Temples in Sofia
The gold-domed Alexander Nevsky Cathedral was built in the early 20th century in memory of the 200,000 Russian, Ukrainian, Belorussian and Bulgarian soldiers, who died in the Russo-Turkish War, 1877–1878. It is one of the largest Eastern Orthodox cathedrals in the world. The cathedral’s gold-plated dome is 45 m high, with the bell tower reaching 50.52 m.
The Boyana Church, in the eponymous Sofia suburb at the foot of Mt. Vitosha, is one of the few complete and perfectly preserved mediaeval monuments testifying to the significant contribution of Bulgarian monumental painting to European culture in the Middle Ages.
Walking down ‘Tsar Osvoboditel’ street you will see the beautiful gold domes of the so-called ‘the prettiest church in Sofia’. Its high dome, surrounded by four smaller domes, all made of gold harmonize perfectly with the roof of the church which is covered with green majolica tiles.
The Central Synagogue of Sofia has justly been described as the pride of all Bulgarian Jewry. It has symbolized the Jewish community of Bulgaria for almost a century. It is the second largest Sephardic (Spanish-Jewish) synagogue in Europe.
Looking at the pretty church that stands in the middle of the park, it is not obvious that this was once a mosque. It’s current name is in reference to Sofia being liberated on the feast day of one of the Holy Seven Saints: Sveti Naum.
Hidden away in a courtyard of the Presidency and the dainty Sheraton Hotel, amid remains of the ancient town of Serdica, rises the famous Roman Rotunda, a red-brick building transformed into the present day St. George Church. The Roman Rotunda /the church “St. George”/ is the oldest preserved structure which still serves its original purpose in the Sofia city.
Sveta Nedelya sq. is being considered the center of Sofia city. The church Sveta Nedelya lies directly above the ancient crossroads of Serdica (Sofia’s previous name).
The early Byzantine Church of St Sophia was built in the 6th century on the place of an ancient Roman theatre and several earlier churches. During the Second Bulgarian Empire the structure served as the cathedral of the city but was later converted to a mosque by the Ottoman Empire.
Once there were 70 mosques in Sofia, but today the Banya Bashi Mosque is the only one still functioning. It was designed in 1576, by the greatest of all Ottoman architects, Mimar Sinan, who also built the Sultan Selim Mosque in Edirne and the Blue Mosque in Istanbul.
The Church of St Petka of the Saddlers a.k.a. “St. Petka Samardzhiyska” Church is a medieval Bulgarian Orthodox church in Sofia. It is a small one-naved building partially dug into the ground located in the very centre of the city.The church is located in the underpass between The Central Department Store (TZUM) and the Sheraton hotel, almost at the entrance of the Serdika metro station.
The Cathedral of St Joseph is located at 300 meters away from the center of Sofiacity. It is a Roman Catholic cathedral and actually a co-cathedral of the Diocese of Sofia and Plovdiv, together with the Cathedral of St Louis in Plovdiv.