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Sofia
Sofia
(/ˈsoʊfiə, ˈsɒf-, soʊˈfiːə/ SOH-fee-ə, SOF-, soh-FEE-ə;[13][14] Bulgarian: Со́фия, tr. Sofiya,[15][16] pronounced [ˈsɔfijə] ( listen)) is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria. 1.3 million people live in the city and 1.7 million people live in its metropolitan area.[12] The city is at the foot of Vitosha
Vitosha
Mountain in the western part of the country. Being in the centre of the Balkan peninsula, it is midway between the Black Sea and the Adriatic Sea, and closest to the Aegean Sea.[17][18] Sofia
Sofia
has been an area of human habitation since at least 7000 BC.[4] Being Bulgaria's primate city, Sofia
Sofia
is a hometown of many of the major local universities, cultural institutions and commercial companies.[19] Sofia
Sofia
is one of the top 10 best places for start-up business in the world, especially in information technologies.[20] Sofia
Sofia
was Europe's most affordable capital to visit in 2013.[21]

Contents

1 Names 2 Geography

2.1 Climate

3 History

3.1 Prehistory and antiquity 3.2 Middle Ages 3.3 Early modern history 3.4 Modern and contemporary history

4 Cityscape

4.1 Green areas

5 Government and law

5.1 Crime

6 Culture

6.1 Arts and entertainment 6.2 Tourism

7 Sports 8 Demographics 9 Economy 10 Transport and infrastructure 11 Education 12 International relations

12.1 Twin and sister cities 12.2 Cooperation agreements

13 Honour 14 Gallery 15 See also 16 References 17 Further reading 18 External links

Names[edit]

The first seal of the city from 1878 which calls it Sredets

For the longest time the city possessed[22] a Thracian name, derived from the tribe Serdi, who were either of Thracian,[15][17] Celtic,[23] or mixed Thracian-Celtic origin.[24][25] The Serdi
Serdi
and the name of emperor Marcus Ulpius Traianus (53 – 117 AD) prompted the Romans to give the city the combinative name of Ulpia Serdica;[26][27] Ulpia is derived from an Umbrian cognate of the Latin
Latin
word lupus, meaning "wolf."[28] It seems that the first written mention of Serdica was made during his reign and the last mention was in the 19th century in a Bulgarian text (Сардакіи, Sardaki). During the Romans civitas Serdenisium was mentioned the "brightest city of the Serdi" in official inscriptions. The city was major throughout the past ever since Antiquity,[citation needed] when Roman emperor Constantine the Great referred to it as "my Rome", and it nearly became his capital.[22] Other names given to Sofia, such as Serdonpolis (Σερδών πόλις, " City
City
of the Serdi" in Greek) and Triaditza (Τριάδιτζα, "Trinity" in Greek), were mentioned by Byzantine Greek sources or coins. The Slavic name Sredets
Sredets
(Срѣдецъ), which is related to "middle" (среда, "sreda") and to the city's earliest name, first appeared on paper in an 11th-century text. The city was called Atralissa by the Arab traveller Idrisi and Strelisa, Stralitsa or Stralitsion by the Crusaders.[29] The name Sofia
Sofia
comes from the Saint Sofia
Sofia
Church,[30] as opposed to the prevailing Slavic etymology among Bulgarian cities and towns. It is ultimately derived from the Egyptian Kemetic word sbÅ (𓋴𓃀𓄿𓇼𓇳), meaning "star, door, teaching and wisdom" and attested first in the 20th century BC in the tomb of Intef I.[31] [32][33][34] This was a tradition of collection of wise literature, shared between Mediterranean cultures, which was called sophia (σοφία) in Greek.[35] The earliest works where this latest name is registered are the duplicate of the Gospel of Serdica, in a dialogue between two salesmen from Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik
around 1359, in the 14th-century Vitosha
Vitosha
Charter of Bulgarian tsar Ivan Shishman and in a Ragusan merchant's notes of 1376.[36] In these documents the city is called Sofia, but at the same time the region and the city's inhabitants are still called Sredecheski (срѣдечьскои, "of Sredets"), which continued until the 20th century. The city became somehow popular to the Ottomans by the name Sofya (صوفيه). In 1879 there was a dispute about what the name of the new Bulgarian capital should be, when the citizens created a committee of famous people, insisting for the Slavic name. Gradually, a compromise arose, officialisation of Sofia
Sofia
for the nationwide institutions, while legitimating the title Sredets
Sredets
for the administrative and church institutions, before the latter was abandoned through the years.[37] The city's name is pronounced by Bulgarians
Bulgarians
with a stress on the 'o', in contrast with the tendency of foreigners to place the stress on 'i'. The female given name "Sofia" is pronounced by Bulgarians
Bulgarians
with a stress on the 'i'. Geography[edit]

The skyline of Sofia, Bulgaria, with the Vitosha
Vitosha
mountain in the background during winter

Sofia
Sofia
City
City
Province has an area of 1344 km2.[38] Sofia's development as a significant settlement owes much to its central position in the Balkans. It is situated in western Bulgaria, at the northern foot of the Vitosha
Vitosha
mountain, in the Sofia Valley
Sofia Valley
that is surrounded by the Balkan mountains
Balkan mountains
to the north. The valley has an average altitude of 550 metres (1,800 ft). Unlike most European capitals, Sofia
Sofia
does not have any large rivers or bridges, but is surrounded by comparatively high mountains on all sides. Three mountain passes lead to the city, which have been key roads since antiquity, Vitosha
Vitosha
being the watershed between Black and Aegean Seas. A number of low rivers cross the city, including the Vladayska and the Perlovska. The Iskar River in its upper course flows near eastern Sofia. The city is known for its 49 mineral and thermal springs. Artificial and dam lakes were built in the twentieth century. While the 1818 and 1858 earthquakes were intense and destructive, the 2012 Pernik
Pernik
earthquake occurred west of Sofia
Sofia
with a moment magnitude of 5.6 and a much lower Mercalli intensity of VI (Strong). The 2014 Aegean Sea
Aegean Sea
earthquake was also noticed in the city. Air pollution
Air pollution
is a problem in Sofia
Sofia
due to its location in the Sofia valley, which is surrounded by mountains that reduce the ability of the air to self-clean. The air is polluted mostly by particulate matters and nitrogen oxides.[39] Sofia
Sofia
has the most polluted air of any capital in the EU.[40] Climate[edit] Sofia
Sofia
has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb) with an average annual temperature of 10.6 °C (51.1 °F). Winters are relatively cold and snowy. In the coldest days temperatures can drop below −15 °C (5 °F), most notably in January. The lowest recorded temperature is −28.3 °C (−19 °F) (24 January 1942).[41] Fog is not unusual, especially in the beginning of the season. On average, Sofia
Sofia
receives a total snowfall of 98 cm (38.6 in) and 58 days with snow cover.[42][43] The snowiest recorded winter was 1995/1996 with a total snowfall of 171 cm (67.3 in).[44] The record snow depth is 57 cm (22.4 in) (25 December 2001).[45] Summers are very warm and sunny. In summer, the city generally remains slightly cooler than other parts of Bulgaria, due to its higher altitude. However, the city is also subjected to heat waves with high temperatures reaching or exceeding 35 °C (95 °F) in the hottest days, particularly in July and August. The highest recorded temperature is 41 °C (106 °F) (5 July 2000 and 24 July 2007).[46][47] The hottest recorded summer was in 2012 with a daily average July temperature of 24.8 °C (76.6 °F).[48] Springs and autumns in Sofia
Sofia
are usually short with variable and dynamic weather. The city receives an average precipitation of 581.8 mm (22.91 in) a year, reaching its peak in late spring and early summer when thunderstorms are common. The wettest recorded year was 2014 with a total precipitation of 1,066.6 mm (41.99 in).[49]

Climate data for Sofia
Sofia
(NIMH−BAS) 1981–2010 normals, extremes 1941–present

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Record high °C (°F) 19 (66) 23 (73) 27.5 (81.5) 31 (88) 34 (93) 38 (100) 41 (106) 39.4 (102.9) 36.1 (97) 33.9 (93) 25.5 (77.9) 23 (73) 41 (106)

Average high °C (°F) 3.4 (38.1) 5.6 (42.1) 10.6 (51.1) 16.2 (61.2) 21.1 (70) 24.7 (76.5) 27.3 (81.1) 27.5 (81.5) 22.9 (73.2) 17.1 (62.8) 9.7 (49.5) 4.3 (39.7) 15.9 (60.6)

Daily mean °C (°F) −0.5 (31.1) 1.1 (34) 5.4 (41.7) 10.6 (51.1) 15.4 (59.7) 18.9 (66) 21.2 (70.2) 21 (70) 16.5 (61.7) 11.3 (52.3) 5.1 (41.2) 0.7 (33.3) 10.6 (51.1)

Average low °C (°F) −3.9 (25) −2.9 (26.8) 0.8 (33.4) 5.4 (41.7) 9.8 (49.6) 13.2 (55.8) 15.1 (59.2) 14.9 (58.8) 11 (52) 6.6 (43.9) 1.4 (34.5) −2.4 (27.7) 5.8 (42.4)

Record low °C (°F) −28.3 (−18.9) −25 (−13) −19 (−2) −6 (21) −2.2 (28) 1.4 (34.5) 2 (36) 3.5 (38.3) −2 (28) −6 (21) −15.3 (4.5) −21.1 (−6) −28.3 (−18.9)

Average precipitation mm (inches) 33.2 (1.307) 31.5 (1.24) 38.1 (1.5) 50.7 (1.996) 67 (2.64) 75.4 (2.969) 52.6 (2.071) 57.6 (2.268) 45.7 (1.799) 45 (1.77) 43.3 (1.705) 41.7 (1.642) 581.8 (22.907)

Average snowfall cm (inches) 24.4 (9.61) 19 (7.5) 14.7 (5.79) 2.7 (1.06) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 1.9 (0.75) 11.5 (4.53) 23.4 (9.21) 97.6 (38.45)

Average precipitation days 9.1 8.9 9.9 13.3 13.4 12.6 9.4 8.2 7.2 7.5 9.9 10.3 119.7

Average snowy days 7.2 6.2 5.7 1.4 0 0 0 0 0 0.8 3.1 6.9 31.3

Mean monthly sunshine hours 87.8 114.3 159.6 182.2 229.6 257.7 302.1 288.3 220.1 163.6 105.5 66.1 2,176.9

Source #1: [50]

Source #2: precipitation days and extremes[51][41][52][53][54][55][56]

Climate table:

Climate data for Sofia
Sofia
2005-2014

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Average high °C (°F) 4.1 (39.4) 6.1 (43) 11.9 (53.4) 17.2 (63) 21.8 (71.2) 25.4 (77.7) 28.2 (82.8) 28.6 (83.5) 23.2 (73.8) 17.4 (63.3) 11.2 (52.2) 5.1 (41.2) 16.7 (62.1)

Daily mean °C (°F) 0.3 (32.5) 1.7 (35.1) 6.5 (43.7) 11.5 (52.7) 15.9 (60.6) 19.4 (66.9) 21.7 (71.1) 22 (72) 17.2 (63) 11.7 (53.1) 6.6 (43.9) 1.5 (34.7) 11.3 (52.3)

Average low °C (°F) −3.3 (26.1) −2.3 (27.9) 1.4 (34.5) 5.8 (42.4) 10.1 (50.2) 13.4 (56.1) 15.3 (59.5) 15.4 (59.7) 11.4 (52.5) 6.6 (43.9) 2.4 (36.3) −1.8 (28.8) 6.2 (43.2)

Mean monthly sunshine hours 81.3 101 167.8 194.5 238.1 270.1 320.6 316.6 216.6 163.8 105.6 66 2,242

Source: http://www.stringmeteo.com/synop/maxmin_month.php

History[edit] Main article: History of Sofia See also: Timeline of Sofia Prehistory and antiquity[edit]

O: head of river-god Strymon R: trident This coin imitates Macedonian issue from 187–168 BC. It was struck by Serdi
Serdi
tribe as their own currency.

A restored city plan of Roman Serdica under Marcus Aurelius (161–180)

Sofia
Sofia
has been an area of continuous human habitation since at least the 8th millennium BC,[4] but others have inhabited the area 30,000 years ago.[57] The city has a history of nearly 7000 years and it is the second oldest city in Europe
Europe
according to the city's official website and other sources, though the meaning of the claim is unclear as in the world there were hardly any cities at the time. In the context, certainly the neolithic village in Slatina, dating to the 5th–6th millennium BC, is described.[58][58][59][60][61][62] However, the motto of the city is "grows, but does not age". Remains from another neolithic settlement around the National Art Gallery are traced to the 3rd–4th millennium BC, which has been the traditional centre of the city ever since and is not changed today.[63] The earliest tribes who settled were the Thracians. In 1400 – 1300 BC. Sofia's area was populated by the Thracian tribe of Tilataei. After the Celtic invasion in 3rd century BC Tilataei
Tilataei
were conquered by the Celtic tribe of Serdi. The Celts
Celts
were assimilated by the local Thracian population during the late Hellenistic period
Hellenistic period
in 2nd – 1st century BC.[6] According to some sources, it got first an official mention in the 7th/8th century BC when the Serdi
Serdi
(Sardi) as a Thracian tribe established a settlement.[15][60][64] Other sources suppose that the Serdi's Celtic origin is convincingly evidenced through linguistic and archaeological clues but that their presence is not evidenced before the 1st century BC,[65] whereas others assume their mixed Thracian-Celtic origin or relation to the Sards. The earliest evidence of Celtic presence in the Sofia
Sofia
area (Pernik) can be from the 3rd century BC.[66] Some clues lead to the conclusion that the area of the settlement was between TZUM, Sheraton Hotel
Sheraton Hotel
and the Presidency.[63][67] In the 500s BC, the area became part of a Thracian state union, called the Odrysian kingdom, when another Thracian tribe appeared in the town, the Odrysses. For a short period the Thracian rule was possibly interrupted by the Achaemenid Empire. In 339 BC Philip II of Macedon
Philip II of Macedon
destroyed and ravaged the town which was its first time.[57] Around BC 29, Serdica was conquered by the Romans, gradually becoming the most important Roman city of the region.[26][27] It became a municipium during the reign of Emperor Trajan
Trajan
(98–117). Serdica expanded, as turrets, protective walls, public baths, administrative and cult buildings, a civic basilica, an amphitheatre, a circus, the City
City
Council (Boulé), a large forum, a big circus (theatre), etc. were built. Serdica was a significant midway city on the Roman road Via Militaris, connecting Singidunum
Singidunum
and Byzantium. In the 3rd century, it became the capital of Dacia Aureliana,[68] and when Emperor Diocletian
Diocletian
divided the province of Dacia Aureliana
Dacia Aureliana
into Dacia Ripensis (at the banks of the Danube) and Dacia Mediterranea, Serdica became the capital of the latter. Serdica's citizens of Thracian descent were referred to as Illyrians[57] probably because it was at some time the capital of Eastern Illyria (Second Illyria).[69] For future emperors Serdica was their residence form where they ruled Rome.

The fortification of Serdica

Roman emperors Aurelian
Aurelian
(215–275)[70] and Galerius
Galerius
(260–311)[71] were from Serdica. The city subsequently expanded for a century and a half, it became a significant political and economical centre, more so — it became one of the first Roman cities where Christianity was recognised as an official religion (under Galerius). The Edict of Toleration by Galerius
Galerius
was issued in 311 in Serdica by the Roman emperor Galerius, officially ending the Diocletianic persecution of Christianity. The Edict implicitly granted Christianity the status of "religio licita", a worship recognised and accepted by the Roman Empire. It was the first edict legalising Christianity, preceding the Edict of Milan
Edict of Milan
by two years. For Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
it was 'Sardica mea Roma est' (Serdica is my Rome). He considered making Serdica the capital of the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
instead of Constantinople.[72] which was already not dissimilar to a tetrarchic capital of the Roman Empire.[73] In 343 AD, the Council of Sardica was held in the city, in a church located where the current 6th century Church of Saint Sophia was later built. The city was destroyed in the 447 invasion of the Huns
Huns
and the city laid in ruins for a century[57] It was rebuilt by Byzantine Emperor Justinian I. During the reign of Justinian it flourished, being surrounded with great fortress walls whose remnants can still be seen today. Middle Ages[edit] The city first became part of the First Bulgarian Empire
First Bulgarian Empire
during the reign of Khan Krum
Krum
in 809, after a long siege.[74] Afterwаrds, it grew into an important fortress and administrative centre when Khan Omurtag made it a centre of Sredets
Sredets
province (Sredetski komitat, Средецки комитат). After the conquest of the Bulgarian capital Preslav
Preslav
by Sviatoslav I of Kiev
Sviatoslav I of Kiev
and John I Tzimiskes' armies in 970–971, the Bulgarian Patriarch Damyan chose Sofia
Sofia
for his seat in the next year and the capital of Bulgaria
Bulgaria
was first moved to Sredets.[75] In the second half of 10th century the city was ruled by Komit Nikola and his sons, popular as "Komitopuli". One of them is Samuil, who became an Emperor of Bulgaria
Bulgaria
in 997. After a number of unsuccessful sieges, the city fell to the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
in 1018, but once again was incorporated into the restored Bulgarian Empire at the time of Tsar Ivan Asen I. Early modern history[edit] In 1385[76], Sofia
Sofia
was seized by the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
in the course of the Bulgarian-Ottoman Wars. Around 1393 it became the seat of newly established Sanjak of Sofia.[77] The city was occupied by Hungarian forces for a short time in 1443. After the failed crusade of Władysław III of Poland
Władysław III of Poland
in 1443 towards Sofia, the city's Christian faced persecution and the city became the capital of the Ottoman province (beylerbeylik) of Rumelia
Rumelia
for more than four centuries. During that time Sofia
Sofia
was the largest import-export-base in modern-day Bulgaria
Bulgaria
for the caravan trade with the Republic of Ragusa. In the 15th and 16th century, Sofia
Sofia
was expanded by Ottoman building activity. Public investments in infrastructure, education and local economy brought greater diversity to the city. Amongst others, the population consisted of Muslims, Bulgarian and Greek speaking Orthodox Christians, Armenians, Georgians, Catholic Ragusans, Jews (Romaniote, Ashkenazi and Sephardi), and Romani people.[76]

Sofia
Sofia
in mid-19th-century

When it comes to the cityscape, 16th century sources mention eight Friday Mosques, three public libraries, numerous schools, 12 churches, three synagogues, and the largest bedesten (market) of the Balkans.[76] Additionally, there were fountains and hammams (bathhouses). Some prominent churches such as Saint Sofia
Sofia
had been converted into mosques. In total there were 11 big and over 100 small mosques by the 17th century,[78] of which only the Banya Bashi
Banya Bashi
remains as a mosque today. The town was seized for several weeks by Bulgarian hajduks in 1599.[citation needed] In 1610 the Vatican established the See of Sofia
Sofia
for Catholics of Rumelia, which existed until 1715 when most Catholics had emigrated.[79] The town was the centre of Sofia
Sofia
Eyalet (1826–1864). Nedelya Petkova
Nedelya Petkova
created the first Bulgarian school for women in the city. In 1873 the Ottomans hanged in Sofia
Sofia
the Bulgarian revolutionary Vasil Levski. Modern and contemporary history[edit]

The allied bombing of Sofia
Sofia
in World War II in 1944

During the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78, Suleiman Pasha threatened to burn the city in defence, but the foreign diplomats Leandre Legay, Vito Positano, Rabbi Gabriel Almosnino and Josef Valdhart refused to leave the city thus saving it. Many Bulgarian residents of Sofia
Sofia
armed themselves and sided with the Russian forces.[80] Sofia
Sofia
was relieved (see Battle of Sofia) from Ottoman rule by Russian forces under Gen. Iosif Gurko
Iosif Gurko
on 4 January 1878. It was proposed as a capital by Marin Drinov and was accepted as such on 3 April 1879. By the time of its liberation the population of the city was 11,649.[81] Most mosques in Sofia
Sofia
were destroyed in that war, seven of them destroyed in one night in December 1878 when a thunderstorm masked the noise of the explosions arranged by Russian military engineers.[82][83] Following the war, the great majority of the Muslim population left Sofia.[76] For a few decades after the liberation, Sofia
Sofia
experienced large population growth, mainly by migration from other regions of the Principality (Kingdom since 1908) of Bulgaria, and from the still Ottoman Macedonia and Thrace. In 1900 the first electric lightbulb in the city was turned on.[84] In the Second Balkan War, Bulgaria
Bulgaria
was fighting alone practically all of its neighbouring countries. When the Romanian Army
Romanian Army
entered Vrazhdebna
Vrazhdebna
in 1913, then a village seven miles (11 kilometres) from Sofia, now a suburb,[85] this prompted the Tsardom of Bulgaria
Bulgaria
to capitulate. In 1925 a terrorist act of ultra-leftists failed their attempted assassination of the king but resulted in the destruction of the Saint Nedelya Church and many victims. During the Second World War, Bulgaria
Bulgaria
declared war on the US and UK on 13 December 1941 and in late 1943 and early 1944 the US and UK Air forces conducted bombings over Sofia. As a consequence of the bombings around 2000 people were killed and thousands of buildings were destroyed or damaged including the Capital Library and thousands of books. In 1944 Sofia
Sofia
and the rest of Bulgaria
Bulgaria
was occupied by the Soviet Red Army
Red Army
and within days of the Soviet invasion Bulgaria declared war on Nazi Germany. In 1945 the communist Fatherland Front took power and executed several thousand people. The transformations of Bulgaria
Bulgaria
into the People's Republic of Bulgaria
Bulgaria
in 1946 and into the Republic of Bulgaria
Bulgaria
in 1990 marked significant changes in the city's appearance. The population of Sofia
Sofia
expanded rapidly due to migration from rural regions. New residential areas were built in the outskirts of the city, like Druzhba, Mladost and Lyulin. During the Communist Party rule a number of the city's most emblematic streets and squares were renamed for ideological reasons, with the original names restored after 1989.[86] The Georgi Dimitrov
Georgi Dimitrov
Mausoleum, where Dimitrov's body had been preserved in a similar way to the Lenin mausoleum, was demolished in 1999. Cityscape[edit]

Diurnal view, including the Largo, the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the National Assembly, Sofia
Sofia
University, the building of BNT, Lake Ariana and Borisova gradina.

Nocturnal view of the city.

In Sofia
Sofia
there are 607,473 dwellings and 101,696 buildings. According to modern records 39,551 dwellings were constructed until 1949, 119,943 between 1950 and 1969, 287,191 between 1970 and 1989, 57,916 in the 90s and 102,623 between 2000 and 2011. Until 1949, 13,114 buildings were constructed and between 10,000–20,000 in each following decade.[87] Sofia's architecture combines a wide range of architectural styles, some of which are aesthetically incompatible. These vary from Christian Roman architecture and medieval Bulgar fortresses to Neoclassicism
Neoclassicism
and prefabricated Socialist-era apartment blocks. A number of ancient Roman, Byzantine and medieval Bulgarian buildings are preserved in the centre of the city. These include the 4th century Rotunda of St. George, the walls of the Serdica fortress and the partially preserved Amphitheatre
Amphitheatre
of Serdica. After the Liberation War, knyaz Alexander Battenberg invited architects from Austria–Hungary
Austria–Hungary
to shape the new capital's architectural appearance.[88] Among the architects invited to work in Bulgaria
Bulgaria
were Friedrich Grünanger, Adolf Václav Kolář, and Viktor Rumpelmayer, who designed the most important public buildings needed by the newly re-established Bulgarian government, as well as numerous houses for the country's elite.[88] Later, many foreign-educated Bulgarian architects also contributed. The architecture of Sofia's centre is thus a combination of Neo-Baroque, Neo-Rococo, Neo- Renaissance
Renaissance
and Neoclassicism, with the Vienna Secession
Vienna Secession
also later playing an important part, but it is most typically Central European. After World War II and the establishment of a Communist government in Bulgaria
Bulgaria
in 1944, the architectural style was substantially altered. Stalinist Gothic public buildings emerged in the centre, notably the spacious government complex around The Largo, Vasil Levski
Vasil Levski
Stadium, the Cyril and Methodius National Library and others. As the city grew outwards, the then-new neighbourhoods were dominated by many concrete tower blocks, prefabricated panel apartment buildings and examples of Brutalist architecture. They still make Sofia's housing very high compared to post-Western block countries, After the abolition of Communism
Communism
in 1989, Sofia
Sofia
witnessed the construction of whole business districts and neighbourhoods, as well as modern skryscraper-like glass-fronted office buildings, but also top-class residential neighbourhoods. The 126-metre (413 ft) Capital Fort
Capital Fort
Business Center will be the first skyscraper in Bulgaria, with 36 floors. However, the end of the old administration and centrally planned system also paved the way for chaotic and unrestrained construction, which continues today.

Architectural styles in Sofia

The 4th century St. George Rotunda (the oldest building) behind some remains of Serdica

Socialist-era housing in Mladost

Interior of the ancient Saint Sofia
Sofia
Church

The Central Sofia
Sofia
Market Hall

Hotel Rodina, an example of Brutalist architecture

Business Park Sofia

Neo-Gothic architecture
Neo-Gothic architecture
in Sofia

Baroque Revival architecture
Baroque Revival architecture
in Sofia

The National gallery - SQUARE 500

Russian Church, Sofia
Russian Church, Sofia
view of the front from the street

Green areas[edit]

Borisova gradina

The city has an extensive green belt. Some of the neighbourhoods constructed after 2000 are densely built up and lack green spaces. There are four principal parks – Borisova gradina
Borisova gradina
in the city centre and the Southern, Western and Northern parks. Several smaller parks, among which the Zaimov Park, City
City
Garden and the Doctors' Garden, are located in central Sofia. The Vitosha
Vitosha
Nature Park (the oldest national park in the Balkans)[89] includes most of Vitosha
Vitosha
mountain and covers an area of 266 square kilometres (103 sq mi),[90] with roughly half of it lying within the municipality of Sofia. Vitosha Mountain is a popular hiking destination due to its proximity and ease of access via car and public transport. Two functioning cable cars provide year long access from the outskirts of the city. The mountain offers favourable skiing conditions during the winter and during the 70s and the 80s multiple ski slopes of various difficulty were made available. Skiing equipment can be rented and skiing lessons are available. However, due to the bad communication between the private offshore company that runs the resort and Sofia
Sofia
municipality, most of the ski area has been left to decay in the last 10 years so that currently there is only one chairlift and one slope working.

Government and law[edit]

Composition of the City
City
Council

Party

61 Seats

GERB
GERB
(160 816✘ ≈ 42.9%)

30

RB (61 500✘ ≈ 16.4%)

11

RB (SDS)

4

RB (BG)

3

RB (DSB)

3

RB (ind.)

1

Left Bulgaria
Bulgaria
(37 100✘ ≈ 9.9%)

7

Left Bulgaria
Bulgaria
(BSP)

7

IMRO (17 900✘ ≈ 4.8%)

3

Serdika (13 600✘ ≈ 3.6%)

3

Serdika (ABV)

1

Serdika (BSD)

1

Attack (11 400✘ ≈ 3.1%)

2

Vox populi (11 400✘ ≈ 3.1%)

2

Movement 21 (8 000✘ ≈ 2.1%)

2

The Greens (7 700✘ ≈ 2.1%)

1

Total votes: 375 010 2015 election[91][92][93][94]

Sofia
Sofia
as a capital is the location of all Bulgarian state authorities – executive, legislative, judiciary, the headquarters of all parties and the delegation of the European Commission. This includes the Parliament, the Presidency, the Council of Ministers and all the ministries, supreme courts and the Constitutional Court of Bulgaria. Sofia
Sofia
Municipality is identical to Sofia
Sofia
City
City
Province, which is distinct from Sofia
Sofia
Province, which surrounds but does not include the capital itself. Besides the city proper, the 24 districts of Sofia Municipality encompass three other towns and 34 villages.[95] Districts and settlements have their own governor who is elected in a popular election. The assembly members are chosen every four years. The common head of Sofia
Sofia
Municipality and all the 38 settlements is the mayor of Sofia.[95] The current mayor Yordanka Fandakova
Yordanka Fandakova
is serving a third consecutive term, having won the 2015 election at first round with 238,500 votes,[96] or 60.2% of the vote, when Reformist Bloc opponent Vili Lilkov was second with 9.6%; the turnout was 41.25%.[97] Some party leaders claimed that ballots were falsified and called for annulment of the election.[98] A precedent happened, due to the suspicion, as a preventative action between 300 and 5000 people and counters had been locked inside Arena Armeets
Arena Armeets
against their will for two days,[99] following which the director of the Electoral Commission of Sofia
Sofia
resigned at the request of Prime Minister Boyko Borissov.[100] The number one problem that mayor Yordanka Fandakova
Yordanka Fandakova
acknowledges and is working on is the street dogs in Sofia.[101] Although according to officials Sofia
Sofia
hosts 6600 street dogs currently, unofficially there at between 35,000 and 70,000 stray dogs.[102] They have become part of urban life in Sofia, but the problem spotted into light after a pack mauled a prominent Columbia University
Columbia University
professor to death in 2012, who was the president of the Wall Street
Wall Street
Investment Bank and worked for the US Department of State, the United Nations
United Nations
and the World Bank.[103]

# Area km2 Pop. Density (/km2) Extent Mayor

1 Sredets 3 32.423 10,807 City RB

2 Krasno selo 7 83.552 11,936 City RB

3 Vazrazhdane 3 37.303 12,434 City GERB

4 Oborishte 3 31.060 10,353 City RB

5 Serdika 18 46.949 2,608 City GERB

6 Poduyane 11 76.672 6,970 City GERB

7 Slatina 13 66.702 5,130 City GERB

8 Izgrev 5 30.896 6,179 City GERB

9 Lozenets 9 53.080 5,897 City GERB

10 Triaditsa 10 63.451 6,345 City GERB

11 Krasna polyana 9 58.234 6,470 City GERB

12 Ilinden 3 33.236 11,078 City GERB

13 Nadezhda 19 67.905 3,573 City GERB

14 Iskar 26 63.248 2,432 City/satellites GERB

15 Mladost 17 102.899 6,052 City GERB

16 Studentski 9 71.961 7,995 City GERB

17 Vitosha 123 61.467 499 City/satellites RB

18 Ovcha kupel 42 54.320 1,293 City/satellites GERB

19 Lyulin 22 114.910 5,223 City GERB

20 Vrabnitsa 44 47.969 1,090 City/satellites GERB

21 Novi Iskar 220 28.991 131 Satellites GERB

22 Kremikovtsi 256 23.641 92 City/satellites RB

23 Pancharevo 407 28.586 70 Satellites GERB

24 Bankya 53 12.136 228 Satellites GERB

TOTAL 1342 1.291.591 962 [6][104][105][106]

Crime[edit]

A police box in Sofia

With a murder rate of 1.8/per 100.000 people (as of 2009[update]) Sofia
Sofia
is a quite safe capital city.[107] Nevertheless, in the 21st century, crimes, including Bulgarian mafia killings, caused problems in the city,[108] where authorities had difficulties convicting the actors,[109] which had caused the European Commission
European Commission
to warn the Bulgarian government that the country would not be able to join the EU unless it curbed crime[110] ( Bulgaria
Bulgaria
eventually joined in 2007).[111] Many of the most severe crimes are contract killings connected to the organised crime, but these had dropped in recent years after several arrests of gang members.[112] Corruption in Bulgaria
Bulgaria
also affects Sofia's authorities. According to the director of Sofia
Sofia
District Police Directorate the largest share of the crimes are thefts, making up 62.4% of all crimes in the capital city. Increasing are frauds, drug-related crimes, petty theft and vandalism.[113] According to a survey, almost a third of Sofia's residents say that they never feel safe in the Bulgarian capital, while 20% always feel safe.[114] As of 2015[update] the consumer-reported perceived crime risk on the Numbeo database was "high" for theft and vandalism and "low" for violent crimes; safety while walking during daylight was rated "very high", and "moderate" during the night.[115] With 1,600 prisoners the incarceration rate is above 0.1%;[116] however, roughly 70% of all prisoners are part of the Romani minority.[117] Culture[edit] See also: Tourist attractions in Sofia
Tourist attractions in Sofia
and List of churches in Sofia Arts and entertainment[edit]

The Ivan Vazov National Theatre

Sofia
Sofia
concentrates the majority of Bulgaria's leading performing arts troupes. Theatre is by far the most popular form of performing art, and theatrical venues are among the most visited, second only to cinemas. The oldest such institution is the Ivan Vazov National Theatre, which performs mainly classical plays and is situated in the very centre of the city. The National Opera
Opera
and Ballet
Ballet
of Bulgaria
Bulgaria
is a combined opera and ballet collective, established in 1891. However, it did not begin performances on a regular basis until 1909. Some of Bulgaria's most famous operatic singers, such as Nicolai Ghiaurov
Nicolai Ghiaurov
and Ghena Dimitrova, have made their first appearances on the stage of the National Opera and Ballet. The National Palace of Culture
National Palace of Culture
regularly hold classical concerts. Bulgaria's largest art museums are located in the central areas of the city. Two emblematic galleries in Sofia
Sofia
– the National Art Gallery and the National Gallery for Foreign Art
National Gallery for Foreign Art
united their collections in a new structure. Seven Ministers of Culture have worked on this project over the years. The project gathered under one roof a host of Bulgarian, European, American, Asian and African works of art. Nearly two thousand works created by artists from Bulgaria
Bulgaria
and abroad are on display in twenty eight exhibition halls. Following a special competition, the art collection was named National Gallery Square 500 (source). Its collections encompass diverse cultural items such as Ashanti Empire
Ashanti Empire
sculptures, Buddhist art, Dutch Golden Age
Dutch Golden Age
painting, works by Albrecht Dürer, Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
and Auguste Rodin, among others. The crypt of the Alexander Nevsky cathedral holds a collection of Eastern Orthodox
Eastern Orthodox
icons from the 9th to the 19th century. Other museums are the National Historical Museum with a collection of more than 600,000 items; the National Polytechnical Museum
National Polytechnical Museum
with more than 1,000 technological items on display; the National Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Natural History. The SS. Cyril and Methodius National Library houses the largest national collection of books and documents (1,714,211 books and some 6 million other documents)[118] and is Bulgaria's oldest cultural institute. The Boyana
Boyana
Church, a UNESCO
UNESCO
World Heritage site, contains realistic frescoes, depicting more than 240 human images and a total 89 scenes, were painted. With their vital, humanistic realism they are a Renaissance
Renaissance
phenomenon at its culmination phase in the context of the common-European art.[119] Muzeiko is a new museum opened in 2015. It is a space with over 130 interactive games created for children and curious adults. The entire content of the museum is designed to inspire children to learn, discover and explore the sciences, while helping children, their families and educators spend time together actively and effectively.[citation needed] An important facette of cultural life in Sofia
Sofia
are its contemporary art practices and venues. Regular exhibitions in Bulgarian and European contemporary visual and installation art are being held in the Sofia
Sofia
City
City
Art Gallery and the Sofia
Sofia
Arsenal - Museum for Contemporary Art. As contemporary performative arts are beginning to thrive in the last decades, an independent performative art scene has evolved. An important civic structure for its development is the Act Association for Independent Theatre, and two of the institutions where such events take place are The Red House Centre for Culture and Debate "Andrey Nikolov" and DNK - Space for Contemporary Dance and Performance.

Vitosha
Vitosha
Boulevard, the main shopping street in the city.

Cinema is the most popular form of entertainment. In recent years, cinematic venues have been concentrated in trade centres and malls, and independent halls have been closed. Mall of Sofia
Mall of Sofia
holds one of the largest IMAX
IMAX
cinemas in Europe. Most films are American productions, although European and domestic films are increasingly shown. Odeon (not part of the Odeon Cinemas
Odeon Cinemas
chain) shows exclusively European and independent American films, as well as 20th century classics. Bulgaria's once thriving film industry, concentrated in the Boyana Film studios, has suffered a period of decline since 1990. A relative revival of the industry began after 2001. After the acquisition of Boyana Film
Boyana Film
by Nu Image, several moderately successful productions have been shot in and around Sofia, such as The Contract, The Black Dahlia, Hitman and Conan the Barbarian and Spartacus. The Nu Boyana Film studios have also hosted some of the scenes for The Expendables 2. The city houses many cultural institutes such as the Russian Cultural Institute, the Polish Cultural Institute, the Hungarian Institute, the Czech and the Slovak Cultural Institutes, the Italian Cultural Institute, the French Cultural Institute, Goethe Institut, British Council, Instituto Cervantes, and the Open Society Institute, which regularly organise temporary expositions of visual, sound and literary works by artists from their respective countries. Some of the biggest telecommunications companies, TV and radio stations, newspapers, magazines, and web portals are based in Sofia, including the Bulgarian National Television, bTV and Nova TV. Top-circulation newspapers include 24 Chasa
24 Chasa
and Trud. Tourism[edit]

St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, one of the largest Eastern Orthodox cathedrals in the world.

Sofia
Sofia
is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Bulgaria alongside coastal and mountain resorts. Among its highlights is the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, one of the symbols of Bulgaria, constructed in the late 19th century. It occupies an area of 3,170 square metres (34,122 square feet) and can hold 10,000 people. Sofia
Sofia
holds Bulgaria's largest museum collections, which attract tourists and students for practical studies. The National Historical Museum in Boyana
Boyana
district has a vast collection of more than 650,000 historical items dating from Prehistory to the modern era, although only 10,000 of them are permanently displayed due to the lack of space.[120] Smaller collections of items related mostly to the history of Sofia
Sofia
are in the National Archaeological Museum, a former mosque located between the edifices of the National Bank and the Presidency. Two natural sciences museums — the Natural History Museum and the Earth and Man — display minerals, animal species (alive and taxidermic) and rare materials. The Ethnographic Museum and the National Museum of Military History are other places of interest, holding large collections of Bulgarian folk costumes and armaments, respectively. Vitosha
Vitosha
Boulevard, also called Vitoshka, is a pedestrian zone with numerous cafés, restaurants, fashion boutiques, and luxury goods stores. Sofia's geographic location, in the foothills of the weekend retreat Vitosha
Vitosha
mountain, further adds to the city's specific atmosphere. Sports[edit]

The interior of Arena Armeets, a multi-purpose indoor arena.

A large number of sports clubs are based in the city. During the Communist era most sports clubs concentrated on all-round sporting development, therefore CSKA, Levski, Lokomotiv and Slavia are dominant not only in football, but in many other team sports as well. Basketball
Basketball
and volleyball also have strong traditions in Sofia. A notable local basketball team is twice European Champions Cup finalist Lukoil Akademik. The Bulgarian Volleyball Federation
Bulgarian Volleyball Federation
is the world's second-oldest, and it was an exhibition tournament organised by the BVF in Sofia
Sofia
that convinced the International Olympic Committee
International Olympic Committee
to include volleyball as an olympic sport in 1957.[121] Tennis is increasingly popular in the city. Currently there are some ten[122] tennis court complexes within the city including the one founded by former WTA top-ten athlete Magdalena Maleeva.[123] Sofia
Sofia
applied to host the Winter Olympic Games
Winter Olympic Games
in 1992 and in 1994, coming 2nd and 3rd respectively. The city was also an applicant for the 2014 Winter Olympics, but was not selected as candidate. In addition, Sofia
Sofia
hosted Eurobasket 1957 and the 1961 and 1977 Summer Universiades, as well as the 1983 and 1989 winter editions. In 2012, it hosted the FIVB World League
FIVB World League
finals. The city is home to a number of large sports venues, including the 43,000-seat Vasil Levski
Vasil Levski
National Stadium which hosts international football matches, as well as the Georgi Asparuhov Stadium
Georgi Asparuhov Stadium
and Lokomotiv Stadium, the main venues for outdoor musical concerts. Armeets Arena
Armeets Arena
holds many indoor events and has a capacity of up to 19,000 people depending on its use. The venue was inaugurated on 30 July 2011, and the first event it hosted was a friendly volleyball match between Bulgaria
Bulgaria
and Serbia. There are two ice skating complexes — the Winter Sports Palace
Winter Sports Palace
with a capacity of 4,600 and the Slavia Winter Stadium with a capacity of 2,000, both containing two rinks each.[124] A velodrome with 5,000 seats in the city's central park is currently undergoing renovation.[125] There are also various other sports complexes in the city which belong to institutions other than football clubs, such as those of the National Sports Academy, the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, or those of different universities. There are more than fifteen swimming complexes in the city, most of them outdoor.[126] Nearly all of these were constructed as competition venues and therefore have seating facilities for several hundred people. There are two golf courses just to the east of Sofia — in Elin Pelin (St Sofia
Sofia
club) and in Ihtiman
Ihtiman
(Air Sofia
Sofia
club), and a horseriding club (St George club). Sofia
Sofia
was designated as European Capital of Sport in 2018. The decision was announced in November 2014 by the Evaluation Committee of ACES Europe, on the grounds that “the city is a good example of sport for all, as means to improve healthy lifestyle, integration and education, which are the basis of the initiative.” Demographics[edit] Population growth over the years (in thousands):

Students of the National Academy of Arts
National Academy of Arts
(circa 1952–53). People aged 20–25 years have been the most numerous group in the city since the process of Bulgarian urbanisation.

According to 2016 data, the city has a population of 1,304,772 and the whole Sofia Capital Municipality of 1,441,918.[127] The first census carried out in February 1878 by the Russian Army recorded a population of 11,694 inhabitants including 6,560 Bulgarians, 3,538 Jews, 839 Turks and 737 Romani. The ratio of women per 1,000 men was 1,102. The birth rate per 1000 people was 12.3 per mille and steadily increasing in the last 5 years, the death rate reaching 12.1 per mille and decreasing. The natural growth rate during 2009 was 0.2 per mille, the first positive growth rate in nearly 20 years. The considerable immigration to the capital from poorer regions of the country, as well as urbanisation, are among the other reasons for the increase in Sofia's population. The infant mortality rate was 5.6 per 1,000, down from 18.9 in 1980. According to the 2011 census, people aged 20–24 years are the most numerous group, numbering 133,170 individuals and accounting for 11% of the total 1,202,761 people. The median age is 38 though. According to the census, 1,056,738 citizens (87.9%) are recorded as ethnic Bulgarians, 17,550 (1.5%) as Romani, 6,149 (0.5%) as Turks, 9,569 (0.8%) belonged to other ethnic groups, 6,993 (0.6%) do not self-identify and 105,762 (8.8%) remained with undeclared affiliation.[128] This statistic should not necessarily be taken at face value due to conflicting data – such as for the predominantly Roma neighbourhood of Fakulteta, which alone may have a population of 45,000.[129] According to the 2011 census, throughout the whole municipality some 892,511 people (69.1%) are recorded as Eastern Orthodox
Eastern Orthodox
Christians, 10,256 (0.8%) as Protestant, 6,767 (0.5%) as Muslim, 5,572 (0.4%) as Roman Catholic, 4,010 (0.3%) belonged to other faith and 372,475 (28.8%) declared themselves irreligious or did not mention any faith. The data says that roughly a third of the total population have already earned a university degree. Of the population aged 15–64 – 265,248 people within the municipality (28.5%) are not economically active, the unemployed being another group of 55,553 people (6%), a large share of whom have completed higher education. The largest group are occupied in trading, followed by those in manufacturing industry. Within the municipality, three quarters, or 965,328 people are recorded as having access to television at home and 836,435 (64.8%) as having internet. Out of 464,865 homes – 432,847 have connection to the communal sanitary sewer, while 2,732 do not have any. Of these 864 do not have any water supply and 688 have other than communal. Over 99.6% of males and females aged over 9 are recorded as literate. The largest group of the population aged over 20 are recorded to live within marriage (46.3%), another 43.8% are recorded as single and another 9.9% as having other type of coexistence/partnership, whereas not married in total are a majority and among people aged up to 40 and over 70. The people with juridical status divorced or widowed are either part of the factual singles or those having another type of partnership, each of the two constitutes by around 10% of the population aged over 20. Only over 1% of the juridically married do not de facto live within marriage. The families that consist of two people are 46.8%, another 34.2% of the families are made up by three people, whereas most of the households (36.5%) consist of only one person.[87] Sofia
Sofia
was declared the national capital in 1879. One year later, in 1880, it was the fifth-largest city in the country after Plovdiv, Varna, Ruse and Shumen. Plovdiv
Plovdiv
remained the most populous Bulgarian town until 1892 when Sofia
Sofia
took the lead. The city is the hot spot of internal migration, the capital population is increasing and is around 17% of the national,[130] thus a small number of people with local roots remain today, they dominate the surrounding rural suburbs and are called Shopi. Shopi
Shopi
speak one of the transitional South Slavic dialects, along with Torlakian, sharing features with both eastern (Bulgarian and Macedonian) and western (Serbo-Croatian) branches,[131] although they are given non-Slavic origin through the ancient Thracian Serdi, the founders of the city.[132] Economy[edit]

Capital Fort, the 126-meter skyscraper near Tsarigradsko shose.

Sofia
Sofia
is the economic heart of Bulgaria
Bulgaria
and home to most major Bulgarian and international companies operating in the country, as well as the Bulgarian National Bank
Bulgarian National Bank
and the Bulgarian Stock Exchange. The city's GDP PPS per capita at current market prices stood at €26,700[133] ($35,500) in 2013, which was 100% of the then EU average, according to Eurostat data – well above the same year's national average of 47%. The city and its surrounding Yugozapaden
Yugozapaden
NUTS II planning region had a per capita PPS GDP of €20,600[134] in 2014, higher than any other region in the country. In 2008, the average per capita annual income was 4,572 leva ($3,479).[135] For the same year, the strongest sectors of the city's economy in terms of annual production were manufacturing ($5.5 bln.), metallurgy ($1.84 bln.), electricity, gas and water supply ($1.6 bln.) and food and beverages ($778 mln.).[136] Economic output in 2011 amounted to 15.9 billion leva, or $11.04 billion.[137] The average monthly gross wages paid in December 2015 amount to €645, the highest in Bulgaria
Bulgaria
and the lowest among EU capitals.[138] In 2015, Forbes
Forbes
listed Sofia
Sofia
as one of the top 10 places in the world to launch a startup business, because of the low corporate tax (10%), the extremely fast internet connection speed available – one of the fastest in the world, and the presence of several investment funds, including Eleven Startup Accelerator, LAUNCHub and Neveq.[139] In 2015 Globalization and World Cities Research Institute ranked Sofia
Sofia
as Beta- world city.[140] Historically, after World War II and the era of industrialisation under socialism, the city and its surrounding areas expanded rapidly and became the most heavily industrialised region of the country.[141] The influx of workers from other parts of the country became so intense that a restriction policy was imposed, and residing in the capital was only possible after obtaining Sofianite citizenship.[141] However, after the political changes in 1989, this kind of citizenship was removed. Increasingly, Sofia
Sofia
is becoming an outsourcing destination for multinational companies, among them IBM, Hewlett-Packard, SAP, Siemens, Software AG.[142] Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Air, PPD, the national airline of Bulgaria, has its head office on the grounds of Sofia
Sofia
Airport.[143] From 2007 to 2011, the city attracted a cumulative total of $11.6 billion in foreign direct investment.[137] Up until 2007 Sofia
Sofia
experienced rapid economic growth. In 2008, apartment prices increased dramatically, with a growth rate of 30%.[144] In 2009, prices fell by 26%.[145] In January 2015 Sofia
Sofia
was ranked 30th out of 300 global cities in terms of combined growth in employment and real gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in 2013–2014. This was the highest rank amongst cities in Southeast Europe.[146] The real GDP (PPP) per capita growth was 2.5% to $33,105 (28,456 euro) and the employment went up by 3.4% to 962,400 in 2013–2014.[147] Transport and infrastructure[edit]

Sofia Metro
Sofia Metro
trains at Sofia Airport
Sofia Airport
Metro Station

With its developing infrastructure and strategic location, Sofia
Sofia
is a major hub for international railway and automobile transport. Three of the ten Pan-European Transport Corridors cross the city: IV, VIII and X.[148] All major types of transport (except water) are represented in the city. The Central Railway Station is the primary hub for domestic and international rail transport. Sofia
Sofia
has 186 km (116 miles) of railway lines.[137] Sofia Airport
Sofia Airport
handled 4,980,387 passengers in 2016.[149] Public transport is well-developed with bus (2,380 km (1,479 mi)),[150] tram (308 km (191 mi))[151] and trolleybus (193 km (120 mi))[152] lines running in all areas of the city.[153][154] The Sofia Metro
Sofia Metro
became operational in 1998, and now has two lines and 34 stations.[155] As of 2012[update], the system has 39 km (24 mi) of track. Six new stations were opened in 2009, two more in April 2012, and eleven more in August 2012. In 2015 new 7 stations were opened and the subway extends to Sofia Airport
Sofia Airport
on its Northern branch and to Business Park Sofia
Business Park Sofia
on its Southern branch. On July 2016 the Vitosha
Vitosha
Metro Station was opened on the M2 main line. A third line is currently under construction and is expected to be finished in the second half of 2019.[156] This line will complete the proposed subway system of three lines with about 65 km (40 mi) of lines.[157] The master plan for the Sofia
Sofia
Metro includes three lines with a total of 63 stations.[158] In recent years the marshrutka, a private passenger van serving fixed routes, proved an efficient and popular means of transport by being faster than public transport, but cheaper than taxis. As of 2005[update] these vans numbered 368 and serviced 48 lines around the city and suburbs.[148] There are around 13,000 taxi cabs operating in the city.[159] Low fares in comparison with other European countries, make taxis affordable and popular among a big part of the city population.

Tsarigradsko shose, one of the busiest boulevards in Sofia

Private automobile ownership has grown rapidly in the 1990s; more than 1,000,000 cars were registered in Sofia
Sofia
after 2002. The city has the 4th-highest number of automobiles per capita in the European Union
European Union
at 546.4 vehicles per 1,000 people.[160] The municipality was known for minor and cosmetic repairs and many streets are in a poor condition. This is noticeably changing in the past years. There are different boulevards and streets in the city with a higher amount of traffic than others. These include Tsarigradsko shose, Cherni Vrah, Bulgaria, Slivnitsa
Slivnitsa
and Todor Aleksandrov boulevards, as well as the city's ring road, where long chains of cars are formed at peak hours and traffic jams occur regularly.[161] Consequently, traffic and air pollution problems have become more severe and receive regular criticism in local media. The extension of the underground system is hoped to alleviate the city's immense traffic problems. Sofia
Sofia
has an extensive district heating system based around four combined heat and power (CHP) plants and boiler stations. Virtually the entire city (900,000 households and 5,900 companies) is centrally heated, using residual heat from electricity generation (3,000 MW) and gas- and oil-fired heating furnaces; total heat capacity is 4,640 MW. The heat distribution piping network is 900 km (559 mi) long and comprises 14,000 substations and 10,000 heated buildings. Education[edit]

The Aula of The Sofia University
Sofia University
in the Rectorate Building

Sofia
Sofia
concentrates a significant portion of the national higher education capacity, including 109,000 university and college students[162] and 22 of Bulgaria's 51 higher education establishments.[163] These include four of the five highest-ranking national universities – Sofia University
Sofia University
(SU), University
University
of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy, the Technical University of Sofia, University
University
of National and World Economy and the University of Mining and Geology.[164] Sofia University
Sofia University
was founded in 1888.[165] More than 20,000 students[166] study in its 16 faculties.[167] A number of research and cultural departments operate within SU, including its own publishing house, botanical gardens,[168] a space research centre, a quantum electronics department,[169] and a Confucius Institute[170] Rakovski Defence and Staff College, the National Academy of Arts, and Sofia
Sofia
Medical University
University
are other major higher education establishments in the city.[164]

Maxima Aula at UNWE

There are 5 primary, 77 middle and 187 secondary schools, of all 77 are private. Education institutions include 13 specialised for children with disabilities, 8 art schools, 22 professional colleges. 35 professional high schools, 25 profiled high schools and 4 sport schools.[171] The "elite" secondary language schools provide education in a selected foreign language. These include the First English Language School, Sofia
Sofia
High School of Mathematics, 91st German Language School, 164th Spanish Language School, and 9th French Language School. Some of them provide a language certificate upon graduation, while the 9th French Language School has exchange programs with a number of lycées in France
France
and Switzerland, such as the Parisian Collège-lycée Jacques-Decour. The American College of Sofia, a private secondary school which developed from a school founded by American missionaries in 1860, is among the oldest American educational institutions outside of the US.[172] Other institutions of national significance, such as the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS) and the SS. Cyril and Methodius National Library are located in Sofia. BAS is the centrepiece of scientific research in Bulgaria, employing more than 4,500 scientists in various institutes, including the Bulgarian Space Agency. International relations[edit] Twin and sister cities[edit]

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See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Bulgaria Sofia
Sofia
is twinned with:[citation needed]

Algiers, Algeria[citation needed] Amman, Jordan[citation needed] Ankara, Turkey[173] Bratislava, Slovakia[174] Bucharest, Romania[citation needed] Karlovac, Croatia[citation needed] Kiev, Ukraine[citation needed] Maraş, Turkey[citation needed] Madrid, Spain[citation needed] Moscow, Russia[citation needed] Pittsburgh, United States[citation needed] Prague, Czech Republic[175] Saint Petersburg, Russia[citation needed] Salalah, Oman
Oman
(since 2011)[citation needed] Shanghai, China
China
(since 2014)[176] Sidon, Lebanon[citation needed] Skopje, Macedonia (since 2015)[177] Tel Aviv, Israel[178] Warsaw, Poland[citation needed] Yerevan, Armenia[179] Tbilisi, Georgia

Cooperation agreements[edit] In addition Sofia
Sofia
has co-operation agreements with:

Budapest, Hungary[citation needed] Paris, France[180] Lisbon, Portugal[181]

Honour[edit] Serdica Peak
Serdica Peak
on Livingston Island
Livingston Island
in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica
Antarctica
is named after Serdica. Gallery[edit]

Satellite image of Sofia

Aerial view

Sunset behind Vitosha

Twilight

Red moon

Lightning storms

Rainbow

Tram in snowy Sofia, 1995

The Sofia
Sofia
Public Mineral Baths

A faculty of Sofia
Sofia
University

St Nedelya Church assault

The rebuilt Saint Nedelya Church

The detonated Georgi Dimitrov Mausoleum
Georgi Dimitrov Mausoleum
1969

Artifacts from Serdica

Remains from the settlement in Slatina dating to 6000- 5500 BC

See also[edit]

Europe
Europe
portal European Union
European Union
portal Bulgaria
Bulgaria
portal

List of churches in Sofia List of shopping malls in Sofia List of tallest buildings in Sofia Sofia
Sofia
Province

References[edit]

^ Sofia, Bulgaria, SoloGuides ^ " Sofia
Sofia
through centuries". Sofia
Sofia
Municipality. Archived from the original on 19 August 2009. Retrieved 16 October 2009.  ^ "NATIONAL STATISTICAL INSTITUTE - Information for the population of city of Sofia".  ^ a b c Ghodsee, Kristen (2005). The Red Riviera: Gender, Tourism, and Postsocialism on the Black Sea. Duke University
University
Press. p. 21.  ^ Prehistory, Ivan Dikov · in. "Archaeologist Discovers 8,000-Year-Old Nephrite 'Frog-like' Swastika in Slatina Neolithic Settlement in Bulgaria's Capital Sofia
Sofia
– Archaeology in Bulgaria". archaeologyinbulgaria.com.  ^ a b Marazov, Ivan (ed.). Ancient Gold: The Wealth of the Thracians. NY: Harry N. Abrams Inc., 1998. Texts by Marazov, Ivan; Venedikov, Ivan; Fol, Alexander; Tacheva, Margarita. ISBN 9780810919921. ^ Popov, Dimitar (ed.). The Thracians, Iztok – Zapad, Sofia, 2011. ISBN 9789543218691. ^ " Sofia
Sofia
commuter belt".  ^ "NATIONAL STATISTICAL INSTITUTE - Information for the area of city of Sofia".  ^ [1] title= Sofia
Sofia
metropolitan area ^ "Eurostat- Sofia
Sofia
urban area population".  ^ a b "Eurostat - Data Explorer". appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu.  ^ Wells, John C. (2008), Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (3rd ed.), Longman, ISBN 9781405881180  ^ Roach, Peter (2011), Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary (18th ed.), Cambridge: Cambridge University
University
Press, ISBN 9780521152532  ^ a b c Editors of Britannica. "Sofia". Britannica. Retrieved 12 February 2016. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) ^ "Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia". Britannica
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Educational Publishing.  ^ a b Lauwerys, Joseph (1970). Education in Cities. Evan's Brothers. ISBN 0-415-39291-8.  ^ Rogers, Clifford (2010). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Medieval Warfare and Military Technology. 1. Oxford University
University
Press. p. 301. ISBN 9780195334036.  ^ Internet
Internet
Hostel Sofia, Tourism in Sofia. Retrieved Jan 2012 ^ Sofia
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is one of the top 10 places for start-up businesses in the world, Bulgarian National TV ^ Clark, Jayne. "Is Europe's most affordable capital worth the trip?". USA Today. Retrieved 12 February 2016.  ^ a b Grant, Michael (211). The Emperor Constantine. Hachette. ISBN 9781780222806.  ^ "The Cambridge Ancient History", Volume 3, Part 2: The Assyrian and Babylonian Empires and Other States of the Near East, from the Eighth to the Sixth Centuries BC by John Boardman, I. E. S. Edwards, E. Sollberger, and N. G. L. Hammond, ISBN 0-521-22717-8, 1992, p. 600: "In the place of the vanished Treres and Tilataei
Tilataei
we find the Serdi
Serdi
for whom there is no evidence before the first century BC. It has for long being supposed on convincing linguistic and archeological grounds that this tribe was of Celtic origin" ^ Mihailov, G., Thracians, Sofia, 1972, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, quote in Bulgarian: Името серди е засвидетелствано след келтската инвазия на Балканите. Сердите са от смесен трако-келтски произход. ^ Popov, D. Thracians, Sofia, p.h. Iztok – Zapad, 2005 ^ a b World and Its Peoples. 2010.  ^ a b Irina Florov, Nicholas Florov (2001). Three-thousand-year-old Hat. Michigan University: Golden Vine Publishers. p. 303. ISBN 0968848702.  ^ Julian Bennett, Trajan: Optimus Princeps (Routledge, 1997), p. 1. ^ Erwin Anton Gutkind. International history of city development, (8 ed.). Michigan University: Free Press of Glencoe.  ^ "София" (in Bulgarian). Мила Родино. Retrieved 14 September 2008.  ^ Dr. Molefi Kete Asante. "n African Origin of Philosophy: Myth or Reality?". City
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– Monthly Weather History- freemeteo.bg". freemeteo.bg.  ^ Николов, Иван. "Век. месечен архив Бг". stringmeteo.com.  ^ Николов, Иван. "Време-Бг » Мес. обобщ. валежи". stringmeteo.com.  ^ Николов, Иван. "Век. месечен архив Бг". stringmeteo.com.  ^ "Climatebase.ru – Sofia
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(7 ed.). Northwestern University: Economist Group. 2000. Some claim it dates back 7,000 years, though it first got an official mention in the 7th century BC, when it was settled by the Thracian Serdi
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of Applied Sciences Erfurt: Springer. ISBN 978-0-387-89684-7.  ^ Masters, Tom (2007). Eastern Europe. Lonely Planet. p. 138.  ^ a b "София – 130 години столица на България". sofiaculture.bg.  ^ Murray, Lorraine (2013). Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. Britannica
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Educational Publishing.  ^ The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 3, Part 2:, ISBN 0-521-22717-8, 1992, page 600 ^ "Serdi/Serdica". wordpress.com. 22 July 2012.  ^ Ivanov, Rumen (2006). Roman cities in Bulgaria.  ^ Wilkes, John (2005). "Provinces and Frontiers". In Bowman, Alan K.; Garnsey, Peter; Cameron, Averil. The Cambridge ancient history: The crisis of empire, A.D. 193–337. The Cambridge ancient history. 12. Cambridge University
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Press. p. 253. ISBN 978-0-521-30199-2.  ^ Encyclopaedia Londinensis, or, Universal dictionary of arts, sciences, and literature. University
University
of Minnesota. 1827.  ^ Saunders, Randall Titus (1992). A biography of the Emperor Aurelian (AD 270–275). Ann Arbor, Michigan: UMI Dissertation Services. pp. 106–7.  ^ "Eutropius: Book IX". thelatinlibrary.com.  ^ Nikolova, Kapka Sofia University
Sofia University
of Indiana. "Emperor Constantine the Great even considered the possibility for Serdika to become the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire" ^ Green, Bernard Christianity in Ancient Rome ISBN 978-0-567-03250-8 ^ Theophanes Confessor. Chronographia, p.485 ^ Slaviani. 1967.  ^ a b c d Ivanova, Svetlana, “Ṣofya”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 23 January 2018. ^ Godisnjak. Drustvo Istoricara Bosne i Hercegovine, Sarajevo. 1950. p. 174. Санџак Софија Овај је санџак основан око г. 1393.  ^ " Sofia
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– Trip around Sofia". Balkan tourist, 1968.  ^  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Sardica". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.  ^ "ВОЕННАЯ ЛИТЕРАТУРА --[ Военная история ]-- Генов Ц. Русско-турецкая война 1877–1878 гг. и подвиг освободителей". lib.ru.  ^ Kiradzhiev, Svetlin (2006). "Sofia. 125 years a capital. 1879–2004". "Guttenberg". ISBN 978-954-617-011-8 ^ Crampton 2006, p. 114. ^ Crampton, RJ (2006) [1997], A Concise History of Bulgaria, Cambridge: Cambridge University
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street naming proposal. Sofia
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Place-names Commission, 22 January 1991. ^ a b 2011 census, Sofia-capital (PDF) (23 ed.). Sofia: National Statistical Institute of Bulgaria. 2012. p. 37 40 43 68 71 74 99 117 132 190 193 196. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 February 2016.  ^ a b Collective (1980). Encyclopedia of Figurative Arts in Bulgaria, volume 1. Sofia: Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. pp. 209–210.  ^ "National parks in the world" (in Bulgarian). journey.bg. Retrieved 24 May 2008.  ^ " Vitosha
Vitosha
Mountain". www.vitoshamount.hit.bg. Archived from the original on 20 June 2004. Retrieved 29 April 2014.  ^ "Местни избори :: Местни избори и национален референдум 2015". cik.bg.  ^ "Общинската избирателна комисия в София най-сетне готова – Фандъкова надхвърли 60%". 24chasa.bg.  ^ "Официално: Новите общински съветници в София (допълнена в 9.30 ч.)". dnevnik.bg.  ^ "Листата на ГЕРБ в София се срина с 63 хил. гласа спрямо 2011 г". dnevnik.bg.  ^ a b "District Mayors". Sofia
Sofia
Municipality. Archived from the original on 20 December 2009. Retrieved 26 December 2009.  ^ "Fandakova over 60%". 24 Hours. Retrieved 2 November 2015.  ^ "2015 Election". Central Election Commission. Retrieved 12 February 2016.  ^ "The party of Kuneva overcomes the falsified ballots with machines". Topnews. Retrieved 2 November 2015.  ^ "Escaped from Arena Armeets
Arena Armeets
tell about the nightmare". Vesti. Retrieved 2 November 2015.  ^ "The head of the electoral commission in Sofia
Sofia
is resigning at the request of Borissov". Dnevnik. Retrieved 2 November 2015.  ^ Mayor: Stray Dogs Are Sofia's Top Problem. Novinite ^ "Sofia's stray dog problem gets worse". Demotix. Archived from the original on 27 July 2015. Retrieved 22 July 2015.  ^ "Wordpress".  ^ http://www.sofia.bg/prebroiavane%202011/sofia-prebroyavane2011.pdf ^ http://sfadm.gis-sofia.bg/displayImage.php?folder=Sofia_30000_GIS_logo/ ^ "Местни избори :: Местни избори и национален референдум 2015". cik.bg.  ^ Chalabi, Mona (30 November 2012). "Where are world's deadliest major cities?". theguardian.com.  ^ David Coulby; Robert Cowen; Crispin Jones (17 January 2013). World Yearbook of Education 2000: Education in Times of Transition. Routledge. p. 10. ISBN 978-1-136-16603-7. crime rates have exploded in Sofia
Sofia
as well as in Moscow
Moscow
and St Petersburg.  ^ Gergana Noutcheva (26 July 2012). European Foreign Policy and the Challenges of Balkan Accession: Conditionality, legitimacy and compliance. Routledge. p. 192. ISBN 978-1-136-30619-8. The strongest EU demand – structural changes of the judicial system – had to do with the crime rate in Bulgaria
Bulgaria
and the apparent impotence of the authorities in Sofia
Sofia
to convict any of the murderes in the high-profile mafia killings that shook the country in 2003–2005.  ^ "Bulgarian Crime – Where killing is a habit". The Economist. 27 October 2005. Archived from the original on 29 June 2015. Retrieved 21 October 2015.  ^ "BBC NEWS – Europe
Europe
Romania
Romania
and Bulgaria
Bulgaria
join the EU". bbc.co.uk.  ^ Bulgaria
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Sofia
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Sofia
velodrome". journey.bg. Retrieved 11 May 2008.  ^ "Swimming pools in Sofia
Sofia
(including Spa centers)". tonus.tialoto.bg. Retrieved 11 May 2008.  ^ [2], ^ "Population". nsi.bg. National Statistical Institute of Bulgaria, 2011. Retrieved 12 February 2016.  ^ Romani isolated, mediapool.bg, 11 December 2007 (in Bulgarian) ^ NSI. Retrieved July 2015 ^ Strnadel, Leslie (2012). Bulgaria
Bulgaria
(Other Places Travel Guide). p. 118. ISBN 9780982261996.  ^ [3].(Marinov 1978). Retrieved July 2015 ^ "Regional gross domestic product (PPS per inhabitant at current market prices), by NUTS 3 regions". Eurostat. Retrieved 12 March 2017.  ^ "Regional gross domestic product (PPS per inhabitant), by NUTS 2 regions". Eurostat. Retrieved 12 March 2017.  ^ " Sofia
Sofia
in Figures 2009, p.53. Retrieved on 20 March 2012. Archived 11 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Sofia
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in Figures, p.106 ^ a b c " Sofia
Sofia
(capital)". National Statistical Institute regional statistics. 11 February 2013. Archived from the original on 14 November 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2013.  ^ "Average monthly wages and salaries of the employees under labour contract by statistical regions and districts in 2015". National Statistical Institute. Retrieved 13 March 2016.  ^ "10 Top Cities Around The World To Launch Your Startup". Forbes. 29 November 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2016.  ^ [4] ^ a b The capital's changing face, The Sofia
Sofia
Echo ^ "Invest in Sofia
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Air. Retrieved on 10 May 2010. ^ " Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Housing Market Favors Buyers but Far Away from Collapse". www.novinite.com. Retrieved 8 February 2009.  ^ " Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Residential Property Prices Down by 26% in Q4 y/y". www.novinite.com. Retrieved 30 January 2010.  ^ " Sofia
Sofia
ranks 30th in GDP/capita, employment growth 2013–2014 global report". www.seenews.com. Retrieved 22 January 2015.  ^ "Global Metro Monitor An Uncertain recovery" (PDF). brookings.edu. Retrieved 22 January 2015.  ^ a b Sofia
Sofia
infrastructure from the official website of the Municipality Archived 28 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine. (in Bulgarian) ^ "Близо 5 млн. пътници обслужени на летище София през 2016 г. - 24chasa.bg". www.24chasa.bg.  ^ "History of the bus network in Sofia". Sofiatraffic.bg. Retrieved 30 August 2012.  ^ "History of the tramway network in Sofia". Sofiatraffic.bg. Retrieved 30 August 2012.  ^ "History of the trolleybus network in Sofia". Sofiatraffic.bg. 14 February 1941. Retrieved 30 August 2012. ) ^ "Public transport Sofia — official website" (in Bulgarian). www.sumc.bg. Retrieved 24 May 2008.  ^ "Transport Company Bulgaria— official website" (in Bulgarian). www.dak-transport.com. Archived from the original on 7 September 2009. Retrieved 21 August 2009.  ^ "Българска национална телевизия – Новини ( Bulgarian National Television
Bulgarian National Television
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of Sofia". NSI. Archived from the original on 17 October 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2013.  ^ "Accredited Higher Schools in Bulgaria". Ministry of Education, Youth and Science. Archived from the original on 28 May 2013. Retrieved 23 July 2013.  ^ a b "Bulgarian universities". Webometrics Ranking of World Universities. Retrieved 19 October 2013.  ^ "Official website of the Sofia
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Partner Cities". magistrat.praha-mesto.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 2 July 2009.  ^ "Shanghai, Sofia
Sofia
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Sofia
to Become Sister Cities. Novinite 2015 ^ " Tel Aviv
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sister cities" (in Hebrew). Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality. Archived from the original on 14 February 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2009.  ^ " Yerevan
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Municipality Official Website. © 2005—2013 www.yerevan.am. Archived from the original on 5 November 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2013.  ^ "Friendship and cooperation agreements". Paris.fr. Archived from the original on 15 October 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2013.  ^ "Acordos de Geminação, de Cooperação e/ou Amizade da Cidade de Lisboa" [ Lisbon
Lisbon
– Twinning Agreements, Cooperation and Friendship]. Camara Municipal de Lisboa
Lisboa
(in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 31 October 2013. Retrieved 23 August 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

Gigova, Irina (March 2011). "The City
City
and the Nation: Sofia's Trajectory from Glory to Rubble in WWII". Journal of Urban History. 37 (2): 155–175. The 110 footnotes provide a guide to the literature on the city " Sofia
Sofia
in Figures 2009" (PDF). Regional Statistical Office of Sofia. 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 October 2011.  "Sofia — 130 Years Capital" (in Bulgarian). Archived from the original on 28 January 2011. 

External links[edit]

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v t e

Cities and towns of Bulgaria
Bulgaria
(2011 census)

1,000,000+

Sofia
Sofia
(capital)

300,000+

Plovdiv Varna

200,000+

Burgas

100,000+

Pleven Ruse Stara Zagora

50,000+

Asenovgrad Blagoevgrad Dobrich Gabrovo Haskovo Pazardzhik Pernik Shumen Sliven Veliko Tarnovo Vratsa Yambol

20,000+

Aytos Botevgrad Dimitrovgrad Dupnitsa Gorna Oryahovitsa Kardzhali Karlovo Kazanlak Kyustendil Lom Lovech Montana Nova Zagora Petrich Razgrad Samokov Sandanski Sevlievo Silistra Smolyan Svishtov Targovishte Troyan Velingrad Vidin

10,000+

Balchik Bankya Berkovitsa Byala Slatina Cherven Bryag Chirpan Elhovo Etropole Gotse Delchev Harmanli Ihtiman Karnobat Kavarna Knezha Kostinbrod Kozloduy Mezdra Nesebar Novi Iskar Novi Pazar Panagyurishte Parvomay Pavlikeni Peshtera Pomorie Popovo Provadia Radnevo Radomir Rakovski Razlog Stamboliyski Svilengrad

5,000+

Aksakovo Bansko Belene Belogradchik Beloslav Bobov Dol Bozhurishte Byala, Ruse Province Chepelare Devin Devnya Dolni Chiflik Dryanovo Dulovo Elena Elin Pelin Galabovo General Toshevo Hisarya Isperih Kostenets Kotel Krichim Krumovgrad Kubrat Kuklen Levski Lukovit Lyaskovets Lyubimets Madan Momchilgrad Omurtag Oryahovo Perushtitsa Pirdop Rakitovo Saedinenie Septemvri Simeonovgrad Simitli Slivnitsa Sopot, Plovdiv
Plovdiv
Province Sredets Straldzha Svoge Tervel Teteven Topolovgrad Tryavna Tsarevo Tutrakan Tvarditsa Varshets Veliki Preslav Yakoruda Zlatitsa Zlatograd

2,000+

Aheloy Apriltsi Ardino Batak Batanovtsi Belitsa Belovo Borovo Bratsigovo Bregovo Breznik Byala Chernomorets Dalgopol Debelets Dobrinishte Dolna Banya Dolna Mitropoliya Dolna Oryahovitsa Dolni Dabnik Dospat Dragoman Dunavtsi Dve Mogili Dzhebel Glodzhevo Godech Gulyantsi Gurkovo Hadzhidimovo Ignatievo* Iskar Ivaylovgrad Kableshkovo Kalofer Kameno Kaspichan Kilifarevo Klisura Kocherinovo Koprivshtitsa Kostandovo Koynare Kresna Kran Krivodol Kula Laki Letnitsa Loznitsa Maglizh Malko Tarnovo Marten Мizia Nedelino Nikolaevo Nikopol Obzor Opaka Pavel Banya Polski Trambesh Pordim Pravets Primorsko Rila Roman Rudozem Sadovo Sapareva Banya Sarnitsa Shabla Shivachevo Slavyanovo Slivo Pole Smyadovo Sozopol Strazhitsa Strelcha Sungurlare Suvorovo Sveti Vlas Tran Trastenik Tsar Kaloyan Ugarchin Valchedram Valchi Dol Varbitsa Vetovo Vetren Yablanitsa Zavet Zlataritsa

1,000+

Ahtopol Alfatar Antonovo Balgarovo Boboshevo Bolyarovo Boychinovtsi Brusartsi Byala Cherkva Chiprovtsi Dimovo Glavinitsa Gramada Kaolinovo Kermen Merichleri Momin Prohod Plachkovtsi Senovo Shipka Suhindol Zemen

500+

Kiten Madzharovo Pliska

499-

Melnik

Notes

city status after the census of 01.02.2011: Ignatievo, Kran

v t e

Historical Capitals of Bulgaria

Pliska
Pliska
(681–893) Preslav
Preslav
(893–972) Skopje
Skopje
(972–992) Ohrid
Ohrid
(992–1018) Veliko Tarnovo
Veliko Tarnovo
(1185–1393, 1878–1879) Nikopol (1393–1395) Sofia
Sofia
(since 1879)

v t e

Provinces of Bulgaria

Blagoevgrad Burgas Dobrich Gabrovo Haskovo Kardzhali Kyustendil Lovech Montana Pazardzhik Pernik Pleven Plovdiv Razgrad Ruse Shumen Silistra Sliven Smolyan Sofia
Sofia
City
City
Province Sofia
Sofia
Province Stara Zagora Targovishte Varna Veliko Tarnovo Vidin Vratsa Yambol

Etymological list of provinces of Bulgaria

v t e

Capital cities of the member states of the European Union

Netherlands: Amsterdam

Greece: Athens

Germany: Berlin

Slovakia: Bratislava

Belgium: Brussels

Romania: Bucharest

Hungary: Budapest

Denmark: Copenhagen

Ireland: Dublin

Finland: Helsinki

Portugal: Lisbon

Slovenia: Ljubljana

United Kingdom: London

Luxembourg: Luxembourg

Spain: Madrid

Cyprus: Nicosia

France: Paris

Czech Republic: Prague

Latvia: Riga

Italy: Rome

Bulgaria: Sofia

Sweden: Stockholm

Estonia: Tallinn

Malta: Valletta

Austria: Vienna

Lithuania: Vilnius

Poland: Warsaw

Croatia: Zagreb

v t e

Capitals of European states and territories

Capitals of dependent territories and states whose sovereignty is disputed shown in italics.

Western

Amsterdam, Netherlands1 Andorra la Vella, Andorra Bern, Switzerland Brussels, Belgium2 Douglas, Isle of Man (UK) Dublin, Ireland London, United Kingdom Luxembourg, Luxembourg Paris, France Saint Helier, Jersey (UK) Saint Peter Port, Guernsey (UK)

Northern

Copenhagen, Denmark Helsinki, Finland Longyearbyen, Svalbard (Norway) Mariehamn, Åland Islands (Finland) Nuuk, Greenland (Denmark) Olonkinbyen, Jan Mayen (Norway) Oslo, Norway Reykjavík, Iceland Stockholm, Sweden Tórshavn, Faroe Islands (Denmark)

Central

Berlin, Germany Bratislava, Slovakia Budapest, Hungary Ljubljana, Slovenia Prague, Czech Republic Vaduz, Liechtenstein Vienna, Austria Warsaw, Poland

Southern

Ankara, Turkey3 Athens, Greece Belgrade, Serbia Bucharest, Romania Gibraltar, Gibraltar (UK) Lisbon, Portugal Madrid, Spain Monaco, Monaco Nicosia, Cyprus4 North Nicosia, Northern Cyprus4, 5 Podgorica, Montenegro Pristina, Kosovo5 Rome, Italy San Marino, San Marino Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina Skopje, Macedonia Sofia, Bulgaria Tirana, Albania Valletta, Malta Vatican City, Vatican City Zagreb, Croatia

Eastern

Astana, Kazakhstan3 Baku, Azerbaijan3 Chișinău, Moldova Kiev, Ukraine Minsk, Belarus Moscow, Russia3 Riga, Latvia Stepanakert, Artsakh4, 5 Sukhumi, Abkhazia3, 5 Tallinn, Estonia Tbilisi, Georgia3 Tiraspol, Transnistria5 Tskhinvali, South Ossetia3, 5 Vilnius, Lithuania Yerevan, Armenia3

1 Also the capital of the Kingdom of the Netherlands 2 Also the seat of the European Union, see Institutional seats of the European Union
European Union
and Brussels
Brussels
and the European Union 3 Transcontinental country 4 Entirely in Southwest Asia but having socio-political connections with Europe 5 Partially recognised country

v t e

European Capitals of Sport

2001 Madrid 2002 Stockholm 2003 Glasgow 2004 Alicante 2005 Rotterdam 2006 Copenhagen 2007 Stuttgart 2008 Warsaw 2009 Milan 2010 Dublin 2011 Valencia 2012 Istanbul 2013 Antwerp 2014 Cardiff 2015 Turin 2016 Prague 2017 Marseille 2018 Sofia 2019 Budapest 2020 Málaga 2021 Lisboa 2022 The Hague

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 130177211 LCCN: n79131

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