Municipal cultural institute – House of Culture “Sredets”

Municipal cultural institute – House of Culture “Sredets”

2A, Krakra Str.

Winner of the badge “Golden Book” and Golden Seal awarded by the Council of Europe’s scientific and cultural community to contribute to the development of Bulgarian culture

House of Culture “Sredets” is the successor of the Municipal Youth Center, opened in 1974.

The home of culture is one of the most popular areas of traditional and contemporary art and culture in the country. Thanks to its good location in the city center and its hospitality to the bands and artists with different aesthetics and different ages, it is a continual source of new ideas and initiatives convenient for contacts, creative exchange and events.

The objectives of the Sredets house of culture include storage, production and dissemination of cultural values realized in the following areas:

• Artistic – organizes all music artists, theatrical and concert performances of the team back home and abroad: concerts, celebrations, competitions, festivals, exhibitions, etc.

• Advertising and Information – promote the activities of the House through printed materials, souvenirs, media coverage, PR events

• Educational Qualifications – organizes courses on various topics and duration, schools, discussions, lectures, seminars and more.

• Administrative and Business – provides administrative and financial services

The Sofia Court House

The Sofia Court House

The Sofia Court House (Bulgarian: Съдебна палата, Sadebna palata) is a building in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, accommodating all the courts in the city. Stylistically a simplistic yet monumental structure, it is located on 2 Vitosha Boulevard, surrounded by Alabin Street, Laveleye Street and Positano Street.

The need for a common building to house all the courts in Sofia was raised in 1926 with the foundation of the Judicial Buildings fund. Construction began in 1929 and finished in 1940. While it was the first structure in this strict monumental style in the city, it was followed by the Bulgarian National Bank in the 1930s and the Largo in the 1950s. The initial architectural plan was the work of Nikola Lazarov, later redesigned by Pencho Koychev. The Court House has a syenite plinth, a facing of white limestone and a noticeable cornice below the top floor. The four-storey building (with two additional underground floors) spreads over a ground area of 8,500 square metres and has 430 premises, of which 24 courtrooms, a library and a bank hall, totalling 48,000 square metres of used area.

The facade features five large gates and 12 columns. In its style, the Court House is eclectic, uniting several Classical themes, with a fourth floor instead of a baluster, as well as Roman and Byzantine style decorations on the doors, windows and corbels.

In the period 1980-1998 the building housed the National museum of history.

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Patriarch Evtimiy Square

Patriarch Evtimiy Square

Patriarch Evtimiy Square  (Bulgarian: площад “Патриарх Евтимий”, ploshtad “Patriarh Evtimiy”), more popularly known as Popa (Попа, “The Priest”), is a small urban square and a busy intersection in the centre of Sofia. The square was named after Evtimiy of Tarnovo, Patriarch of Bulgaria from 1375 to 1393 and one of the most important figures of medieval Bulgaria; a monument to Evtimiy by sculptor Marko Markov has adorned the square since 1939.

Patriarch Evtimiy Square is located at the crossing of the car-free Graf Ignatiev Street, Vasil Levski Boulevard and Patriarch Evtimiy Boulevard, which branches off Vasil Levski at the square. Due to its central location, it is a very popular meeting point. The Odeon Cinema lies in the western part of the square and the Bulgartabac headquarters lie to the south of it.


The SS. Cyril and Methodius National Library

The SS. Cyril and Methodius National Library

The SS. Cyril and Methodius National Library (Национална библиотека „Свети Свети Кирил и Методий“) is the national library of Bulgaria, situated in the capital city of Sofia near the Sofia University. Founded on 4 April 1878.

The library is Depository for all documents published in Bulgaria. It houses monographies, periodic issues and other documents in foreign languages, published all over the world. Currently the fund consists of 7 808 928 library items.

The present building of the library is among the landmarks of Sofia. It was designed by the famous Bulgarian architectural team Vasilyov-Tsolov and completed in the period 1940-1953.

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House-museum of Vassil Levski

House-museum of Vassil Levski

8, Vele Mitrov Str.

(location: Benkovski district, minibus 11 from Lion’s bridge, metro- exit Knyaginya Maria Luiza)

In 1871 in the village of Birimirtsi / today in Benkovski neighbourhood / the Bulgarian Apostle of Liberty Vasil Levski founded a secret revolutionary committee. Together with his friend Father Gennady Ihtimanski – abbot of the Dragalevski monastery collected patriotic peasants from Birimirtsi and Obradovtsi in the house of Velle Mitrov and thus laid the foundations of a secret conspiracy.

Every year on 19 February, when the anniversary of the death of the Apostle is acknowledged, the library organized a commemorative ceremony for a grateful tribute of the generation of Benkovski to the life and work of Levski and the founders of the revolutionary committee.

In 1978 Velle Mitrov’s house was pronounced a monument of culture. It hosts a museum exhibition that brings the spirit of the XVIII and XIX century.

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The Saint Sofia Church

The Saint Sofia Church

The Saint Sofia Church(Bulgarian: църква „Света София“, tsarkva „Sveta Sofia“) is the second oldest church in the Bulgarian capital Sofia, dating to the 6th century. In the 14th century, the church gave its name to the city, previously known as Serdica.

The church was built on the site of several earlier churches and places of worship dating back to the days when it was the necropolis of the Roman town of Serdica. In the 2nd century, it was the location of a Roman theatre. Over the next few centuries, several other churches were constructed, only to be destroyed by invading forces such as the Goths and the Huns. The basic cross design of the present basilica, with its two east towers and one tower-cupola, is believed to be the fifth structure to be constructed on the site and was built during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I in the middle of the 6th century (527-565).

In the 14th century, the church gave its name to the city. In the 16th century, during Ottoman rule, the church was converted into a mosque: the original 12th-century frescoes were destroyed and minarets were added. In the 19th century two earthquakes destroyed one of the minarets and the mosque was abandoned. Restoration work was begun after 1930. In 1955 the temple was pronounced a cultural monument. Some of the church rituals related to choosing a new patriarch are associated to his church.

The Saint Sofia Church is now one of the most valuable pieces of Early Christian architecture in Southeastern Europe. The present building is a cross basilica with three altars. The floor of the church is covered with complex Early Christian ornamental or flora and fauna-themed mosaics. The Saint Sofia Church stands in the middle of an ancient necropolis and many tombs have been unearthed both under and near the church. Some of the tombs even feature frescoes. During the building of commemorative monument next to the church were made new archaeological findings. The grave if the famous writer Ivan Vazov is behind the church.

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Ivan Vazov’s Grave

Ivan Vazov’s Grave

>Ivan Minchov Vazov (Bulgarian: Иван Минчов Вазов) (June 27, 1850 OS – September 22, 1921) was a Bulgarian poet, novelist and playwright, often referred to as “the Patriarch of Bulgarian literature”. He was born in Sopot, a town in the Rose Valley of Bulgaria (then part of the Ottoman Empire).

Ivan Vazov’s work represents two parts of eras if Renaissance and after Liberation. He was also an academic at BAS and a minister of education and enlightening 1897-1899.


Monument of Stefan Stambolov

Monument of Stefan Stambolov

Stefan Nikolov Stambolov (Bulgarian: Стефан Николов Стамболов) ( 31 January 1854 – 6 July 1895) was a Bulgarian politician, who served as Prime Minister and regent. He was also a poet and journalist. Stambolov took part in Stara Zagora’s uprising attempt in 1875, as well as in April’s uprising in 1876. During his rule (1887-1894) he stabilized the country and made the basis for the future growth

He is considered one of the most important and popular “Founders of Modern Bulgaria”, and is sometimes referred to as “the Bulgarian Bismarck”.


The monastery in Obradovtsy “St. Mina”

The monastery in Obradovtsy “St. Mina”

(minibus 11 from Lion’s bridge, metro-exit Maria Luisa)

The monastery is built next to Vladayska river in the former village of Obradovtsy, now district of Sofia. The telephone for contact is (02) 936 69 99

According to the legends the monastery St. Mina has been built in late-Roman era. In 11th century on that place there was a big monasterial complex with 40 chapels, many buildings and a religious school, as well as women monastery of Sveta Gora.

In medieval times the monastery is part of Sofia’s Mala Sveta gora (“Liltle Sveta Gora”) – a ring of monasteries around the capital. The crusades and ottoman attacks destroyed the monastery, but the memory and legends of the saint-warrior Mina remain. During the construction of Valadayska river’s bed were found buildings’ foundations and other small parts of houses. In 1927 peasants by accident have found remains of the ancient monastery and in 1942-1945 the Obradovsky monastery is rebuilt in its old look. During that period has been built the church and few other chapels. In one of those, named after SS Kozma and Damyan there is a spring with holy water.

On every 11th of November there us a fest dedicated to the great Saint Mina. The legends says that Mina was an Egyptian, who served in the Roman army during the rule of emperors Dyocletian and Maximilian. He died as a martyr for the Christian faith, because he refused to give a victim to the pagan idols.

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Borisova gradina

Borisova gradina

Borisova gradina or Knyaz-Borisova gradina (Bulgarian: Борисова градина or Княз-Борисова градина, translated as Boris’ Garden or Knyaz Boris’ Garden) is the oldest and best known park in Sofia . Its construction and arrangement began in 1884 and it is named after Bulgarian Tsar Boris III.

Initially the park was in the outskirts of Sofia, and later became in its center. Today in the park are located the Vasil Levski and Bulgarian army stadiums, as well as the pool Maria Luisa.

It was first named Nursery garden, and later Pipiniera. After the birth of the Prince was named Boris’ garden.

In 1882, the then mayor of Sofia Ivan Hadzhienov brought Swiss gardener Daniel Neff from Bucharest with the intention to create a garden for the capital of Bulgaria.

Neff developed the first plan of the garden in the spring of 1882, set up the nursery and built a house for himself, starting construction in 1884.

Alsatian Joseph Frei was appointed manager of all gardens and parks of Sofia in 1906. He reorganized Borisova gradina according to his own plan further developing the one of Neff. In carrying out this plan Frei planted the two main alleys in the lower part of the garden, the linden and chestnut one, and opened the wide central and two side alleys in the upper part, from the children’s playground to the Fish Lake.

In the beginning of 20th century was built the Ariana lake, which was the first one in Sofia with boats in it. During the winter it is used for ice-skating. The park also has tennis courts, monuments, fountains and kids playgrounds.

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