Sofia is the capital of Bulgaria. It is the biggest city in the country and is also one of the oldest European cities. It was founded over 7,000 years ago by the Thracian tribe Serdi because of its mineral waters. In the city there are 7 independent mineral water springs. Over the centuries it was called Serdica and Sredetz.
The current name, Sofia, comes from the oldest church in the city – the basilica of Saint Sofia. For a while, the city was even selected to be the new capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. It is said that Sofia was Emperor Constantine I’s favorite city. During the Ottoman rule, the city declined, but was rejuvenated after the Liberation of Bulgaria in 1878 when it was selected as the new capital of the Third Bulgarian Kingdom.
The long history and the diversity of habitants and civilizations have designed the city’s multicultural appearance. Today, you can see Thracian, Roman, Ottoman, Hebrew and Bulgarian remains and sights such as monuments, buildings, churches, a mosque and even a synagogue.
One of the most interesting places to visit is the remains of the old Roman city of Serdica. Recently, a large part of the city’s main streets has been discovered during the metro construction and is visible in the heart of Sofia.
Besides the cultural sights, the capital of Bulgaria offers a wonderful nature. It is surrounded by five mountains including a part of the Balkans at North. The Vitosha mountain makes Sofia one of the few European capitals that have a large mountain right next to the city. The Vitosha mountain is one of the most visited sites in the area and is a well developed ski and hiking resort.
No matter what your interests are, you will surely find yourself entertained in this unique European city.