Sofia, Bulgaria

Sofia

Sofia Trips

One of the oldest capital cities in Europe, there has been a settlement near the Iskar River in Bulgaria for at least 4000 years. Ancient Thracian people chose it for the lush broad valley and protection from the nearby Vitosha mountain. Sofia has had several names in the different periods of its existence, and has been ruled by the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, each leaving its mark on the buildings and flavours you find in the city. 

After the Second World War, Bulgaria fell on the Soviet side of the Iron Curtain and as result this is one of the few places that you're as likely to find a Byzantine coin as a Lenin bust. On Sofia tours you'll find similar contradictions in the city's architecture: there's the Byzantine Church of St George atop a Roman settlement; Banya Bashi Mosque, built by the Ottomans in the 16th century; and, around the corner, Sofia Synagogue.

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