“Sofia, Sofia – my little London, Sofia, Sofia, I love you…” late actor Todor Kolev used to sing in his Song for the Favorite City. We may love it or hate it, but Sofia is our home and we should try to make it a better place to live, despite policies and useless arguments. Anyone could for instance clean up his or her favorite spot in the city and that would be more than enough. Yes, the city has many issues that have remained unsolved for years and those have deepened, but there are also many good examples for things which are beneficial to its citizens. Development, investment opportunities and the constant opening of new jobs across different sectors are decisive for the progress of a city and Sofia does have its progress. It would be good to point that out before our friends here and abroad. We spot a growing number of foreign guests due to the low cost flights from different sides of Europe. The cheap plane tickets, the affordable prices here and mostly the rich history are a magnet for any traveler. At the same time the city has its present and future. Today, when we are in constant touch with the whole world, any kind of information reaches us within seconds and we may freely express our opinion on various subjects, we can also change our life and environment. On the eve of the Day of Sofia /17.09/ we will present an initiative of municipal counselor Stefan Markov, aiming at this precisely – to look for the opinion and proposals of citizens on different topics, concerning their life in the capital city. The name of the initiative is 100 Faces of the Capital. Mr. Markov gives us more details on it:
“The idea is that 100 faces will work for the capital city or the latter for itself. We began with a Facebook profile, gathering frames of urban environment and people in Sofia. A few months ago I decided that it would be good to turn it into an online show, as there are plenty of city-related topics and that could be a spot for discussion with different people. They won’t be related only with the municipality, but will be also citizens with an active stance or opinion on urban environment issues. We will also invite people from the NGO sector. The show will take place several times monthly with hot topics tackled.”
According to Stefan Markov, the reason for the show’s positioning in Facebook only is that users spend the most time precisely there and use it as an information tool. The show will last around 30 minutes and viewers will be able to ask their questions in the commentaries below. The initial edition will be broadcast on September 15 at 6 pm.
It is an interesting fact that September 17 has not always been Sofia’s holiday. It was proclaimed no earlier than 25 March 1992. Prior to this the fest was marked on two different dates. The first one was January 4, the day in 1878 when the Turks were chased away from the city. The second date was April 3, when one year later, in 1879 Sofia was proclaimed a capital city. The city’s blazonry, made by artist Haralampi Tachev was created for Bulgaria’s participation in the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris. At first the blazonry included only the crown in the form of a fortress, situated above the shield, divided in four segments, unified by a lion – a symbol of continuity between the old and the new capital. Each segment pictures a symbol of Sofia – Ulpia Serdica, the St. Sofia Church, the Vitosha Mountain and the statue of Apollo, related to the mineral springs in the city. In 1911 the “Grows, but Does not Age” slogan was added, prompted by the Paris one – “Tossed by the waves but never sunk”. It hasn’t been selected at random, as our city is one of the oldest capitals in Europe and all ethnicities in these lands have left their marks on its history.
English version: Zhivko Stanchev