundation stone for the newly resurrected Cathedral in 2002.
The Sofia Synagogue has been the symbol of the Jewish community in Bulgaria for over a century and is the second largest Sephardic Synagogue in Europe. Despite damage from boming in World War II, has been standing on this spot since 1909.
Banya Bashi Mosque
The Yellow Brick Road
The story goes that Prince Ferdinand of Bulgaria married a fancy princess and wanted to make Sofia a beautiful European capital along the lines of Budapest and Vienna. So his buddies, the Hapsburgs, sent out some yellow cobblestones made in Budapest as a wedding gift, and they were installed in 1907. Of course the truth is he borrowed a lot of money from Germany to purchase the bricks.
Monument to the Tsar Liberator Alexander II who liberated Bulgaria from Ottoman rule during the Russo-Turkish War.
Monument to the Soviet Army was built in 1954 and is a prime example of the forceful socialist realism of the period. The place of honour goes to a Red Army soldier atop a column, surrounded by animated cast-iron sculptural groups depicting determined, gun-waving soldiers and grateful, child-caressing members of the proletariat.
The Ivan Vazov National Theatre is Bulgaria's national theatre, as well as the oldest and most authoritative theatre in the country and one of the important landmarks of Sofia
While the Central Mineral Baths no longer operate as thermal baths, the city is still sitting on its famous mineral hot springs.
There are fountains all around the baths, and you’ll see locals filling up reusable water bottles to bring the water home for medicinal purposes as the water is available free to all.
Sofia History Museum
Sofia train station
Our lunch cooks who I’m sure were making fun of us.
Our Airbnb never judge a book by its cover ?
Our Airbnb neighbors