Imagine that we’re standing now at the highest point of Sofia … plain 550 m above the sea level. At the same time it’s the highest check mark of the town’s history- near the Christian Orthodox temple which gave its name to the city of Sofia. This place was beyond the fortress walls of then roman city called Sardica by the name of its first inhabitants – the Thracian tribe of Serdi . The site was a part of a large roman theater in the 2-nd century- and that’s where the story of this emblematic church begins. On the place where the first martyrs for Christianity were tortured and perished a small cemetery church appeared somewhere between the 2-nd and the 3-d century AD to carry the light of the Holy Wisdom through the centuries. There are a lot of churches named after the Dinine Wisdom - Sofia, in Greek , but probably only one city in the world, and it is Bulgaria’s capital Sofia, that took the name of its main temple - the name of God’s wisdom .
Being proclaimed capital of Bulgaira in 1879 after the liberation of 5-centuries of Ottoman rule, Sofia expanded more than 100 times since and is now day a city with 1,2 million inhabitants, bearing all the signs of the quick growth – European architecture from the end of the 19th and the beginning of 20th century and vast panel residential complexes from the communist era. But the “hearth” of this “Ever growing and never getting old” city, as the logo of its coat of arms says, never stopped beating here in its central part, around the st. Sofia church and the hot mineral springs. The center of one of the oldest European cities never changed its place during the last 20 centuries. That’s why the walk tour of Sofia center would lead you in 3-4 hours through the centuries of remarkable history of Europe, Byzantium and Bulgaria and show to you the monuments of so much different epochs in one and the same place.
So, welcome to the walking tour of Sofia!