Sofia is Bulgaria’s capital and its largest city. Founded thousands of years ago, today the city continues to develop as the country’s cultural and economic center.
Sofia is located in the western part of the country, on The Sofia Plain and on the lower slopes of Mount Vitosha. The city’s average altitude is 550 meters above sea level, the climate is moderate and continental.
Sofia has been settled for many millennia. In honor of its hot springs, in the 8th century BCE the Thracian tribes settled here gave the city its first name – Serdika or Serdonpolis. In the 1st century BCE, Serdika was captured by the Romans, who transformed it into a Roman city. During the reign of Emperor Marcus Ulpius Trajan (reign 98-117 CE), the city took his name, Ulpia Serdika, and became the administrative center of the region. Serdika was the favorite city of Constantine the Great (reign 306-337), who said “Serdika is my Rome.” In roughly 175, massive fortified walls, with four watchtowers were built to protect the city , and a second outer fortified wall was added during the 5th-6th centuries. The city’s flourished for a second time under Justinian the Great (reign 527-565). At the beginning of the 9th century, the Bulgarian Han Krum (reign 803-814) invaded Serdika. The city became an inseparable part of The First Bulgarian Empire (7th-9th centuries) under Han Omurtag (reign 814-831). At this time the city was renamed Sredets (The Center), because of its central strategic location. From 1018-1094, Sredets was under Byzantine rule, but still remained an important strategic, economic, and cultural center. During the time of The Second Bulgarian Empire (1185-1393), Sredets took on the appearance of a large Medieval city – its narrow, crowded streets witnessed the construction of more and more small churches and monasteries, which later became Sofia’s Holy Mountain. The city gained its present name at the end of the 14th century, in honor of the city’s major symbol, The Saint Sofia Basilica.
In 1382, the city fell to the Ottomans. It was liberated five centuries later, in 1878, and on April 3, 1879 it was declared the capital of the newly-liberated Bulgarian nation.
Sofia preserves many valuable monuments to its long and storied past. Visitors exploring the city’s streets can see remnants dating from the 2nd-4th centuries, ancient Orthodox Christian churches, many religious and national symbols, museums, galleries, theaters … Sofia constantly plays host to important cultural and musical events, concerts and performances, conferences, sports competitions, exhibits and shows – like every big city, Sofia has something for every taste.
|NUMBER OF PEOPLE||PRICE PER PERSON|
|3 – 4||€ 35.00|
|5 – 6||€ 30.00|
|7 – 8||€ 25.00|
|THE PRICE INCLUDES:
• PRIVATE TRANSPORT FROM AND TO BANSKO • ENGLISH OR RUSSIAN SPEAKING GUIDE •
• FREE TIME FOR SHOPPING AT THE LARGEST SHOPPING MALL IN THE BALKANS •