"Sofia Guide - One of the Oldest Cities in Europe" Top 5 Page for this destination Sofia by desert_princess
Sofia Travel Guide: 1,471 reviews and 3,621 photos
Sofia is one of the oldest cities in Europe - The oldest found settlements on its territory are dating from the first part of the neolithic - IV BC.
In VIII - VII century BC , there was a Thracian village located around the mineral springs in the center by Banya Bashi mosque. It was part of the Odrin kingdom in V BC and its inhabitants were called serds.
After 29 BC ,the settlement was conquered by Rome and after 46 AC it is included in the Roman province Thracia and becomes a strategic center in the region. It was given the name "Serdika" - town of the serds, by the Romans.Under the rule of emperor Ulpii Trajan ,in the beginning of the I century , the town gained importance and was named after him - Ulpiia Serdika. The fortified town with round and later triangle towers of Serdika was built in the end of the II century.It was situated in the area between the streets of Legue , Alabin, Pozitano, Washington ,Halite, Ekzarh Josif and Serdika. By the planning of the town was applied the roman regulatory system, where the streets were wide from 3,8 to 6 m and were orientated north - south and east - west,paved with stones and having water and canalization networks underneath.
Serdika was situated on the main international road from Middle Europe to Byzantion ( lately called Konstantinopol ) and on the road from the Danube to the Egaean Sea. In the III century it became the main town of province Inner Dakiya, and established its own monetary production. It reaches its peak in developpment under the rule of Konstantin I the Great ( 306 - 337 ) when it was a rich and prospering town, rival to many famous antique cities. From the end of IV century it was included in the borders of the Eastern Roman Empire. Damaged by the invasion of the Khuns ( 441 - 447 ) the town recovers fast and has been expanded under emperor Justinian ( 527 - 565 ) and Tiberii Konstantin ( 578 - 582 )
in 809 ,the town was conquered by Khan Krum ( 803 - 814 ) and included into the Bulgarian State , being given the Slavic name "Sredets",mentioned by Byzantine authors as "Triaditza" - the Greek equivalent of "Sredets".
Under the first Bulgarian kingdom the city is a Strong fortified town ,a strategic and administrative center and is included in the borders of the Western Bulgarian state by Samouil. In 986 the town was many times under siege by the army of emperor Vasilii I - the murderer of Bulgarians and conquered by Byzantine in 1018. King Assen I recaptured the town in 1078. In the XII - XIV century ,the town became a center of crafts - gold and iron goods, weapons , table ware etc. In the last part of XIV century,Sredetz was named Sofia - after the "St Sofia" church. With this name , the town was first mentioned under king Ivan Shishman ( 1371 - 1393 ) in a certificate given to the Dragalevtsi Monastery. In 1382 ,after severe battle ,the town was conquered by the Turks and becomes the center of Rumelian Beilerber province. With the time it changes its appearance and starts to resemble more and more to a turk town with mixed population. In 1797 the town was conquered and robbed by the army of Osman Pazwantoglu and in 1831 - 1832 by Kurdzalians.After the war of Krim ( 1853-1856) the town starts to loose its importance as the capital of Beilerber province. The Bulgarian population took active part in the church national revolution. In 1870 the Bulgarian fighter for Freedom Vassil Levski founded here a revolution committee. After the failure of the April Revolution in 1876, the Bulgarian population of Sofia was being cruelly terrorized by the Turks. During the Russian-Turkish liberation war ( 1877 - 1878 ) the town was converted in a Turkish military camp. The town was delivered from the Russian army on the 4 th January 1878 . By that time there were around 3000 houses and 15 000 inhabitants there. Because of its strategic location , the town was chosen on the 3rd april 1879 to be the capital of Kingdom Bulgaria. The population of the town increased very fast after the construction of the railroad , connecting Vienna with Tzarigrad (Istanbul) in 1888.
From as far as I know , Sofia does not have a Tourist information office - something common in EU countries. So the info I have gathered and translated here is usually rare to find.
I can say I am more or less done with the things to see while in Sofia , I just need to add the places 4 entertainment and the restaurants and accommodation tips and my page will be finished.....
I don't even like Sofia that much as I prefer smaller cities or little towns that bear the spirit of the past in every stone , but facts are facts, and the city has plenty to offer as sightseeing , entertainment and history.
Drivers are crazy ,they don't respect any rules so you gotta be very careful while driving or walking in the streets. Don't expect that they will stop as soon as you put your foot from the sidewalk to the street.
Enter here as I take you on a VIRTUAL SOFIA TOUR
The best about Sofia are the surrounding mountains - check out Vitosha mountain and Plana mountain ( More mountains to come in my pages hopefully )
13 june 2005 - OMG! I just saw that I am a Top 5 tipmaker in 2 locations - Sofia and Nessebar. Claps claps hands :))) Thanx 2 everybody..I have put about the whole month of may to build my pages concentrating on the Sofia one, and still even not the half of my photos is uploaded....Now I feel rewarded 4 my efforts:))) Smiles :)))Bows gracefully before you, the VT public :))
Sofia was planned to be the "little sister of Vienna" before communism came and threw its cold imposant buildings in the pure heart of the city.Now it's a mixture of architecture from all styles and eras...
Sofia coordinates - latitude: 42° 42' N longitude: 23° 20' E
There are several orientation points that we use for Directions and areas in the CENTER
in the center the main orientation points are:
- popa - statue of Patriarch Evtimii ,located at the crossing of Bul Vassil Lewski and Patriarch Evtimii
- NDK - National palace of culture
- Vitosha Street
- Apteka - Located at the crossing of Vitosha Street and Patriarch Evtimii street .Used to be a Pharmacy and a popular meeting point , now it's a
rent a video/DVD place
- Halite and the "Banya Bashi" Moschee
- Tzum - The biggest shopping mole/ and Sheraton Hotel / Sveta Nedelya Square
- Orlov Most / Eagles Bridge
- Luvov Most / Lion's Bridge
- The National Stadium "Vassil Levski"
- the monument of "Vassil Levski"
-Pette Kiosheta / The five corners ( actually there atr 2 - the big ones and the small ones . Make sure u have the right one. The big ones are the most known )
-Ruski Pametnik / The Russian Monument
Once outside the center , there are
- Mladost I,II, and III,
-Droujba - close to the airport
-Liulin - named after Liulin mountain
- Obelia 1,2
- Belite brezi
Page built in mai and june 2005
P.S. - All of you that dig into my Sofia guide - keep in mind that I have put 2 months of my life / more or less/ to come up with it - all of this for fame and glory . So If you take the time to RATE the tips you find useful - it won't hurt you that much ,and it will be a small reward for my efforts - and all us that invested time on this site.
Useful Links :
Sofia an european city? Current street condition in the capital
Mad drivers in Sofia - traffic accidents recorded by the observation cams
Sofia Interactive map
Sofia city guide
Visit the official web site of Sofia Municipality
Btv News - Online site of BTV television chain
The Weekly program of Sofia - events ,movies ,exhibitions
- In a nutshell:HOME SWEET HOME
An open air climbing wall was built in the Garden opposite of the University of Sofia . You can find it right under the... more travel advice
A home gallery of contemporary art and new culture The place is lovely!!! Absolutely psychadelic - I bet there are not... more travel advice
- See All 10 buildings in Sofia with history
- See All From Sofia to...
- See All Excellent Physiotherapist
- See All bulgarian drivers humor
- See All Sofia Synagogue
desert_princess' Related Pages
Sofia Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
- "Sofia Guide - One of the Oldest Cities in Europe"
- "My home town"
- "First Steps to Explaning Bulgarian Spirit"
- "Sofia - Capital at the foot of Mount Vitosha"
- "capital of Bulgaria"
- See All...
- Things to Do in Sofia
- Hotels in Sofia
- Transportation in Sofia
- Nightlife in Sofia
- Restaurants in Sofia
- Shopping in Sofia
- Warnings and Dangers in Sofia
- See All...
Explore the World
- Hanging Rock State Park Hotels
- Port Dalhousie Hotels
- Kuala Lumpur
- Nagarkot Hotels
- North America
- Belmont Shore Hotels
- Cabo San Lucas Hotels
- Rio de Janeiro Hotels
- Riva del Garda
- Montecatini Terme
- Lloret de Mar
- Ho Chi Minh City
Badges & Stats in Sofia
- 149 Reviews
- 301 Photos
- 5 Forum posts
- 84 Comments
- See All Stats
- See All Badges (22)
Have you been to Sofia?Share Your Travels
Latest Activity in Sofia
- Posted in Travel Innsbruck Forum "Re: Suitable clothing"
- Wrote a Review 10 buildings in Sofia with history in Sofia Off The Beaten Path
- updated a Sofia Travel Page "Sofia Guide - One of the Oldest Cities in Europe"
- Commented on one of CliffClaven's Sofia travel pages
- Uploaded a Photo to "Climbing wall"
Top 10 Pages
- Top 5 Page for this destination Sofia Intro, 149 reviews, 320 photos, 5 travelogues
- Vienna Intro, 75 reviews, 190 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Sunny Beach Intro, 82 reviews, 130 photos, 2 travelogues
- Ischgl Intro, 58 reviews, 148 photos, 2 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Bulgaria Intro, 75 reviews, 75 photos, 2 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Innsbruck Intro, 48 reviews, 90 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Rilski Manastir Intro, 32 reviews, 100 photos, 1 travelogue
- Wiener Neustadt Intro, 38 reviews, 90 photos, 3 travelogues
- Nauders Intro, 44 reviews, 76 photos, 2 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Varna Intro, 40 reviews, 76 photos
FriendsSee All Friends (127)
Latest Sofia hotel reviews
- Sofia Princess Hotel
- 122 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Oct 18, 2013
- 8 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Feb 28, 2010
- 65 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Oct 10, 2013
- Sheraton Sofia Hotel Balkan
- 268 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 30, 2013
- Grand Hotel Sofia
- 200 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 30, 2013
- Hotel Royal Victoria
- 6 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jan 25, 2012
- Radisson Sas Grand
- 220 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 30, 2013
- Hotel Maria Luisa Sofia
- 32 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: May 16, 2013
- Sofia Inn
- 17 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Aug 5, 2012
- Be My Guest Hostel
- 6 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Aug 17, 2013
- Hostel Lavele
- 45 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Oct 27, 2013
- Grand Hotel Bulgaria
- 3 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 14, 2012
- 13 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 11, 2013
- Crystal Palace Boutique Hotel
- 60 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Oct 28, 2013
- 8 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Aug 6, 2013