Church of St. Sofia
Standing next to St Alexander Nevski, this early Byzantine brick church dates to the fifth century, although there were several churches here before it, as well as the pre-Christian Serdika city necropolis. The present church still follows the classic Byzantine plan of a regular cross with a central dome.
The city was named after this very church in the 14th century, which was converted to a mosque under Ottoman rule, when the original 12th century frescoes were destroyed and minarets added. During the 19th century, the building was abandoned, following damage caused by an earthquake.
After the Liberation in 1878, it was restored and reinstated as a church and now is a popular spot for weddings, funerals and baptisms.
Outside, to the left of the main entrance, stands the Monument to the Unknown Soldier, lit by a perpetual flame in honor of those who died for Bulgaria. In the back of the church are stalls selling handmade lace and other traditional textiles.
Opening hours: Daily 09:00-18:00 h
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