Aleksander Nevski Cathedral, Sofia
To me it is the most famous landmark of Sofia.
Built between 1882 and 1912, by architect Pomerantsev, in neo Byzantine style, in honour of the Russian king Alexander II and the Russian soldiers liberated Bulgaria from Ottoman yoke as a result of the Russian-Turkish war 1887-1888.
Since taking pictures is not allowed inside visit this page to have a look.
Do not miss the Crypt (the icons museum) located in the Alexander Nevski Cathedral (there is a separate entrance, next to the main entrance of the cathedral)
The crypt of the Aleksander Nevski Cathedral, to the left of the main entrance, has been turned into the icon museum.
It houses the best collection of 9th-19th-century icons and frescoes from many Bulgarian monasteries.
Opening hours: Wed-Sun 10-17
Entrance fee's 10 BGN (EUR 5).
The cathedral was built to express the gratitude of the Bulgarian people to the Russian liberators , that delivered our land from the 500 years of Ottoman occupation.
It is constructed with most of the funds raised from all bulgarians , golden coins , jewels - an amount of 5,5 million golden leva.
When in 1898 architect Pomerantzev makes the project for the cathedral , its emplacement was in the outskirts of the city ,that was having at the time 20 000 inhabitants.In 1998 here were brought part of the relicts of Knyaz Alexander Nevski. The cathedral keeps the relicts of the bulgarian Knyaz Boris that brought christianity to Bulgarians aswell as a stone from Golgotha.
Alexander Nevski Cathedral with its gold plated domes is a majestic view and worth being visited from the outside as from the inside. It's the biggest catheral on the Balkans, of what I know. And you can see the golden domes from Vitosha mountain - Black summit 2290m( "Cherni Vrah" ) peak on a clear sunny day...
23 nov is the Temple celebration day - if you have the chance to be at that time in Sofia ,don't miss the mass at 9h in the morning - it promises to be impressive.
The Aleksander Nevski Cathedral was built between 1882 and 1912 to commemorate the Russian soldiers who died fighting against the Turks for Bulgaria's independence. It is named after a Russian saint from the 13th century, who was the patron for the Russian troops.
It was designed by Russian architect Pomerantsev in the Neo-Byzantine style. The interior is decorated with murals which are by now quite dark.
The crypt holds the largest collection of Bulgarian icons.
The latest location where the flea market settled is in front of the Alexander Nevski Cathedral. If you are into bargains , antique stuff ,orthodox icons, nazi gadjets from the 2nd WW with broken crosses , and handcrafts than it's the place for you. It is there 7 days a week all day long.
Built to demonstrate their Russian connection , Alexander Nevski cathedral is definitely the top attraction in Sofia, looking great in day and night time
Great views from all around as it is located on a large open place.
We were lucky to see it in day & night time, it really looks great when the sun comes up on the roof
Tip : sit down and take your time to draw all the different curves. personally I haven't drawn anything for the last 20 years but it made me observe the details much better
Walk around after sunset and enjoy the beauty of this city with all illuminated buildings.
Enjoy the photos of
* Nevski Cathedral
* National parliament
* the liberator king
these first 3 sights are all located next to each other
* the eternal flame in nevski's garden
The Tomb of Ivan Vazov
27.VI.1850 - 22.IX.1921
The great bulgarian writer and poet Ivan Vazov was born in the village of Sopot ,where he studied aswell as in Kalofer and Plovdiv. His father , a merchant by profession, did not accept the interest of his son in russian and french languages and literature. He wanted him to pursue his studies in Commerce and for this reason he sent him in Romania. Short afterwards Ivan Vazov he ran away to Braila, where he met the bulgarian emigrants Christo Botev and Luben Karavelov. Under their influence, he returned In 1875 in Sopot and took part in the local revolution union.
He starts writing in 1870.He dedicates his poetry to the fight for freedom of the bulgarians against the Ottoman rule,and to our brothers - the Russian liberators.
After the Liberation from Ottoman rule in october 1880,he settles in Plovdiv where he spends 6 years participating actively in the cultural and political life. Disappointed from the bulgarian Burgeoisy that he criticizes in his art , he turns his efforts into praising the revolution heroes and the fighers for freedom that led to the liberation of Bulgaria.
Ivan Vazov has brought a tremendous impact on our litterature and culture in the renaissance period.
The Alexander Nevski Church is a must-see in Sofia. The view is stunning from the outside--innumerable domes upon domes, it seems. Upon entering, the church appears dark and cavernous. But give it time--it grows on you! The paintings, murals and icons are incredibly beautiful; as is the iconostasis, the enormous chandelier and the bishop's throne. I found it a very moving experience to observe the Orthodox faithful come to the church, light candles, venerate the icons and pray. The icon museum in the crypt of the church is well worth a visit, as well. After visiting a few Orthodox churches, you can begin to identify the subjects of the icons without reading the caption. Also, be sure and return to the pl. Aleksander Nevski at night and observe the church when it is lit up. Finally, there is usually an interesting flea market on the block west of the church.
This spectacular church is the largest orthodox church in the Balkans. It was finished in 1912, and was built in honour of the Russian soldiers, who fought when the Russian army helped liberate Bulgaria from Ottoman rule in 1878. Inside, the central altar is dedicated to St Alexander Nevski, the southern altar to St Boris (who brought Christianity to Bulgaria) and the northern altar to Saints Cyril and Methodius (who created the Cyrillic alphabet). From outside you can see the great golden domes on top of this magnificent building. If you go to Sofia, you can't miss this.
When you're in Sofia, you must, must, MUST see Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. It's truly amazing! Try to get a chance to go inside and check it out. The sight will speak for itself... I also reccomend you to see the National Theater 'Ivan Vazov', the National Palace of Culture, the Rotunda (old Roman building from more than a millennium ago) and walk around Vitosha Boulevard and Graf Ignatiev Street.
Not exactly a must see activity but if yu happen to pass by, you may have a look.
Here is what is written on the sign:
Remnants of Turkish Barraks - XVI century
Bulgarian revolutioniers and rebels were imprisoned in thse dungeons in 1876 and the Apostle of Freedom Vasil Levski left the nearby altillery barraks on his way to the gallows and his historical immortality.
Sounds too pompouse if you do not now the historical bit. Vasil Levski is cnsidered to be one of the greatest fighters for freedome and is an important figure in the Bulgarian history.
There are no two answers to the question what is the place you can’t miss to visit when you are in Sofia. Standing just in the center of the city is a gorgeous, quiet place - Alexander Nevski Memorial Church. It really doesn’t matter whether you believe in God, just take a look at this sacred building like a clam island in the heart of busy Sofia and you will dip yourself into a beautiful world where you can find time just for yourself. Many people confused or desperate go there, sit in silence and try to find pieces of them that will help them be strong again. And if you want some history of the place - it was completed in 1912, it is gold-domed and has a superior collection of icons.
Did you know that?
Craftsmen and artists from 6 different countries worked on the five-aisle church in the course of 30 years. The interior decoration is made from materials from all over the world - Italian marble, Egyptian alabaster, Brazilian onyx, Russian gold......
Built in 1910, this is the location of the official headquarters of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church as well as the residence of the Bulgarian Patriarch (closed to the public).
Sporting colourful mosaics, stone and tile work, an arched portico and several cupolas, the building is an interesting backdrop to the icon street market that occupies this portion of the square.
- the National Assembly,
- the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences,
- the ancient St. Sophia Orthodox Church,
- the Higher Institute of Art,
- the St. Cyril arid Metodius National Library
- the St. Kliment Ohridskl Sofia University
Infront of St. Sofia Church is the grave of the Ivan Vazov. This is one of the most famouse Bulgarian writers often referred to as thepatriarch of Bulgarian literature.
It was his wish to be buried in a place where the common people of Sofia spent time. A boulder taken from nearby Mount Vitosha marks his grave.