Today Bulgaria’s capital city celebrates its day dedicated to the holy martyr Sophia and her three daughters Faith, Hope and Love. This day is also the feast day of the Sofia-based church “Saint Sophia - Wisdom of God." Traditionally, every year on this date, a festive ritual of blessing of the waters is held in front of the church and the flag of the city is officially raised.
An old panoramic photograph of Sofia taken from the Officer's Club (Rakovski Street is on the right)
On this occasion, the Municipal Council awards the titles "Honorary Citizen of Sofia" to people whose work has contributed to the prosperity and welfare of the city and to the promotion of common European values and the popularization of its history.
This year, the persons who will receive the Honorary Citizen Award are the ambassador of Norway Tove Skarstein, engineer Petar Mitanov, engineer Stoyan Bratoev who is in charge of the construction of the Sofia subway, Composer Plamen Djurov who is also the conductor of the Sofia Soloists ensemble, and architect Vasil Kitov.
According to historians, Sofia was founded more than 2,700 years by the Thracian tribe Serdi. They settled around the mineral springs which are still gushing in the city center. Sofia was chosen as the capital of Bulgaria in 1879. At that time, there was a lively debate on which city should be declared as the capital of the independent Bulgarian state. The Constituent National Assembly, which convened in Veliko Tarnovo, voted to designate Sofia as a major administrative, political and social center of Bulgaria
Sofia is today a modern European city where history and modernity coexist.
St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral
All bodies of the state authorities are concentrated here – the legislative, executive and judicial power. It is also the most vibrant and the largest economic center in this country. Sofia produces 50% of Bulgaria’s GDP and the average salary is the highest in the country.
Sofia is where the most important economic institutions and state bodies in Bulgaria are located. It also hosts the seats of large national and international banks and insurance companies, financial institutions such as the Sofia Commodity Exchange and the Bulgarian Stock Exchange and the headquarters of many NGOs and foundations. Here are also the seats of all religious institutions of the religious communities in Bulgaria - Christian, Muslim, Jewish and other religious groups officially registered, and the headquarters of political parties and the main trade unions in the country.
After Bulgaria joined the EU, the Association Council with the EU and the European Commission Delegation opened their offices in Sofia. The capital has more than 28 universities and colleges...
"Grows but does not Age" – this is the motto of Sofia where, about one hundred and thirty years ago, a little more than 11,000 people lived, but today it is home to more than one million and seven hundred thousand. To meet their needs, Sofia has been growing at a steady pace over the recent years, incorporating in its territory new, modern residential buildings, business centers, shopping malls ... and a benefit to Sofians that was long overdue is the Sofia Metropoliten which has opened its new lines a couple of weeks ago, promising to become the favorite transport of many citizens.
English version: Rossitsa Petcova