A winter day in Sofia

Venue: Sofia city centre

Lens: Nikkor 24-120 mm f/4 VR

Music: Avenue – Running away / Авеню – Бягство (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhlGHjPHKYo)

Sofia – the capital of Bulgaria and the place where I was born and spent my first 18 years, is a city with many layers of history and cultural influences. In the last 25 years or so the city is changing so rapidly that it’s hard to stay on top of all the new places. Since I now live back here for good I will be coming back to the sights and faces in Sofia in my future posts. As a start I will just show some photos I made on a very cold winter day of some of the iconic places in the city centre which are here to stay.

It was the end of January and I had some friends visiting me from Italy on what turned out to be coldest day of the year: the maximum temperature during the day was -15 degrees.

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My freezing friends in front of the St. George church (4th century) behind the presidency building – the red brick rotunda built in Roman times is the oldest standing building in Sofia at present times

The cold didn’t stop us – I had to show them around the city as a good host and make some pictures. And luckily Sofia is most beautiful when covered with snow (especially since you can’t really feel the cold while browsing the photos).

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The Hagia Sofia church (left) and the main cathedral Al. Nevski (right)

These are probably the two most famous churches in Sofia: the old basilica Hagia Sofia (6th century) in red bricks that actually later gave the name to the city itself (that used to be called Serdica, Triaditsa, Sredets before the name Sofia was settled); and the snow covered cathedral Aleksander Nevski, built when Sofia became the capital city at the end of 19th century. It is the biggest church in Bulgaria and one of the biggest orthodox churches in the world, so it’s worth to have a look inside.

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The inside of Al. Nevski cathedral
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A chandelier in the cathedral in a typical orthodox style

Then come the other main sights in Sofia, more churches and other religious buildings, parks, shops and streets full of communist and post-communist architecture, which I won’t describe in detail but might come back to in another post. Here I leave you some more snowy photos from the same day..

The main mosque in the centre of Sofia
The main mosque in the centre of Sofia
The small park close to the former palace of the tsar
The small park close to the former palace of the tsar

 

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The church St. Nedelya, in the city centre
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One of the big hotels and the small park next to the national theater
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The national theater “Ivan Vazov”
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The former “party house” of the communist party (left) that used to have a big ruby red star on top, now part of the national assembly with the Bulgarian flag up there; the ministry of education and presidency (right)
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