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Sofia is situated in the Balkan Peninsula. It is situated in western Bulgaria, at the northern foot of the Vitosha mountain, in the Sofia Valley. The valley is the largest one in the country with a territory of 1,186 square kilometers and an average altitude of 550 meters . there are some low rivers crossing the city, including the Vladaiska and the Perlovska. The Iskar River flows near eastern Sofia. The city is known for its numerous mineral and thermal springs. Artificial and dam lakes were built in the last century. The city is situated at less than 200 kilometers from the borders with three countries: Serbia, Macedonia and Greece. Geographical data
Sofia is the capital and the largest city of the Republic of Bulgaria, with a population of 1,270,010 (making it the 14th largest city in the European Union), and some 1,386,702 in the metropolitan area, the Capital Municipality. It is located in western Bulgaria, at the foot of the mountain mass if Vitosha . It is the administrative, cultural, economic, and educational centre of the country. The Population of Sofia
Sofia is the political, industrial, transportation and commercial center of Bulgaria. Industries include metallurgy, chemicals, electrical equipment, food processing, textiles and clothing, footwear, and rubber products. Sofia is near an agricultural region that produces fruits, vegetables and dairy products . The climate is mountainous ( in regions with an altitude of 1900-2000 m above sea level ) and maritime ( along the Black Sea coast ) . The average annual temperature is 10,5 º C . I n winter it is about 0 º C. The highest temperature - 38,3 º C - was measured in 1947. The economy and climate of Sofia
History Sofia is one of the oldest settlements in Europe. For over 7,000 years Sofia has been a meeting place of the four directions of the world. Tribes and peoples came and went, civilisations flourished and declined but the city stayed forever. Historically it was named as Serdica, Triaditsa, Sredets and Sofia. The modern city of Sofia was named in the 14th century after the basilica St. Sofia. In Greek the word Sofia means wisdom. Between the 14th century and the late 1870s the city, as the rest of the nation, was part of the Ottoman Empire. Old Sofia is literally buried beneath a modern fa ç ade. Late last century Sofia totalled only 12,000 residents. Sofia survived numerous raids and wars. Sofia after WWII
The Coat of arms of Sofia is in the shape of a shield and has four equal sections, showing the capital’s symbols: St. Sofia, Vitosha Mountain, a temple dedicated to Apollo the Healer and a picture of mineral springs. Below the shield there is the motto of the capital: “Ever growing, but never ageing!”. On 17th September Sofia celebrates its special day – the Holiday of the sisters saints Faith, Hope and Love and their mother Sofia.
Monuments Completed in 1912 in honour of the Russian soldiers who died in the 1877-78 War of Liberation from Ottoman rule, the gold-domed Alexander Nevski Memorial Church is the finest piece of architecture in the Balkans. Craftsmen and artists from six countries worked on the church for thirty years . They created real masterpieces icons, nearly three hundred mural paintings and decorative frescoes and huge chandeliers . The interior decoration, made of Italian marble, Egyptian alabaster, Brazilian onyx, gold, and mosaics, exemplifies the spirit of the finest Eastern Orthodox traditions. The temple is the central patriarch’s cathedral of the autonomous Bulgarian Orthodox Church. Alexander Nevski Memorial Cathedral
The Boyana Church The Boyana Church consists of three buildings. The eastern church was built in the 10th century and enlarged at the beginning of the 13th century by Sebastocrator Kaloyan . He ordered a second two - storey building to be erected next to it. The frescoes in th is second church, painted in 1259, are one of the most important collections of medieval paintings . The third church was built at the beginning of the 19th century. Th e Boyana church is one of the most complete and perfectly preserved monuments of east European medieval art.
Dragalevtsi Monastery “St. Virgin Mary of Vitosha” The monastery was built in 1345 . I n 1476, it was renovated and the small church of the monastery was decorated with beautiful frescoes . In 1932, the church was expanded with the attachment of a new building . Today it is one of the favourite places for picnics near Sofia. The red brick rotunda church of St. George , b uilt in the 4th century , is considered the oldest building in Sofia. It is adorned with finely preserved early mediaeval frescoes . There are also remains of a 2nd century street and other Byzantine ruins. Today the church is a museum. St.George Rotunda
Nature and Landscapes Sofia is situated in western Bulgaria, at the northern foot of the Vitosha mountain, in the Sofia Valley that is surrounded by mountains on all sides. Vitosha is a mountain massif on the outskirts of Sofia. The highest peak in Vitosha is 2286m. There is a lot of snow in winter and in spring and many people go skiing there. Vitosha is one of the symbols of Sofia. The territory of the mountain includes the Vitosha National Park. Vitosha The foothills of Vitosha shelter resort quarters; Knyazhevo quarter has mineral springs. Vitosha is the oldest national park in the Balkans. It is a protected area.
Boris’ Garden Boris’ garden or Knyaz-Borisova is the oldest and best known park in Sofia. Its construction and arrangement began in 1884 and it is named after the Bulgarian tsar Boris III. The history of the garden embraces three periods under three renowned gardeners. All followed the initial scheme . They develop ed it and perfect ed it instead of making radical changes to the original design.
Folk music and dancing Singing has always been a tradition for both men and women. Songs were often sung by women at work parties such as the sedenka (often attended by young men and women in search of partners), betrothal ceremonies and just for fun. The most important state-supported orchestra of this era is the Sofia-based State Ensemble for Folk Songs and Dances, led by Philip Koutev. Folk instruments Bulgarian music uses a wide range of instruments: the gaida (a traditional goat-skin bagpipe), the kaval (an end-blown flute), t he gadulka (a bowed string instrument), the tǔpan (a large frame drum) and the tambura (a long-necked metal-strung flute). Tradition
<ul><li>T he basic Pravo Horo is danced in different ways in different regions . There is the Dobrud j an Pravo , t he Severn i a sh ko Pravo, called Dunavsko or Svishtovsko, Pravo Rhodopsko , t he Pirin "Pravo“ ( Makedonsko or Lesnoto ).. . </li></ul>Bulgarian folk dances Bulgarian folk dances are intimately related to the music of Bulgaria. They are normally line dances, with hands joined in low "V" hold, belt hold, crossed in front or "W" hold. Footwork can vary from fast intricate steps to slow sustained cat-like movements .
The legend about martenitsa <ul><li>According to the B ulgarian tradition on 1st March people give each other a special present for health and long life. It is called martenitsa and it is made of white and red threads. They put it on their hands or clothes. </li></ul>When khan Asparuh (the founder of the B ulgarian state) went in search of land , he promised h is sister that when he found a suitable place he would send white thread tied to the leg of a dove. He found suitable land and sen t the dove. But it was wounded by an arrow and on the thread there were red spots. When his sister saw the thread she understood that her brother succeed ed . From that time on B ulgarians wear martenitsa on 1st March. There are many legends for the martenitsa. H ere is one of them .
Culture The city’s official arts centre, National Palace of Culture (NDK), is a colossal modern structure with concert halls, exhibition spaces, congress facilities and the Lumiere Cinema. Most major cultural events take place here. Cultural Events The programme features classical music, attracting international soloists and ensembles, as well as ballet. Sofia ’s citizens enjoy ballet, opera and theatre . Music
Entertainment Theatre Films Sofia has a large film-going audience and has around 20 cinemas, most of which show recent foreign films. The best screen venue, however, is the eight-screen Multiplex in the subway of the NDK . M ost film festival events take place here . Ivan Vazov National Theatre is an impressive neo-classical building and home to the national theatre company. Works by eminent Bulgarians and classical writers are staged here. Ivan Vazov National Theatre Arena cinema
Football and other sports Football is the most popular sport in Sofia and in Bulgaria. Men like going to football matches. The most competing teams are Levski FC and CSKA. Hristo Stoyichkov used to play for CSKA football club. Other popular sports are horse riding, swimming, basketball… Parkour This sport was founded in France by David Belle and Francoa Foucan. This is the art of going from point A to point B in the fastest way. It is very popular with Bulgarian kids from 12 to 20. Outdoor Activities
Leisure and Outdoor Activities Sofia is packed with fun things to do, whether you’re young or old! The newest amusement park in the Balkans, Sofia Land, lies in the South of the city and is an absolute must-see. There are other amusement parks in Sofia, mainly aimed at children. Kokolandia is one of them. Computer Games In Bulgaria kids like or love playing computer games. The most popular are: Counter-Strike, Star Craft, War Craft, Need For Speed and Fifa …
Traditional Bulgarian dishes combine elements of Slavic, Greek and Turkish cooking traditions. The main ingredients of Bulgarian food are lamb, pork, chicken, veal, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, peppers, aubergines , beans, cucumbers, cheese and yoghurt. Bulgaria is famous for its special yoghurt. Bulgarians are very fond of spicy food. Food
Banitsa is a traditional Bulgarian pastry. Macedonians refer to it as “Zelnik”, “Maznik”, or simply as pita. Traditionally, lucky charms are put into the pastry on certain occasions, particularly on Christmas Eve, the first day of Christmas or New Year’s Eve. Musaka is a traditional eggplant based dish. In the standard Greek recipe, the bottom layer consist of eggplant slices sautéed in olive oil. The Middle layer is lamb precooked with onion, garlic, chopped tomatoes, herbs and spices. The top layer is a cheese-flavoured bechamel sause or egg custard. Banitsa Musaka
Tarator Tarator is a cold soup popular in the summertime in Albania, Bulgarian and the FYROM. It is made of yoghurt, cucumbers, garlic, walnuts, dill, vegetable oil and water. It is best served chilled or even with ice. Bulgarians usually have a small breakfast. They believe that lunch is the main meal of the day. These days parents work during the day, so the family usually have lunch together only at weekends or on holidays. A typical lunch may be some soup, salad and a main dish and a dessert.
Survival Language Thank you. Blagodarq vi / ti . Благодаря Ви/ти Hello Zdraveite Здравейте Good morning Dobro utro Добро утро Good afternoon Dobur den Добър ден Excuse me Izvinete Извинете Do you speak English? Govorite li Angliiski ? Говорите ли английски? Can you help me ? Moje li da mi pomognete? Може ли да ми помогнете? Where is ….? Kude e ….? Къде е ? Can I have ?… Moje li ? Може ли ? I don’t understand Ne razbiram Не разбирам I am… Az sum… Аз съм I want Az iskam Аз искам How much is it ? Kolko struva tova ? Колко струва това? Yes Da Да No Ne Не