Sofia is ancient. It is cosmopolitan. It is the people coming and going, the empires, the political regimes… All of them gave their part in building the city it is today. A city with European atmosphere and Mediterranean spirit. Private tours in Bulgaria, one of the two oldest European capitals as well, Sofia is part of Bulgaria private tour. Also, guided Sofia tours.
Sofia has always been there, fortunately. To meet new generations, new challenges. And, of course, to tell stories of the past.
To start with, there used to be two settlements at the place of today’s Sofia 5000 years ago. Later, the ancient town of Serdika appeared. Philip II conquered it. Then, Alexander the Great governed the city. The next ruler, Constantine the Great, was in love with Serdika. They say that he once claimed ‘Serdika is my Rome!’
The oldest functioning church and one of the oldest in the world, St George Rotunda, is in Sofia. The Rotunda was a temple in Constantine’s Palace. And it was built of red bricks at the beginning of 4th century. The temple is one of the oldest architectural monuments in Sofia. Although it is small in size, it’s interesting to be seen inside. The Rotunda is the only building that is in good condition. It is as far back as the Roman Empire, from Emperor Constantine the Great’s time. The construction of the temple coincided with a period in the history of Serdika when the city was flourishing. It was one of the largest and most considerable Roman cities on the Balkan Peninsula as well.
Together with Saint George Rotunda, the Basilica of St Sofia is one of the oldest still operating Christian temples not only on the territory of Bulgaria, but in Europe as well. Today St Sofia Church attracts with its beauty and long history. Of great interest is the rare for the Bulgarian lands architectural plan. It shows a three-nave cross-domed basilica and its underground museum of the temple. It also shows the ancient necropolis of Serdica.
Bulgaria private tours Recent History
If there is a symbol that stands out the most in Sofia’s recent history, it is undoubtedly Memorial Temple ‘St. Alexander Nevsky’. It can accommodate up to 5000 people. Architecturally and culturally, the temple is a real pearl in the crown of the capital of Sofia. The construction of the St.Alexander Nevsky Cathedral started in 1882 and the building was ready in 1912. As a monument, the temple doesn’t offer other services besides for the daily, Sunday and Festival worshiping.
Right after the Liberation of Bulgaria, the Constituent National Assembly took a decision. The Assembly happened in the former capital town of Veliko Tarnovo. It was for the temple to be built. Initially, it had to be built there but after Sofia was chosen as the capital of Bulgaria, the place changed. Another interesting fact is that the choice for a place for the Cathedral was outside of Sofia. That place was the highest. It is 552.672 m above the sea level.
The heavenly sound of bells echoes in city streets. That same sound unites people; fills their hearts with faith and admiration for the beauty of men’s creativity to the brim. Then, this is sound of bells that brings the message of a capital and of people who are proud with their history as well as with the symbol of the liberation.
Sofia Private Tours Bulgaria
When entering the temple, one can see the writing ‘Home of God. Home for praying’.
The magic place in Sofia where dreams come true is theChurch of St. Nicholas the Miracle-Maker. It is a small bijou which people also know as the Russian Church. It is a Russian Orthodox Church and it’s like taken from a fairy-tale. It’s one of the most remarkable buildings in Sofia. Since 1921 the archbishop of the church had been Serafim Sobolev.
People called him Grandfather Serafim. He was buried in the church and his grave is in the crypt. While still living, he said that when he died people had to visit his grave. He promised that he would reply to people’s wishes only if they wrote them in letters. So people go to the Grandfather, pray and cry. They ask help from him and he always shows the right way to them. His spirit assists with the wishes to come true. But one needs to believe, to strongly believe in miracles because there are miracles and they happen.
Sredets another Sofia
Bulgaria private tours introduces another name of Bulgaria’s capital before Sofia, Sredets.
In 809 AD Serdika became Bulgarian city for the first time. That happens during the reign of khan Krum and it gained the name Sredets.
Boyana Church – the home of Bulgaria’s most famous frescoes. This is a church unique for Europe. It is about 900 years old and it has undergone many transformations and extensions during its existence. The Boyana Church was built in three stages. The first – late 10th and early 11th. The second – in the mid-13th. And then, the last one – in the mid-19th centuries.
Bulgaria private tours – Unique Sofia
Bulgaria private tours – Sofia is unique because it’s situated at the foot of a mountain, Vitosha Mountain. Its highest peak is Cherni Vrah.
In the very heart of Sofia is the so called Square of Tolerance. Really close to each other you can see temples from four of the world’s major religions – Banya Bashi Mosque, the Synagogue, the Catholic Cathedral and the Orthodox St Nedelya Church.
Sofia is at the same time a city of Thracians, Romans. A city of the Sultans, the Tzars and of the modern world. Everyone leaves their mark here.
Go ahead and give the spiritual capital of the Old World, Sofia, a chance to reveal its history and beauty!
Give Bulgaria private tours a chance to take you on a journey through Serdika, Sredets and Sofia’s history!
One more favorite place of Constantine the Great’s is Istanbul. It is waiting for you as well, with daily tour Istanbul.