Bulgaria in Details
Sofia - the capital of Bulgaria
Sofia is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria and the 12th largest city by population in the European Union with a population of 1.29 million people. It is located in western Bulgaria, at the foot of Mount Vitosha and is ranked as a Beta- world city.
Many of the major universities, institutions, and businesses of Bulgaria are concentrated in Sofia. It is also a center of media, cultural events, modern theaters; it is a home of research institutes, sporting events, orchestras, and museums. IT industry sector is gradually growing in Sofia, together with the increasing number of events in contemporary arts, festivals, etc.
Founded seven thousand years ago, Sofia is the second oldest city in Europe. It has been given several names in the course of history and the remnants of the old cities can still be seen today.
Old Sofia is literally buried beneath a modern facade. The Sheraton Hotel, for instance, sits atop ruins of a city council hall built by Sofia's Thracian founders in the seventh century B.C. And an ancient Roman residence, elaborate murals and all, lies under the Hotel Rila. The cityscape reflects various rulers over the centuries, notably the Turks. Sofia's most prominent landmark is the domed Alexander Nevski Memorial Church, honoring Russian casualties during Bulgaria's 1877 - 88 War of Liberation that ended 500 years of Ottoman rule. Luxurious mineral springs attracted ancient visitors to Sofia, and still draw modern tourists. Relief is also to be found on Mount Vitosha - a granite peak 8 km south of the city - offering skiing in the winter and splendid views of the city all year around.