Discovering Sofia, Bulgaria
Sofia has been conquered repeatedly throughout its history and has been part of the Roman, Macedonian, and Byzantine Empires, and in the Twentieth Century, became part of the Soviet Bloc. This turbulent history left Sofia with traces of all of the exotic cultures that have annexed it and it is a true melting pot of the peoples of different continents. Although Sophia was ruled by several different Empires, it always served a leading role in them and often served as the capital.
The History of Sofia dates to 500 BC when it was known as Serdica by the original Thracian settlers, and the city was later ruled by Philip of Macedon and his son, Alexander the Great. The named changed in 29 AD, after the Roman conquered it, to Ulpia Serdica. The city grew until it was over-run and destroyed in 449 AD by the Huns. The rebuilt city was called Triaditsa, and it became an intergrel part of the First Bulgarian Empire in 809 AD, gaining the Slavic name of Sredets. Sredets had several brushes with the Byzantine Empire which annexed it at least twice, but after finally rejoining the Bulgarian Empire, it grew in importance and wealth, due to trade and skilled craftsmen.
The modern name of Sophia (Greek for Wisdom) was taken in 1376 and remained the city’s name until the 16th century. During this time, Sofia was annexed by the Ottoman Empire and it served as the capital until it was liberated by the Russian victors of the Russo-Turkish War. Sofia then became the capital in 1908 of the newly formed Kingdom of Bulgaria.The Bulgarian government sided with the fascists in WWII, although many Bulgarian sheltered or refused to deport Jews. Sofia experienced significant Allied bombing, resulting in the loss of a large number of the city’s historical buildings. These were replaced by Neo Stalinist style utilitarian looking factories and apartment housing constructed of grey cement slabs, since post war Bulgarian fell under Russian, and later, Soviet rule. In 1989, the Soviet Union government was in upheaval and its rule over many countries, including Bulgaria, ended; Bulgaria, especially Sophia, was now free to begin its journey toward Europe, democracy and modernization. Today, Sophia is a complex city, still overshadowed by grim post war architecture, but with many modern glass and steel buildings and many fine historic buildings that belie the Byzantine heritage. Politically, it now looks to the West and is trying to attract European trade and tourism, and has applied for consideration to join the European Union.
Things about Sofia you may be interested in
Read about Sofia in our travel-guide
Great clubs and the best parties in Sofia
Recommended Sofia Guide
When it comes to having fun, the Sofians have no limits. You can feel the vibration of Sofia Nightlife no matter what street you are wandering on. The locals love to dance, chat, drink and eat and have the time of their life, when the sun goes to sleep. If you want to get directly into the atmosphere of Sofia Nightlife, then you should definitely start your journey with Vitosha Boulevard. The area is crowded with people enjoying a beer or wine, talking about their everyday life and making new acquaintances.... Read more »
Recent reviews for Sofia
Great clubs and the best parties in Sofia - Aug 15, 2008, by vcppow
Sofia, Bulgaria is a city filled with people who enjoy a good party, so it is easy to find bars and cafes open around the clock and filled. Licensing laws do not exist here, so a drink is on hand at any time. The area surrounding the... Read more »
More reviews you might be interested in
Barcelona reviews - Spain
I had really good time at Barcelona, it is an amazing city with such much things to do. Me and friends went to a hostel called Barcelona Sound (nou...
Tips for Barcelona visitors
Matala reviews - Greece
It's a small greek city, offering not much nightlife or something like that. It's more the nature, that makes the area attractive. Matala has got...
Matala is a nice Greek town
Csopak reviews - Hungary
After spending a few days at my home town again, we decided to take off again to Lake Balaton, Hungary. My family has a house there and it's really...
Trip to my house at lake Balaton in Hungary
Jaipur reviews - India
Rajasthan- the land of exquisite monuments, picturesque lakes, blossoming gardens is one of the most admired tourism destination of the world. It...
Visit Rajasthan, the Land of Wonders
Oradea reviews - Romania
There is not too much I can say about Romania. Lots of fun at night and lots of work during the day. I usually get to the office at around 11-12...
My visits to Oradea
El Paso reviews - Texas
The region of El Paso, the sixth largest city in the state of Texas, USA and the chair of El Paso County, is situated at the western tip of Texas...
Why visit El Paso
Honokaa reviews - Hawaii
The best place to stay in the whole Honokaa is definitely the Kalopa Homestead Guest House. It is very cozy very well equipped and feels almost...
Accomodation in Honokaa
Kissimmee reviews - Florida
I have only been here once, but I really thought that the place was rather boring. Of course, Disneyland is great but then I am too old for that. I...
Disneyland recommended only with kids
Wisconsin Dells reviews - Wisconsin
I highly recommend the Glacier Canyon Resort. Located a few miles from downtown Wisconsin Dells. This property has 3 indoor water parks and 3...
Glacier Canyon Resort
Vail reviews - Colorado
Ski Cooper also referred to as “the Coop” by the connoisseurs is situated about 20 miles south of Vail, close to Copper Mountain, in...
White snow and stunning views in Ski Cooper, CO