Sofia, the capital city of Bulgaria, is one of the oldest capital cities in Europe. There are lots of places to visit and enjoy in this beautiful city. All the major airlines like Lufthansa, KLM, Austrian airlines to name a few fly to Sofia on a regular basis. Some places of tourist interest are:
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral:
The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is a basilica with a cross dome. The dome is gold plated possessing a height of about 45 m. The central dome contains the Lordâ€™s Prayer inscribed in gold.12 bells with a total weight of 23 tons are contained within the temple. Italian marble decorates the interior structure. The cathedral was given the status of a cultural monument in 1924.
Banya Bashi Mosque
The Banya Bashi Mosque is one of the oldest Mosques in Europe built during the Ottoman Empire. â€œBanyaBashiâ€ translated in English means â€œmany bathsâ€ The most striking feature of the mosque is that it was originally constructed over natural thermal springs.
The Hagia Sophia Church
The Hagia Sophia Church is the second oldest church in Sofia, giving its name to the city and one of the oldest works of early Christian architecture. The church is a cross basilica having three altars. Among the superstitions that surround the Church, the most popular one is that the miraculous power of St Sophia protected the monument from numerous human invasions.
The monument to the Tsar Liberator
This equestrian monument stands at the center of the capital city as a tribute to the great emperor, AlexanderII who freed Bulgaria from the Ottoman Rule during the Russo Turkish war. Built out of polished granite from Vitosha comprises of a massive neo renaissance cornice, middle part with some figures and a pedestal. The sculpture of the Russian Czar completes the monument. There is also a bronze wreath at the foot, donated by Romania to keep alive the memory of the Romanian solders who died fighting in the war.
These mountains are one of the closest places to hike and are located on the outskirts of the capital. Said to be formed as a result of volcanic origin, they appear like a dome but are actually made of numerous denudational plateaus which rise in tier like forms. Cherni Vrah is the highest peak of the mountain at 2290 m. The foothills house many resorts, and the knayzhevo quarter has many springs. In the Balkans, Vitosha is the oldest national park.
The Sofia Synagogue
Situated in the centre of the city, the synagogue built to cater the religious needs of the Sephardic Jews in Bulgaria is one of the largest synagogues in Europe. The structure contains an octagonal dome and the main chandelier, the largest in the country weighs 2 tons. The interiors are richly decorated with wood carvings and carrara marble.
The Boyana Church
One of the most well preserved monuments, the Boyana Church is located on the outskirts of Sofia. Itâ€™s famous for its beautiful frescoes which depicts the achievements of the Bulgarian culture in medieval times. Majority of the original frescoes have been retained to this day. Around 240 human images are illustrated on the walls of this church. It is believed that these world famous frescoes contributed towards shaping European paintings.