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Sofia
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{{About|the capital of Bulgaria|the given name|Sophia (given name)|other uses|Sofia (disambiguation)}}{{Redirect|Sofiya|a given name|Sofiya (given name)}}{{Redirect|Sofija|a given name|Sofija (given name)}}{{pp-move-indef}}{{Use dmy dates|date=October 2019}}{{EngvarB|date=June 2019}}{{short description|Capital and largest city of Bulgaria}}







factoids
(Расте, но не старее)| pushpin_map = Bulgaria| pushpin_relief = 1| pushpin_map_caption = Location of Sofia42.70region:BG|display=inline,title}}| subdivision_type = Country| subdivision_name = BulgariaProvinces of Bulgaria>ProvinceSofia City Province>Sofia City| established_title = Cont. inhabited| established_date = since 7000 BC| established_title2 = Neolithic settlementFIRST=IVAN DIKOV · INDATE=7 DECEMBER 2015, archaeologyinbulgaria.com, Thracians>Thracian settlement9780810919921}}.Popov, Dimitar (ed.). The Thracians, Iztok – Zapad, Sofia, 2011. {{ISBN|9789543218691}}.| established_title4 = Roman administrationSerdica){{Sfn>Sofiapage=13}}| established_title5 = Conquered by KrumSredets){{Sfn>Sofiapage=13}}| leader_party = GERBList of mayors of Sofia>Mayor| leader_name = Yordanka Fandakova| unit_pref = Metric| area_total_km2 = 492| area_urban_km2 = 5723| area_urban_footnotes = | area_metro_km2 = 10532| area_metro_footnotes = weblink" title="https:/-/web.archive.org/web/20160826083648weblink">weblink| elevation_m = 500–2290| elevation_ft = 1640–7510| population_as_of = 2017website=www.nsi.bg |language=bg}}| population_density_km2 = 2517| population_density_urban_km2 = 271| population_density_metro_km2 = 160Eastern European Time>EET| utc_offset1 = +02:00Eastern European Summer Time>EEST| utc_offset1_DST = +03:00| postal_code = 1000| area_code = (+359) 02| blank3_name = Vehicle registration plate| blank3_info = C, CA, CBwww.sofia.bg}}}}Sofia ({{IPAc-en|ˈ|s|oÊŠ|f|i|É™|,_|ˈ|s|É’|f|-|,_|s|oÊŠ|ˈ|f|iː|É™}} {{respell|SOH|fee|É™|,_|SOF|-|}};{{citation|last=Wells|first=John C.|year=2008|title=Longman Pronunciation Dictionary|edition=3rd|publisher=Longman|isbn=9781405881180}}{{citation|last=Roach|first=Peter|year=2011|title=Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary|edition=18th|place=Cambridge|publisher=Cambridge University Press|isbn=9780521152532}} ,ENCYCLOPEDIA, Editors of Britannica, Sofia,weblink Encyclopædia Britannica, 12 February 2016, BOOK, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia,weblink Britannica Educational Publishing, 9781615309870, 1 June 2013, {{IPA-bg|ˈsÉ”fijÉ™|IPA|Sofia.ogg}}) is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria. The city is at the foot of Vitosha Mountain in the western part of the country. Being in the centre of the Balkans, it is midway between the Black Sea and the Adriatic Sea, and closest to the Aegean Sea.BOOK, Lauwerys, Joseph, Education in Cities, 1970, Evan's Brothers, 0-415-39291-8,weblink BOOK, Rogers, Clifford, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Medieval Warfare and Military Technology, Oxford University Press, 2010, 301, 1, 9780195334036,weblink Sofia has been an area of human habitation since at least 7000 BC.BOOK, Ghodsee, Kristen, The Red Riviera: Gender, Tourism, and Postsocialism on the Black Sea, 2005, Duke University Press, 21,weblink 0822387174, The recorded history of Sofia begins with the attestation of the conquest of Serdica by the Roman Republic in 29 BC from the Celtic tribe Serdi, raided by Huns in 343–347 AD and 447 AD, conquered by Visigoths in 376–382 AD, conquered by Avars and Slavs in 617 AD, and on 9 April 809 Serdica was surrendered to Krum of Bulgaria. In 1018, the Byzantines ended Bulgarian rule, while in 1040 it was shortly restored. The town was conquered by the Pechenegs in 1048 and 1078, by the Magyars and Serbs in 1183, and by the Crusaders in 1095 and 1190.BOOK, Bulgarian Guide Book, Medizina i Fiskultura, University of Michigan, 98, The town was conquered in turn by the Pe- chenegs in 1048 and 1078, by the Serbs and Magyars in 1183, and by the crusaders in 1095, and 1190. After the restoration of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom it became a part of the latter's territory (1194) until its conquest by the Ottomans in 1382, The rule of the Second Bulgarian Empire lasted from 1194 until its conquest by the Ottomans in 1382. From 1520 to 1836, Sofia was the regional capital of Rumelia Eyalet, the Ottoman Empire's key province in Europe. Bulgarian rule was restored in 1878. During World War II, Sofia was bombarded by the UK and US Air Forces and at the end of the war, it was seized by the Soviet Army.Being Bulgaria's primate city, Sofia is a hometown of many of the major local universities, cultural institutions and commercial companies.Internet Hostel Sofia, Tourism in Sofia. Internethostelsofia.hostel.com, Retrieved Jan 2012 Sofia is one of the top 10 best places for start-up businesses in the world, especially in information technologies, according to Bulgarian National Television.WEB,weblink Sofia is one of the top 10 places for start-up businesses in the world, Bulgarian National TV, Bnt.bg, 11 April 2018, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20151222101247weblink">weblink 22 December 2015, Sofia was Europe's most affordable capital to visit in 2013.NEWS, Clark, Jayne, Is Europe's most affordable capital worth the trip?,weblink USA Today, 12 February 2016, The population of Sofia declined down from 70,000 in the late 18th century, through 19,000 in 1870, to 11,649 in 1878 and began increasing.WEB, История,weblink www.kmeta.bg, Sofia hosts some 1.23 million residents within a territory of 492 km2,WEB,weblink NATIONAL STATISTICAL INSTITUTE – Information for the area of city of Sofia, Nsi.bg, 11 April 2018, a concentration of 17.5% of the country population within the 200th percentile of the country territory. The urban area of Sofia hosts some 1.54 million residents within 5723 km², which comprises Sofia City Province and parts of Sofia Province (Dragoman, (:bg:Община Сливница|Slivnitsa), (:bg:Община Костинброд|Kostinbrod), (:bg:Община Божурище|Bozhurishte), Svoge, (:bg:Община Елин Пелин|Elin Pelin), (:bg:Община Горна Малина|Gorna Malina), (:bg:Община Ихтиман|Ihtiman), Kostenets) and Pernik Province ((:bg:Община Перник|Pernik), (:bg:Община Радомир|Radomir)), representing 5.16% of the country territory.JOURNAL, NATIONAL STATISTICAL INSTITUTE, CITIES AND THEIR URBANISED AREAS IN THE REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA, 91,weblink The metropolitan area of Sofia is based upon one hour of car travel time, stretches internationally and includes Dimitrovgrad in Serbia.JOURNAL, Metropolitan areas in Europe, 95,weblink 1868-0097, Unlike most European metropolitan areas, it is not to be defined as a substantially functional metropolitan area, but is of the type with "limited variety of functions".JOURNAL, Metropolitan areas in Europe, 103,weblink 1868-0097, The metropolitan region of Sofia is inhabited by a population of 1.68 millionWEB,weblink appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu, Eurostat – Data Explorer, and is made up of the whole provinces Sofia City, Sofia and Pernik, comprising more than 10,000 km².WEB,weblink Documento di inquadramento socioeconomico e territoriale per il Piano strategico della Città metropolitana di Torino (PsCMTO), cittametropolitana.torino.it, it,

Names

(File:Sredets seal 1878.jpg|thumb|upright=0.9|The first seal of the city from 1878 which calls it Sredets)For the longest time the city possessedBOOK, Grant, Michael, The Emperor Constantine, 211, Hachette (publisher), Hachette,weblink 9781780222806, a Thracian name, derived from the tribe Serdi, who were either of Thracian, Celtic,"The Cambridge Ancient History", Volume 3, Part 2: The Assyrian and Babylonian Empires and Other States of the Near East, from the Eighth to the Sixth Centuries BC by John Boardman, I. E. S. Edwards, E. Sollberger, and N. G. L. Hammond, {{ISBN|0-521-22717-8}}, 1992, p. 600: "In the place of the vanished Treres and Tilataei we find the Serdi for whom there is no evidence before the first century BC. It has for long being supposed on convincing linguistic and archeological grounds that this tribe was of Celtic origin" or mixed Thracian-Celtic origin.Mihailov, G., Thracians, Sofia, 1972, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, quote in Bulgarian: Името серди е засвидетелствано след келтската инвазия на Балканите. Сердите са от смесен трако-келтски произход.Popov, D. Thracians, Sofia, p.h. Iztok – Zapad, 2005.The emperor Marcus Ulpius Traianus (53 – 117 AD) gave the city the combinative name of Ulpia Serdica;BOOK, World and Its Peoples, 2010,weblink 9780761479024, BOOK, Irina Florov, Nicholas Florov, Three-thousand-year-old Hat, 2001, Golden Vine Publishers, Michigan University, 0968848702, 303,weblink Ulpia may be derived from an Umbrian cognate of the Latin word lupus, meaning "wolf"Julian Bennett, Trajan: Optimus Princeps (Routledge, 1997), p. 1. or from the Latin vulpes (fox).It seems that the first written mention of Serdica was made during his reign and the last mention was in the 19th century in a Bulgarian text (Сардакіи, Sardaki).Other names given to Sofia, such as Serdonpolis (Σερδών πόλις, "City of the Serdi" in Greek) and Triaditza (Τριάδιτζα, "Trinity" in Greek), were mentioned by Byzantine Greek sources or coins. The Slavic name Sredets (Срѣдецъ), which is related to "middle" (среда, "sreda") and to the city's earliest name, first appeared on paper in an 11th-century text. The city was called Atralisa by the Arab traveller Idrisi and Strelisa, Stralitsa or Stralitsion by the Crusaders.BOOK, Erwin Anton Gutkind, International history of city development, Free Press of Glencoe, Michigan University, 8,weblink The name Sofia comes from the Saint Sofia Church,WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20071219041530weblink">weblink dead, 19 December 2007, София, Мила Родино, Bulgarian, 14 September 2008, as opposed to the prevailing Slavic origin of Bulgarian cities and towns. The origin is in the Greek word sophia (σοφία) "wisdom". The earliest works where this latest name is registered are the duplicate of the Gospel of Serdica, in a dialogue between two salesmen from Dubrovnik around 1359, in the 14th-century Vitosha Charter of Bulgarian tsar Ivan Shishman and in a Ragusan merchant's notes of 1376.BOOK, Encyclopedia Americana, 1999, Grolier Incorporated, Pennsylvania State University, 0717201317, 878, 25,weblink In these documents the city is called Sofia, but at the same time the region and the city's inhabitants are still called Sredecheski (срѣдечьскои, "of Sredets"), which continued until the 20th century. The city became somehow popular to the Ottomans by the name Sofya (صوفيه). In 1879 there was a dispute about what the name of the new Bulgarian capital should be, when the citizens created a committee of famous people, insisting for the Slavic name. Gradually, a compromise arose, officialisation of Sofia for the nationwide institutions, while legitimating the title Sredets for the administrative and church institutions, before the latter was abandoned through the years.WEB, History,weblink Capital Municipality, 20 October 2015,

Geography

Sofia City Province has an area of 1344 km2WEB, District Sofia-city,weblink Guide Bulgaria, 19 February 2012, , while the surrounding and much bigger Sofia Province is 7,059 km2. Sofia's development as a significant settlement owes much to its central position in the Balkans. It is situated in western Bulgaria, at the northern foot of the Vitosha mountain, in the Sofia Valley that is surrounded by the Balkan mountains to the north. The valley has an average altitude of {{convert|550|m}}. Unlike most European capitals, Sofia does not straddle any large river, but is surrounded by comparatively high mountains on all sides. Three mountain passes lead to the city, which have been key roads since antiquity, Vitosha being the watershed between Black and Aegean Seas.A number of shallow rivers cross the city, including the Boyanska, Vladayska and Perlovska. The Iskar River in its upper course flows near eastern Sofia. It takes its source in Rila, Bulgaria's highest mountain,{{harvnb|Geographic Dictionary of Bulgaria|1980|p=537}} and enters Sofia Valley near the village of German. The Iskar flows north toward the Balkan Mountains, passing between the eastern city suburbs, next to the main building and below the runways of Sofia Airport, and flows out of the Sofia Valley at the town of Novi Iskar, where the scenic Iskar Gorge begins.WEB,weblink General Hydrological Data, Iskar River System, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20171207013903weblink">weblink 7 December 2017, 27 April 2019, The city is known for its 49 mineral and thermal springs. Artificial and dam lakes were built in the twentieth century.{{multiple image
| align = center
| direction = horizontal
| caption_align = center
| image1 = Sofia Valley 1.png
| width1 = 250
| caption1 = A map of Sofia Valley. Vitosha is in the south; the Balkan Mountains define the valley's northern fringes. The Iskar flows north and forms the Iskar Gorge.
| image2 = Sofiafromsimeonovo.JPG
| width2 = 695
| caption2 = A view of the valley from the south. The Balkan Mountains and the beginning of the Iskar Gorge are visible in the distance.
}}While the 1818 and 1858 earthquakes were intense and destructive, the 2012 Pernik earthquake occurred west of Sofia with a moment magnitude of 5.6 and a much lower Mercalli intensity of VI (Strong). The 2014 Aegean Sea earthquake was also noticed in the city.

Climate

Sofia has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb) with an average annual temperature of {{convert|10.4|°C|1|abbr=on}}.Winters are relatively cold and snowy. In the coldest days temperatures can drop below {{convert|-15|°C|0}}, most notably in January. The lowest recorded temperature is {{convert|-31.2|°C|0}} (16 January 1893).Софийска голяма община – климат.Атанас Иширков, България. Географически бележки, Придворна печатница, 1910 година, стр. 78. Fog is not unusual, especially in the beginning of the season. On average, Sofia receives a total snowfall of {{convert|96|cm|1|abbr=on}} and 58 days with snow cover.WEB,weblink Архив-Бг3 » 01-1987 София, Иван, Николов, stringmeteo.com, WEB,weblink Време-Бг » Мес. обобщ. снежна покривка, Иван, Николов, stringmeteo.com, The snowiest recorded winter was 1995/1996 with a total snowfall of {{convert|171|cm|1|abbr=on}}.WEB,weblink Архив-Бг3 » 11-1995 София, Иван, Николов, stringmeteo.com, The record snow depth is {{convert|57|cm|1|abbr=on}} (25 December 2001).WEB,weblink Времето София » 25.12.2001, Иван, Николов, stringmeteo.com, Summers are quite warm and sunny. In summer, the city generally remains slightly cooler than other parts of Bulgaria, due to its higher altitude. However, the city is also subjected to heat waves with high temperatures reaching or exceeding {{convert|35|°C|0}} in the hottest days, particularly in July and August. The highest recorded temperature is {{convert|41|°C|0}} (5 July 2000 and 24 July 2007).WEB,weblink Weather Sofia – Monthly Weather History- freemeteo.bg, freemeteo.bg, WEB,weblink Weather Sofia – Monthly Weather History- freemeteo.bg, freemeteo.bg, The hottest recorded summer was in 2012 with a daily average July temperature of {{convert|25|°C|1}}.WEB,weblink Век. месечен архив Бг, Springs and autumns in Sofia are usually short with variable and dynamic weather.The city receives an average precipitation of {{convert|581.8|mm|2|abbr=on}} a year, reaching its peak in late spring and early summer when thunderstorms are common. The wettest recorded year was 2014 with a total precipitation of {{convert|1066.6|mm|2|abbr=on}}.WEB,weblink Време-Бг » Мес. обобщ. валежи, Иван, Николов, stringmeteo.com, {{Weather boxBulgarian Academy of Sciences>BAS) 1981–2010 normals, extremes 1893–present| metric first = Y| single line = Y| Jan record high C = 19| Feb record high C = 23| Mar record high C = 27.5| Apr record high C = 31| May record high C = 34| Jun record high C = 38| Jul record high C = 41| Aug record high C = 39.4| Sep record high C = 36.1| Oct record high C = 33.9| Nov record high C = 25.5| Dec record high C = 23| year record high C = 41| Jan high C = 3.4| Feb high C = 5.6| Mar high C = 10.6| Apr high C = 16.2| May high C = 21.1| Jun high C = 24.7| Jul high C = 27.3| Aug high C = 27.5| Sep high C = 22.9| Oct high C = 17.1| Nov high C = 9.7| Dec high C = 4.3| year high C = | Jan mean C = −0.6| Feb mean C = 0.9| Mar mean C = 5.3| Apr mean C = 10.5| May mean C = 15.3| Jun mean C = 18.8| Jul mean C = 21.1| Aug mean C = 20.8| Sep mean C = 16.4| Oct mean C = 11.1| Nov mean C = 5| Dec mean C = 0.6| year mean C = | Jan low C = -3.9| Feb low C = -2.9| Mar low C = 0.8| Apr low C = 5.4| May low C = 9.8| Jun low C = 13.2| Jul low C = 15.1| Aug low C = 14.9| Sep low C = 11| Oct low C = 6.6| Nov low C = 1.4| Dec low C = -2.4| year low C = | Jan record low C = -31.2| Feb record low C = -25| Mar record low C = -19| Apr record low C = -6| May record low C = -2.2| Jun record low C = 1.4| Jul record low C = 2| Aug record low C = 3.5| Sep record low C = -2| Oct record low C = -6| Nov record low C = -15.3| Dec record low C = -21.1| year record low C = -31.2| precipitation colour = green| Jan precipitation mm = 33.2| Feb precipitation mm = 31.5| Mar precipitation mm = 38.1| Apr precipitation mm = 50.7| May precipitation mm = 67| Jun precipitation mm = 75.4| Jul precipitation mm = 52.6| Aug precipitation mm = 57.6| Sep precipitation mm = 45.7| Oct precipitation mm = 45| Nov precipitation mm = 43.3| Dec precipitation mm = 41.7| year precipitation mm = | Jan snow cm = 24.1| Feb snow cm = 18.7| Mar snow cm = 14.4| Apr snow cm = 2.6| May snow cm = 0| Jun snow cm = 0| Jul snow cm = 0| Aug snow cm = 0| Sep snow cm = 0| Oct snow cm = 1.9| Nov snow cm = 11.4| Dec snow cm = 23.3| year snow cm = | Jan precipitation days = 9.1| Feb precipitation days = 8.9| Mar precipitation days = 9.9| Apr precipitation days = 13.3| May precipitation days = 13.4| Jun precipitation days = 12.6| Jul precipitation days = 9.4| Aug precipitation days = 8.2| Sep precipitation days = 7.2| Oct precipitation days = 7.5| Nov precipitation days = 9.9| Dec precipitation days = 10.3| year precipitation days = | Jan snow days = 7.2| Feb snow days = 6.2| Mar snow days = 5.7| Apr snow days = 1.4| May snow days = 0| Jun snow days = 0| Jul snow days = 0| Aug snow days = 0| Sep snow days = 0| Oct snow days = 0.8| Nov snow days = 3.1| Dec snow days = 6.9| year snow days = | Jan sun = 87.8| Feb sun = 114.3| Mar sun = 159.6| Apr sun = 182.2| May sun = 229.6| Jun sun = 257.7| Jul sun = 302.1| Aug sun = 288.3| Sep sun = 220.1| Oct sun = 163.6| Nov sun = 105.5| Dec sun = 66.1| year sun = | Jan uv =1| Feb uv =2| Mar uv =4| Apr uv =5| May uv =7| Jun uv =9| Jul uv =9| Aug uv =8| Sep uv =6| Oct uv =4| Nov uv =2| Dec uv =1| source = Stringmeteo.coweblink Climatebase.ru (precipitation days and extremesweblink NOAA]weblink freemeteo.bweblink and Weather Atlaweblink}}

Environment

The geographic position of the Sofia Valley limits the flow of air masses, increasing the chances of air pollution by particulate matter and nitrogen oxide.WEB,weblink "Дружба", "Надежда" и "Павлово" са с най-мръсен въздух в София – Mediapool.bg, mediapool.bg, Solid fuel used for heating and motor vehicle traffic are significant sources of pollutants. Smog thus persists over the city as temperature inversions and the mountains surrounding the city prevent the circulation of air masses. As a result, air pollution levels in Sofia are some of the highest in Europe.NEWS, Danny, Hakim, Bulgaria's Air Is Dirtiest in Europe, Study Finds, Followed by Poland,weblink The New York Times, 15 October 2013, 15 October 2013, Particulate matter concentrations are consistently above the norm.AV MEDIA, 20 December 2015, Environment: Sofia, most polluted capital of Europe, News report,weblink 26 October 2018, Agence France-Presse, During the October 2017 – March 2018 heating season, particulate levels exceeded the norm on 70 occasions;WEB,weblink Air pollution in Sofia, other Bulgarian cities hugely exceeded norms several times this winter, The Sofia Globe, 4 April 2018, 26 October 2018, on 7 January 2018, PM10 levels reached 632 Âµg/m3,WEB,weblink Bulgaria: Bad air quality in Sofia on January 6 2018, The Sofia Globe, 6 January 2018, 26 October 2018,weblink 26 October 2018, dead, some twelve times the EU norm of 50 Âµg/m3.WEB,weblink Air Quality Standards, European Commission, 26 October 2018, Even areas with few sources of air pollution, like Gorna Banya, had PM2.5 and PM10 levels above safe thresholds. In response to hazardous spikes in air pollution, the Municipal Council implemented a variety of measures in January 2018, like more frequent washing of streets.WEB,weblink Sofia Municipal Council Adopted Measures to Tackle Air Pollution, Bulgarian National Television, 25 January 2018, 26 October 2018, However, a report by the European Court of Auditors issued in September 2018 revealed that Sofia has not drafted any projects to reduce air pollution from heating. The report also noted that no industrial pollution monitoring stations operate in Sofia, even though industrial facilities are active in the city. A monitoring station on Eagles' Bridge, where some of the highest particulate matter values were measured, was moved away from the location and has measured sharply lower values since then.NEWS,weblink Brussels: Sofia has no projects targeting air pollutionКопирано от standartnews.com, Standard, 12 September 2018, 26 October 2018,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20181027061542weblink">weblink 27 October 2018, dead, Particulates are now largely measured by a network of 300 sensors maintained by volunteers since 2017. The European Commission has taken Bulgaria to court over its failure to curb air pollution.

History

{{see also|Timeline of Sofia}}

Prehistory and antiquity

File:Bronze coin of Serdi Celts.jpg|thumb|upright=1.35|right|(Obverse and reverse|O:) head of river-god Strymon(Obverse and reverse|R:) tridentThis coin imitates Macedonian issue from 187–168 BC. It was struck by Serdi tribe as their own currencycurrencyFile:Remains of Serdica fortress walls in the basement of central market hall Sofia 20090406 002.JPG|right|thumb|upright=0.9|A restored city plan of Roman Serdica under Marcus AureliusMarcus AureliusSofia has been an area of continuous human habitation since at least the 30th millennium BC. The city itself has a history of nearly 7000 years,BOOK, John G. Kelcey, Norbert Müller, Plants and Habitats of European Cities, Springer Science+Business Media, Springer, Czech Republic; Germany – University of Applied Sciences Erfurt, 978-0-387-89684-7,weblink 7 June 2011, with the great attraction of the hot water springs that still flow abundantly in the centre of the city. The neolithic village in Slatina dating to the 5th–6th millennium BC is documented.{{citation needed|date=May 2018}} Remains from another neolithic settlement around the National Art Gallery are traced to the 3rd–4th millennium BC, which has been the traditional centre of the city ever since.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20170905032923weblink">weblink dead, 5 September 2017, София – 130 години столица на България, sofiaculture.bg, The earliest tribes who settled were the Thracian Tilataei. In the 500s BC, the area became part of a Thracian state union, the Odrysian kingdom from another Thracian tribe the Odrysses. For a short period Thracian rule was possibly interrupted by the Achaemenid Empire.In 339 BC Philip II of Macedon destroyed and ravaged the town for the first time.BOOK, Trudy, Ring, Noelle, Watson, Paul, Schellinger, Southern Europe: International Dictionary of Historic Places,weblink Routledge, 20 December 2015, 5 November 2013, 9781134259588, The Celtic tribe Serdi gave their name to the city.The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 3, Part 2:, {{ISBN|0-521-22717-8}}, 1992, page 600 The earliest mention of the city comes from an Athenian inscription from the 1st century BC, attesting Astiu ton Serdon, i.e. city of the Serdi.Емил Коцев 24.04.2016 9:331205 ИЗГУБЕНАТА СТОЛИЦА The inscription and Dio Cassius told that the Roman general Crassus subdued the Serdi and behanded the captives.Dio, Roman History, Book 51, chapter 25In 27–29 BC, according do Dio Cassius, Pliny and Ptolemy, the region "Segetike" was attacked by Crassus, which is assumed to be Serdica, or the city of the Serdi.Trakii︠a︡ – Том 12 – Страница 41- "Da diese mit ihrem blinden König Siras verbündete der Römer waren ergab dies den Vorwand für den Kriegszug von Crassus. Über die Segetike (wohl irrtümlich für Serdike, Land der Serden, wie es aus Dio Cass. LI, 25, 4 erhellt)"Acta Antiqua Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae. Akademai Klado, 1966. "Als sie die Dentheleten angriffen, kam Crassus diesen zur. Hilfe, eroberte das Land der Serden (bei Dio Segetika) und kam plündernd ins."Jenő Fitz. Limes. Akadémiai Kiadó, 1977 "As Macedonia itself was in danger, Crassus readily advanced as far as Segetika (-Serdica)", {{ISBN|9789630513012}} The ancient city is located between TZUM, Sheraton Hotel and the Presidency.BOOK, Ivanov, Rumen, Roman cities in Bulgaria, 2006,weblink It gradually became the most important Roman city of the region. It became a municipium during the reign of Emperor Trajan (98–117). Serdica expanded, as turrets, protective walls, public baths, administrative and cult buildings, a civic basilica, an amphitheatre, a circus, the City Council (Boulé), a large forum, a big circus (theatre), etc. were built. Serdica was a significant city on the Roman road Via Militaris, connecting Singidunum and Byzantium. In the 3rd century, it became the capital of Dacia Aureliana,BOOK, Bowman, Alan K., Garnsey, Peter, Cameron, Averil, Wilkes, John, Provinces and Frontiers, 253, The Cambridge ancient history: The crisis of empire, A.D. 193–337,weblink Cambridge University Press, 12, 2005, The Cambridge ancient history, 978-0-521-30199-2, and when Emperor Diocletian divided the province of Dacia Aureliana into Dacia Ripensis (at the banks of the Danube) and Dacia Mediterranea, Serdica became the capital of the latter. Serdica's citizens of Thracian descent were referred to as Illyrians probably because it was at some time the capital of Eastern Illyria (Second Illyria).BOOK, Encyclopaedia Londinensis, or, Universal dictionary of arts, sciences, and literature, 1827, University of Minnesota,weblink Roman emperors Aurelian (215–275)BOOK, Saunders, Randall Titus, A biography of the Emperor Aurelian (AD 270–275), 106–7, Ann Arbor, Michigan: UMI Dissertation Services, 1992, and Galerius (260–311)WEB,weblink Eutropius: Book IX, thelatinlibrary.com, were born in Serdica.The city expanded and became a significant political and economical centre, more so as it became one of the first Roman cities where Christianity was recognised as an official religion (under Galerius). The Edict of Toleration by Galerius was issued in 311 in Serdica by the Roman emperor Galerius, officially ending the Diocletianic persecution of Christianity. The Edict implicitly granted Christianity the status of "religio licita", a worship recognised and accepted by the Roman Empire. It was the first edict legalising Christianity, preceding the Edict of Milan by two years.For Constantine the Great it was 'Sardica mea Roma est' (Serdica is my Rome). He considered making Serdica the capital of the Byzantine Empire instead of Constantinople.Nikolova, Kapka Sofia University of Indiana. "Emperor Constantine the Great even considered the possibility for Serdika to become the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire" which was already not dissimilar to a tetrarchic capital of the Roman Empire.BOOK, Green, Bernard, Christianity in Ancient Rome: The First Three Centuries,weblink 2010, A&C Black, 978-0-567-03250-8, 237, In 343 AD, the Council of Sardica was held in the city, in a church located where the current 6th century Church of Saint Sophia was later built.The city was destroyed in the 447 invasion of the Huns and the city laid in ruins for a century It was rebuilt by Byzantine Emperor Justinian I. During the reign of Justinian it flourished, being surrounded with great fortress walls whose remnants can still be seen today.(File:Festung Serdica Sofia 20090405 006.JPG|thumb|250px|The eastern gate of Serdica in the "Complex Ancient Serdica")

Archaeology

Many remains of the ancient city have been excavated and are on public display today. These include:

Middle Ages

The city first became part of the First Bulgarian Empire during the reign of Khan Krum in 809, after a long siege.Theophanes Confessor. Chronographia, p.485 Afterwаrds, it grew into an important fortress and administrative centre when Khan Omurtag made it a centre of Sredets province (Sredetski komitat, Средецки комитат). After the conquest of the Bulgarian capital Preslav by Sviatoslav I of Kiev and John I Tzimiskes' armies in 970–971, the Bulgarian Patriarch Damyan chose Sofia for his seat in the next year and the capital of Bulgaria was first moved to Sredets.BOOK, Slaviani, 1967,weblink In the second half of 10th century the city was ruled by Komit Nikola and his sons, popular as "Komitopuli". One of them is Samuil, who became an Emperor of Bulgaria in 997. After a number of unsuccessful sieges, the city fell to the Byzantine Empire in 1018, but once again was incorporated into the restored Bulgarian Empire at the time of Tsar Ivan Asen I.

Early modern history

In 1385,Ivanova, Svetlana, "Ṣofya", in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 23 January 2018. Sofia was seized by the Ottoman Empire in the course of the Bulgarian-Ottoman Wars. Around 1393 it became the seat of newly established Sanjak of Sofia.BOOK, Godisnjak, Drustvo Istoricara Bosne i Hercegovine, Sarajevo,weblink 1950, 174, Санџак Софија Овај је санџак основан око г. 1393., The city was occupied by Hungarian forces for a short time in 1443. After the failed crusade of Władysław III of Poland in 1443 towards Sofia, the city's Christian faced persecution and the city became the capital of the Ottoman province (beylerbeylik) of Rumelia for more than four centuries. During that time Sofia was the largest import-export-base in modern-day Bulgaria for the caravan trade with the Republic of Ragusa. In the 15th and 16th century, Sofia was expanded by Ottoman building activity. Public investments in infrastructure, education and local economy brought greater diversity to the city. Amongst others, the population consisted of Muslims, Bulgarian and Greek speaking Orthodox Christians, Armenians, Georgians, Catholic Ragusans, Jews (Romaniote, Ashkenazi and Sephardi), and Romani people.(File:Photograph of Sofia, Bulgaria, c 1881.jpg|thumb|alt=Photograph of Sofia, Bulgaria, c 1881|Sofia in 1881)When it comes to the cityscape, 16th century sources mention eight Friday Mosques, three public libraries, numerous schools, 12 churches, three synagogues, and the largest bedesten (market) of the Balkans. Additionally, there were fountains and hammams (bathhouses). Some prominent churches such as Saint Sofia had been converted into mosques. In total there were 11 big and over 100 small mosques by the 17th century,WEB, Sofia – Trip around Sofia,weblink Balkan tourist, 1968, 8 August 2015,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160305050426weblink">weblink 5 March 2016, dead, of which only the Banya Bashi remains as a mosque today.The town was seized for several weeks by Bulgarian hajduks in 1599.{{Citation needed|date=February 2018}} In 1610 the Vatican established the See of Sofia for Catholics of Rumelia, which existed until 1715 when most Catholics had emigrated.{{Catholic|title=Sardica|url=http://oce.catholic.com/index.php?title=Sardica}} The town was the centre of Sofia Eyalet (1826–1864). Nedelya Petkova created the first Bulgarian school for women in the city. In 1873 the Ottomans hanged in Sofia the Bulgarian revolutionary Vasil Levski.

Modern and contemporary history

During the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78, Suleiman Pasha threatened to burn the city in defence, but the foreign diplomats Leandre Legay, Vito Positano, Rabbi Gabriel Almosnino and Josef Valdhart refused to leave the city thus saving it. Many Bulgarian residents of Sofia armed themselves and sided with the Russian forces.WEB,weblink ВОЕННАЯ ЛИТЕРАТУРА --[ Военная история ]-- Генов Ц. Русско-турецкая война 1877–1878 гг. и подвиг освободителей, lib.ru, Sofia was relieved (see Battle of Sofia) from Ottoman rule by Russian forces under Gen. Iosif Gurko on 4 January 1878. It was proposed as a capital by Marin Drinov and was accepted as such on 3 April 1879. By the time of its liberation the population of the city was 11,649.Kiradzhiev, Svetlin (2006). "Sofia. 125 years a capital. 1879–2004". "Guttenberg". {{ISBN|978-954-617-011-8}}Most mosques in Sofia were destroyed in that war, seven of them destroyed in one night in December 1878 when a thunderstorm masked the noise of the explosions arranged by Russian military engineers.{{Sfn | Crampton | 2006 | p = 114}}{{Citation | last = Crampton | first = RJ | title = A Concise History of Bulgaria | place = Cambridge | publisher = Cambridge University Press | year = 2006 | origyear = 1997 | isbn = 0-521-85085-1}} Following the war, the great majority of the Muslim population left Sofia.For a few decades after the liberation, Sofia experienced large population growth, mainly by migration from other regions of the Principality (Kingdom since 1908) of Bulgaria, and from the still Ottoman Macedonia and Thrace.In 1900, the first electric lightbulb in the city was turned on.WEB,weblink E-novinar.com – Новините на едно място, Bulgarian, Mohailova, Tihomria. In 1900 the first electric lamp lit the streets of Sofia. Novinar, novinar.bg, 12 March 2014, 22 December 2016,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160618064512weblink">weblink 18 June 2016, dead, In the Second Balkan War, Bulgaria was fighting alone practically all of its neighbouring countries. When the Romanian Army entered Vrazhdebna in 1913, then a village {{convert|7|mi|km|spell=in|abbr=off}} from Sofia, now a suburb,Hall (2000), p. 97. this prompted the Tsardom of Bulgaria to capitulate.In 1925, a terrorist act of ultra-leftists failed their attempted assassination of the king but resulted in the destruction of the Saint Nedelya Church and many victims.File:376bombgroup-bulgaria-01-jun-1944.gif|thumb|The allied bombing of Sofia in World War II in 1944]]During the Second World War, Bulgaria declared war on the US and UK on 13 December 1941 and in late 1943 and early 1944 the US and UK Air forces conducted bombings over Sofia. As a consequence of the bombings around 2000 people were killed and thousands of buildings were destroyed or damaged including the Capital Library and thousands of books. In 1944 Sofia and the rest of Bulgaria was occupied by the Soviet Red Army and within days of the Soviet invasion Bulgaria declared war on Nazi Germany.In 1945, the communist Fatherland Front took power and executed several thousand people. The transformations of Bulgaria into the People's Republic of Bulgaria in 1946 and into the Republic of Bulgaria in 1990 marked significant changes in the city's appearance. The population of Sofia expanded rapidly due to migration from rural regions. New residential areas were built in the outskirts of the city, like Druzhba, Mladost and Lyulin.During the Communist Party rule, a number of the city's most emblematic streets and squares were renamed for ideological reasons, with the original names restored after 1989.L. Ivanov. 1991 Sofia street naming proposal. Sofia City Place-names Commission, 22 January 1991.The Georgi Dimitrov Mausoleum, where Dimitrov's body had been preserved in a similar way to the Lenin mausoleum, was demolished in 1999.

Cityscape

File:Cathedral Saint Alexander Nevsky (23997168458).jpg|thumb|A view over central Sofia, with the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in the foreground and VitoshaVitoshaIn Sofia there are 607,473 dwellings and 101,696 buildings. According to modern records, 39,551 dwellings were constructed until 1949, 119,943 between 1950 and 1969, 287,191 between 1970 and 1989, 57,916 in the 90s and 102,623 between 2000 and 2011. Until 1949, 13,114 buildings were constructed and between 10,000–20,000 in each following decade. Sofia's architecture combines a wide range of architectural styles, some of which are aesthetically incompatible. These vary from Christian Roman architecture and medieval Bulgar fortresses to Neoclassicism and prefabricated Socialist-era apartment blocks. A number of ancient Roman, Byzantine and medieval Bulgarian buildings are preserved in the centre of the city. These include the 4th century Rotunda of St. George, the walls of the Serdica fortress and the partially preserved Amphitheatre of Serdica.After the Liberation War, knyaz Alexander Battenberg invited architects from Austria–Hungary to shape the new capital's architectural appearance.BOOK, Collective, Encyclopedia of Figurative Arts in Bulgaria, volume 1, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 1980, Sofia, 209–210, Among the architects invited to work in Bulgaria were Friedrich Grünanger, Adolf Václav Kolář, and Viktor Rumpelmayer, who designed the most important public buildings needed by the newly re-established Bulgarian government, as well as numerous houses for the country's elite. Later, many foreign-educated Bulgarian architects also contributed. The architecture of Sofia's centre is thus a combination of Neo-Baroque, Neo-Rococo, Neo-Renaissance and Neoclassicism, with the Vienna Secession also later playing an important part, but it is most typically Central European.After World War II and the establishment of a Communist government in Bulgaria in 1944, the architectural style was substantially altered. Stalinist Gothic public buildings emerged in the centre, notably the spacious government complex around The Largo, Vasil Levski Stadium, the Cyril and Methodius National Library and others. As the city grew outwards, the then-new neighbourhoods were dominated by many concrete tower blocks, prefabricated panel apartment buildings and examples of Brutalist architecture.After the abolition of Communism in 1989, Sofia witnessed the construction of whole business districts and neighbourhoods, as well as modern skryscraper-like glass-fronted office buildings, but also top-class residential neighbourhoods. The {{convert|126|m|ft|adj=on}} Capital Fort Business Center will be the first skyscraper in Bulgaria, with 36 floors. However, the end of the old administration and centrally planned system also paved the way for chaotic and unrestrained construction, which continues today.{{Clear}}File:Rotunda Sveti Georgi, Sofia.jpg|The 4th century St. George Rotunda (the oldest building) behind some remains of SerdicaFile:Mladost3.jpg|Socialist-era housing in MladostFile:StSophiaChurch-Sofia-10.jpg|Interior of the ancient Saint Sofia ChurchFile:CentralMarketHall-Sofia-C.jpg|The Central Sofia Market HallFile:Sofia Hotel Rodina near Russki pametnik 2012 PD 2.jpg|Hotel Rodina, an example of Brutalist architectureFile:BusinessParkSofia view2.jpg|Business Park SofiaFile:Old house - Sofia - 2.jpg|Neo-Gothic architecture in SofiaFile:Tsar Liberator blvd building - Sofia.jpg|Baroque Revival architectureFile:Bulgaria Bulgaria-0546 - Church of St Nicholas the Miracle-Maker (7390227698).jpg|The Russian ChurchFile:Kvadrat 500.jpg|Kvadrat 500, part of the National Gallery

Green areas

File:Borisova gradina autumn.jpg|thumb|left|Borisova gradinaBorisova gradinaThe city has an extensive green belt. Some of the neighbourhoods constructed after 2000 are densely built up and lack green spaces. There are four principal parks – Borisova gradina in the city centre and the Southern, Western and Northern parks. Several smaller parks, among which the Zaimov Park, City Garden and the Doctors' Garden, are located in central Sofia. The Vitosha Nature Park (the oldest national park in the Balkans)WEB,weblink National parks in the world, journey.bg, 24 May 2008, bg, includes most of Vitosha mountain and covers an area of {{convert|266|km²|0|abbr=out}},WEB,weblink Vitosha Mountain, www.vitoshamount.hit.bg, 29 April 2014, dead,weblink" title="archive.is/20040620025050weblink">weblink 20 June 2004, with roughly half of it lying within the municipality of Sofia. Vitosha Mountain is a popular hiking destination due to its proximity and ease of access via car and public transport. Two functioning cable cars provide year long access from the outskirts of the city. The mountain offers favourable skiing conditions during the winter and during the 70s and the 80s multiple ski slopes of various difficulty were made available. Skiing equipment can be rented and skiing lessons are available. However, due to the bad communication between the private offshore company that runs the resort and Sofia municipality, most of the ski area has been left to decay in the last 10 years so that currently there is only one chairlift and one slope working.{{Clear}}

Government and law

Local government

{{bar box|title=Composition of the City Council|titlebar=#DDD|float =right|left1=Party|right2=61 Seats|width=375px|bars={{bar pixel|GERB|lightblue|30}} {{bar pixel|Reformist Bloc|darkblue|11}}{{bar pixel|Left Bulgaria|#FF0000|7}}{{bar pixel|Patriots for Sofia (IMRO/Attack)|black|5}}{{bar pixel|5 Political Group|#333399|5}}{{bar pixel|Serdika Coalition|pink|3}}Total votes: 375 0102015 electionHTTP://RESULTS.CIK.BG/MINR2015/TUR1/MESTNI/2246.HTMLAUTHOR=WORK=CIK.BG, HTTPS://COUNCIL.SOFIA.BG/COUNCILORS>TITLE=MUNICIPAL COUNCILLORSACCESSDATE=1 NOVEMBER 2018, HTTP://WWW.DNEVNIK.BG/BULGARIA/2015/10/28/2638234_LISTATA_NA_GERB_V_SOFIIA_SE_SRINA_S_63_HIL_GLASA/>TITLE=Листата на ГЕРБ в София се срина с 63 хил. гласа спрямо 2011 г.DATE=, dnevnik.bg, }}Sofia Municipality is identical to Sofia City Province, which is distinct from Sofia Province, which surrounds but does not include the capital itself. Besides the city proper, the 24 districts of Sofia Municipality encompass three other towns and 34 villages.WEB
,weblink
, District Mayors
, Sofia Municipality
, 26 December 2009
, dead
,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20091220184844weblink">weblink
, 20 December 2009
, Districts and settlements have their own governor who is elected in a popular election. The assembly members are chosen every four years. The common head of Sofia Municipality and all the 38 settlements is the mayor of Sofia. The current mayor Yordanka Fandakova is serving a third consecutive term, having won the 2015 election at first round with 238,500 votes,WEB, Fandakova over 60%,weblink 24 Hours, 2 November 2015, or 60.2% of the vote, when Reformist Bloc opponent Vili Lilkov was second with 9.6%; the turnout was 41.25%.WEB,weblink 2015 Election, Central Election Commission, 12 February 2016, Some party leaders claimed that ballots were falsified and called for annulment of the election.WEB, The party of Kuneva overcomes the falsified ballots with machines,weblink Topnews, 2 November 2015, A precedent happened, due to the suspicion, as a preventative action between 300 and 5000 people and counters had been locked inside Arena Armeets against their will for two days,WEB, Escaped from Arena Armeets tell about the nightmare,weblink Vesti, 2 November 2015, following which the director of the Electoral Commission of Sofia resigned at the request of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.WEB, The head of the electoral commission in Sofia is resigning at the request of Borissov,weblink Dnevnik, 2 November 2015, {| class="wikitable sortable"! #! Area! km2! Pop.! Density (/km2)! Extent! MayorSredets, Sofia>Sredets 3 32,423 10,807 City RBKrasno selo >Reformist Bloc>RBVazrazhdane >|GERBOborishte, Sofia>Oborishte 3 31,060 10,353 City RBSerdika >|GERBPoduyane >|GERBSlatina, Sofia>Slatina 13 66,702 5,130 City GERBIzgrev, Sofia>Izgrev 5 30,896 6,179 City GERBLozenets, Sofia>Lozenets 9 53,080 5,897 City GERBTriaditsa, Sofia>Triaditsa 10 63,451 6,345 City GERBKrasna polyana >|GERBIlinden, Sofia>Ilinden 3 33,236 11,078 City GERBNadezhda, Sofia>Nadezhda 19 67,905 3,573 City GERBIskar, Sofia>Iskar 26 63,248 2,432 City/satellites GERBMladost, Sofia>Mladost 17 102,899 6,052 City GERBStudentski grad (Sofia)>Studentski 9 71,961 7,995 City GERBVitosha, Sofia>Vitosha 123 61,467 499 City/satellites RBOvcha kupel >|GERBLyulin, Sofia>Lyulin 22 114,910 5,223 City GERBVrabnitsa, Sofia>Vrabnitsa 44 47,969 1,090 City/satellites GERBNovi Iskar >|GERBKremikovtsi >Reformist Bloc>RBPancharevo >|GERBBankya >|GERBweblink" title="https:/-/web.archive.org/web/20151204102118weblink">weblinkHTTP://SOFIA.BG/PREBROIAVANE+2011/SOFIA-PREBROYAVANE2011.PDFARCHIVEDATE=5 NOVEMBER 2011DATE=5 NOVEMBER 2011, HTTP://RESULTS.CIK.BG/MINR2015/TUR2/MESTNI/2246_02202R.HTML>TITLE=Местни избори :: Местни избори и национален референдум 2015DATE=ACCESSDATE=11 APRIL 2018,

National government

Sofia is the seat of the executive (Council of Ministers), legislative (National Assembly) and judiciary (Supreme Court and Constitutional Court) bodies of Bulgaria, as well as all government agencies, ministries, the National Bank, and the delegation of the European Commission. The President, along with the Council of Ministers, is located on Independence Square, also known as The Largo or The Triangle of Power.WEB,weblink "Триъгълникът на властта" или Ларгото: Как се е променял през годините, The Triangle of Power or The Largo: How It Changed Throughout the Years, Bulgarian National Television, 1 November 2018, One of the three buildings in the architectural ensemble, the former Bulgarian Communist Party headquarters, is due to become the seat of the Parliament. A refurbishment project is due to be completed in mid-2019,WEB,weblink Как ще изглежда новата пленарна зала на българските депутати?, What will the new Parliament hall look like?, Bulgarian National Television, 2 October 2018, 1 November 2018, while the old National Assembly building will become a museum or will only host ceremonial political events.WEB,weblink Народното събрание – музей?, The National Assembly – a Museum?, BTV Novinite, 7 October 2018, 1 November 2018, File:National Assembly of Bulgaria.jpg|The current National Assembly buildingFile:Sofia (15326483440).jpg|The Council of Ministers (left), Presidency (right) and the former National Assembly buildingFile:Independence Square (23997057638).jpg|The edifice of the Presidency also houses the Ministry of Education and Science File:Bulgarian National Bank - panoramio (1).jpg|The Bulgarian National BankUnder Bulgaria's centralised political system, Sofia concentrates much of the political and financial resources of the country. It is the only city in Bulgaria to host three electoral constituencies: the 23rd, 24th and 25th Multi-member Constituencies, which together field 42 mandates in the 240-member National Assembly.WEB,weblink РЕШЕНИЕ № 4149-НС София, 27.01.2017, Resolution No. 4149-NS Sofia, Central Electoral Commission, 27 January 2017, 1 November 2018,

Crime

With a murder rate of 1.8/per 100.000 people ({{As of|2009|lc=y}}) Sofia is a quite safe capital city.WEB,weblink Where are world's deadliest major cities?, Mona, Chalabi, 30 November 2012, theguardian.com, Nevertheless, in the 21st century, crimes, including Bulgarian mafia killings, caused problems in the city,BOOK, David Coulby, Robert Cowen, Crispin Jones, World Yearbook of Education 2000: Education in Times of Transition,weblink 17 January 2013, Routledge, 978-1-136-16603-7, 10, crime rates have exploded in Sofia as well as in Moscow and St Petersburg., where authorities had difficulties convicting the actors,BOOK, Gergana Noutcheva, European Foreign Policy and the Challenges of Balkan Accession: Conditionality, legitimacy and compliance,weblink 26 July 2012, Routledge, 978-1-136-30619-8, 192, The strongest EU demand – structural changes of the judicial system – had to do with the crime rate in Bulgaria and the apparent impotence of the authorities in Sofia to convict any of the murderes in the high-profile mafia killings that shook the country in 2003–2005., which had caused the European Commission to warn the Bulgarian government that the country would not be able to join the EU unless it curbed crimeNEWS, The Economist, Bulgarian Crime – Where killing is a habit, 27 October 2005,weblink 21 October 2015,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150629115824weblink">weblink 29 June 2015, (Bulgaria eventually joined in 2007).NEWS,weblink BBC NEWS – Europe – Romania and Bulgaria join the EU, bbc.co.uk, Many of the most severe crimes are contract killings connected to the organised crime, but these had dropped in recent years after several arrests of gang members.WEB,weblinkweblink 29 December 2016, Bulgaria 2015 Crime and Safety Report, 29 December 2016, Corruption in Bulgaria also affects Sofia's authorities. According to the director of Sofia District Police Directorate, the largest share of the crimes are thefts, making up 62.4% of all crimes in the capital city. Increasing are frauds, drug-related crimes, petty theft and vandalism.Crime Rates in Bulgaria's Sofia on the Rise Novinite According to a survey, almost a third of Sofia's residents say that they never feel safe in the Bulgarian capital, while 20% always feel safe.WEB, The Most Dangerous Cities In Europe,weblink Business Insider Inc., 23 October 2015, {{asof|2015}}, the consumer-reported perceived crime risk on the Numbeo database was "high" for theft and vandalism and "low" for violent crimes; safety while walking during daylight was rated "very high", and "moderate" during the night.WEB,weblink Crime in Sofia. Safety in Sofia., 21 October 2015,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150919075244weblink">weblink 19 September 2015, With 1,600 prisoners, the incarceration rate is above 0.1%;The prison in Sofia {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20160304063024weblink |date=4 March 2016 }}. Gdin however, roughly 70% of all prisoners are part of the Romani minority.WEB,weblink Само 10 000 в затвора, 7000 от тях са цигани, 24chasa.bg, 11 April 2018,

Culture

{{See also|Tourist attractions in Sofia|List of churches in Sofia}}

Arts and entertainment

{{see also|Art galleries in Sofia}}File:National Theatre "Ivan Vazov" (37800948906).jpg|thumb|right|upright=0.85|Ivan Vazov National TheatreIvan Vazov National TheatreSofia concentrates the majority of Bulgaria's leading performing arts troupes. Theatre is by far the most popular form of performing art, and theatrical venues are among the most visited, second only to cinemas. There were 3,162 theatric performances with 570,568 people attending in 2014.{{Sfn|Sofia|2016|page=159}} The Ivan Vazov National Theatre, which performs mainly classical plays and is situated in the very centre of the city, is the most prominent theatre. The National Opera and Ballet of Bulgaria is a combined opera and ballet collective established in 1891. Regular performances began in 1909. Some of Bulgaria's most famous operatic singers, such as Nicolai Ghiaurov and Ghena Dimitrova, made their first appearances on the stage of the National Opera and Ballet.Cinema is the most popular form of entertainment: there were more than 141,000 film shows with a total attendance exceeding 2,700,000 in 2014.{{Sfn|Sofia|2016|page=160}} Over the past two decades, numerous independent cinemas have closed and most shows are in shopping mall multiplexes. Odeon (not part of the Odeon Cinemas chain) shows exclusively European and independent American films, as well as 20th century classics. The Boyana Film studios was at the centre of a once-thriving domestic film industry, which declined significantly after 1990. Nu Image acquired the studios to upgrade them into Nu Boyana Film Studios, used to shoot scenes for a number of action movies like The Expendables 2, (Rambo: Last Blood) and London Has Fallen.WEB,weblink UPDATE: Stallone Returning to NU BOYANA Film Studios in Bulgaria for 'Rambo 5', Novinite, 30 August 2018, 28 October 2018, WEB,weblink London Has Fallen: Company Credits, IMDb.com, 28 October 2018, (File:Museum of Contemporary Art - Sofia Arsenal Front facade, Софийски арсенал - Музей за съвременно изкуство.jpg|thumb|left|The Museum of Contemporary Art)Bulgaria's largest art museums are located in the central areas of the city. Since 2015, the National Art Gallery, the National Gallery for Foreign Art (NGFA) and the Museum of Contemporary Art – Sofia Arsenal were merged to form the National Gallery. Its largest branch is Kvadrat 500, located on the NFGA premises, where some 2,000 works are on display in twenty eight exhibition halls.(source) The collections encompass diverse cultural items, from Ashanti Empire sculptures and Buddhist art to Dutch Golden Age painting, works by Albrecht Dürer, Jean-Baptiste Greuze and Auguste Rodin. The crypt of the Alexander Nevsky cathedral is another branch of the National Gallery. It holds a collection of Eastern Orthodox icons from the 9th to the 19th century.The National History Museum, located in Boyana, it has a vast collection of more than 650,000 historical items dating from Prehistory to the modern era, although only 10,000 of them are permanently displayed due to the lack of space.WEB,weblink Колекции – НИМ, Historymuseum.org, 11 April 2018, Smaller collections of historical items are displayed in the National Archaeological Museum, a former mosque located between the edifices of the National Bank and the Presidency. Two natural sciences museums—the Natural History Museum and Earth and Man—display minerals, animal species (alive and taxidermic) and rare materials. The Ethnographic Museum and the Museum of Military History hold large collections of Bulgarian folk costumes and armaments, respectively. The Polytechnical Museum has more than 1,000 technological items on display. The SS. Cyril and Methodius National Library, the foremost information repository in the country, holds some 1,800,000 books and more than 7,000,000 documents, manuscripts, maps and other items.WEB,weblink Funds and collections, SS. Cyril and Methodius National Library, 28 October 2018, (File:Icons on a street in Sofia.jpg|200px|thumb|right|Icons on a street art counter)The city houses many cultural institutes such as the Russian Cultural Institute, the Polish Cultural Institute, the Hungarian Institute, the Czech and the Slovak Cultural Institutes, the Italian Cultural Institute, Confucius Institute, Institut Français, Goethe Institut, British Council and Instituto Cervantes which regularly organise temporary expositions of visual, sound and literary works by artists from their respective countries.Some of the biggest telecommunications companies, TV and radio stations, newspapers, magazines, and web portals are based in Sofia, including the Bulgarian National Television, bTV and Nova TV. Top-circulation newspapers include 24 Chasa and Trud.The Boyana Church, a UNESCO World Heritage site, contains realistic frescoes, depicting more than 240 human images and a total 89 scenes, were painted. With their vital, humanistic realism they are a Renaissance phenomenon at its culmination phase in the context of the common-European art.BOOK, Bulgarien. Kunstdenkmäler aus vier Jahrtausenden von den Thrakern bis zur Gegenwart.,weblink German, Ecker, Gerhard, DuMont Buchverlag, Köln, 1984, 9783406398667,

Tourism

File:Vitosha boulevard, Sofia.jpg|thumb|upright=1.15|Vitosha BoulevardVitosha BoulevardSofia is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Bulgaria alongside coastal and mountain resorts. Among its highlights is the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, one of the symbols of Bulgaria, constructed in the late 19th century. It occupies an area of {{convert|3,170|m2|0|abbr=off}} and can hold 10,000 people.Vitosha Boulevard, also called Vitoshka, is a pedestrian zone with numerous cafés, restaurants, fashion boutiques, and luxury goods stores. Sofia's geographic location, in the foothills of the weekend retreat Vitosha mountain, further adds to the city's specific atmosphere.

Sports

{{multiple image
| align = left
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| image1 = Levski sofia fans.jpg
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}}A large number of sports clubs are based in the city. During the Communist era, most sports clubs concentrated on all-round sporting development, therefore CSKA, Levski, Lokomotiv and Slavia are dominant not only in football, but in many other team sports as well. Basketball and volleyball also have strong traditions in Sofia. A notable local basketball team is twice European Champions Cup finalist Lukoil Akademik. The Bulgarian Volleyball Federation is the world's second-oldest, and it was an exhibition tournament organised by the BVF in Sofia that convinced the International Olympic Committee to include volleyball as an olympic sport in 1957.WEB
,weblink
, BVA-News
, www.balkanvolleyball.org
, 11 May 2008
,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20080220025206weblink">weblink
, 20 February 2008
, dead
, Tennis is increasingly popular in the city. Currently there are some tenWEB
,weblink
, Sofia municipality â€” Tennis courts
, www.sofia.bg
, 11 May 2008
, {{dead link|date=May 2018 |bot=InternetArchiveBot |fix-attempted=yes }} tennis court complexes within the city including the one founded by former WTA top-five athlete Magdalena Maleeva.WEB,weblink Тенис Клуб Малееви, www.maleevaclub.com, 11 May 2008, Sofia applied to host the Winter Olympic Games in 1992 and in 1994, coming 2nd and 3rd respectively. The city was also an applicant for the 2014 Winter Olympics, but was not selected as candidate. In addition, Sofia hosted Eurobasket 1957 and the 1961 and 1977 Summer Universiades, as well as the 1983 and 1989 winter editions. In 2012, it hosted the FIVB World League finals.File:Garanti Koza Sofia Open - at Arena Armeets.jpg|thumb|right|upright=1.15|Armeets Arena during the ATP Sofia OpenATP Sofia OpenThe city is home to a number of large sports venues, including the 43,000-seat Vasil Levski National Stadium which hosts international football matches, as well as the Georgi Asparuhov Stadium and Lokomotiv Stadium, the main venues for outdoor musical concerts. Armeets Arena holds many indoor events and has a capacity of up to 19,000 people depending on its use. The venue was inaugurated on 30 July 2011, and the first event it hosted was a friendly volleyball match between Bulgaria and Serbia. There are two ice skating complexes â€” the Winter Sports Palace with a capacity of 4,600 and the Slavia Winter Stadium with a capacity of 2,000, both containing two rinks each.WEB,weblink Skate rinks in Sofia, kunki.org, 11 May 2008, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20080417162144weblink">weblink 17 April 2008, A velodrome with 5,000 seats in the city's central park is currently undergoing renovation.WEB,weblink Journey.bg â€” History of the Sofia velodrome, journey.bg, 11 May 2008, There are also various other sports complexes in the city which belong to institutions other than football clubs, such as those of the National Sports Academy, the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, or those of different universities. There are more than fifteen swimming complexes in the city, most of them outdoor.WEB,weblink Swimming pools in Sofia (including Spa centers), tonus.tialoto.bg, 11 May 2008, Nearly all of these were constructed as competition venues and therefore have seating facilities for several hundred people.There are two golf courses just to the east of Sofia â€” in Elin Pelin (St Sofia club) and in Ihtiman (Air Sofia club), and a horseriding club (St George club).Sofia was designated as European Capital of Sport in 2018. The decision was announced in November 2014 by the Evaluation Committee of ACES Europe, on the grounds that "the city is a good example of sport for all, as means to improve healthy lifestyle, integration and education, which are the basis of the initiative."

Demographics

Population growth over the years (in thousands):ImageSize = width:750 height:280PlotArea = left:50 right:20 top:25 bottom:30TimeAxis = orientation:verticalAlignBars = lateColors =
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bar:1700s from:0 till:70
bar:1870 from:0 till:19
bar:1880 from:0 till:20
bar:1887 from:0 till:30
bar:1892 from:0 till:46
bar:1900 from:0 till:68
bar:1905 from:0 till:82
bar:1910 from:0 till:102
bar:1920 from:0 till:154
bar:1926 from:0 till:213
bar:1934 from:0 till:287
bar:1939 from:0 till:401
bar:1946 from:0 till:435
bar:1956 from:0 till:639
bar:1965 from:0 till:802
bar:1975 from:0 till:965
bar:1985 from:0 till:1121
bar:1992 from:0 till:1114
bar:2001 from:0 till:1091
bar:2011 from:0 till:1202
bar:2015 from:0 till:1228
bar:2016 from:0 till:1236
bar:2017 color:cobar2 from:0 till:1238
PlotData=
textcolor:black fontsize:S
bar:1700s at: 70 text: 70,0 shift:(-8,5)
bar:1870 at: 19 text: 19,0 shift:(-8,5)
bar:1880 at: 20 text: 20,5 shift:(-8,5)
bar:1887 at: 30 text: 30,5 shift:(-11,5)
bar:1892 at: 46 text: 46,6 shift:(-11,5)
bar:1900 at: 68 text: 68,0 shift:(-11,5)
bar:1905 at: 82 text: 82,6 shift:(-11,5)
bar:1910 at: 102 text: 102,8 shift:(-14,5)
bar:1920 at: 154 text: 154,0 shift:(-14,5)
bar:1926 at: 213 text: 213,0 shift:(-11,5)
bar:1934 at: 287 text: 287,1 shift:(-14,5)
bar:1939 at: 401 text: 401,0 shift:(-14,5)
bar:1946 at: 435 text: 435,0 shift:(-14,5)
bar:1956 at: 639 text: 639,9 shift:(-14,5)
bar:1965 at: 802 text: 802,4 shift:(-14,5)
bar:1975 at: 965 text: 965,7 shift:(-14,5)
bar:1985 at: 1121 text: 1121,8 shift:(-14,5)
bar:1992 at: 1114 text: 1114,9 shift:(-14,5)
bar:2001 at: 1091 text: 1091,7 shift:(-14,5)
bar:2011 at: 1202 text: 1202,7 shift:(-14,5)
bar:2015 at: 1228 text: 1228,2 shift:(-14,5)
bar:2016 at: 1236 text: 1236,0 shift:(-14,5)
bar:2017 at: 1238 text: 1238,4 shift:(-14,5)
File:13.modelat bay Georgi i studenti ot akademiata.jpg|thumb|right|Students of the National Academy of ArtsNational Academy of ArtsAccording to 2018 data, the city has a population of 1,238,438 and the whole Sofia Capital Municipality of 1,325,429.WEB, Population {{!, National statistical institute |url=http://www.nsi.bg/en/content/6703/population |website=www.nsi.bg}} The first census carried out in February 1878 by the Russian Army recorded a population of 11,694 inhabitants including 6,560 Bulgarians, 3,538 Jews, 839 Turks and 737 Romani.The ratio of women per 1,000 men was 1,102. The birth rate per 1000 people was 12.3 per mille and steadily increasing in the last 5 years, the death rate reaching 12.1 per mille and decreasing. The natural growth rate during 2009 was 0.2 per mille, the first positive growth rate in nearly 20 years. The considerable immigration to the capital from poorer regions of the country, as well as urbanisation, are among the other reasons for the increase in Sofia's population. The infant mortality rate was 5.6 per 1,000, down from 18.9 in 1980. According to the 2011 census, people aged 20–24 years are the most numerous group, numbering 133,170 individuals and accounting for 11% of the total 1,202,761 people. The median age is 38 though. According to the census, 1,056,738 citizens (87.9%) are recorded as ethnic Bulgarians, 17,550 (1.5%) as Romani, 6,149 (0.5%) as Turks, 9,569 (0.8%) belonged to other ethnic groups, 6,993 (0.6%) do not self-identify and 105,762 (8.8%) remained with undeclared affiliation.WEB, Population,weblink nsi.bg, National Statistical Institute of Bulgaria, 2011, 12 February 2016, This statistic should not necessarily be taken at face value due to conflicting data â€“ such as for the predominantly Roma neighbourhood of Fakulteta, which alone may have a population of 45,000.WEB,weblink Ромите са изолирани от бума в заетостта на Балканите, Mediapool.bg, 11 April 2018, According to the 2011 census, throughout the whole municipality some 892,511 people (69.1%) are recorded as Eastern Orthodox Christians, 10,256 (0.8%) as Protestant, 6,767 (0.5%) as Muslim, 5,572 (0.4%) as Roman Catholic, 4,010 (0.3%) belonged to other faith and 372,475 (28.8%) declared themselves irreligious or did not mention any faith. The data says that roughly a third of the total population have already earned a university degree. Of the population aged 15–64 – 265,248 people within the municipality (28.5%) are not economically active, the unemployed being another group of 55,553 people (6%), a large share of whom have completed higher education. The largest group are occupied in trading, followed by those in manufacturing industry. Within the municipality, three quarters, or 965,328 people are recorded as having access to television at home and 836,435 (64.8%) as having internet. Out of 464,865 homes – 432,847 have connection to the communal sanitary sewer, while 2,732 do not have any. Of these 864 do not have any water supply and 688 have other than communal. Over 99.6% of males and females aged over 9 are recorded as literate. The largest group of the population aged over 20 are recorded to live within marriage (46.3%), another 43.8% are recorded as single and another 9.9% as having other type of coexistence/partnership, whereas not married in total are a majority and among people aged up to 40 and over 70. The people with juridical status divorced or widowed are either part of the factual singles or those having another type of partnership, each of the two constitutes by around 10% of the population aged over 20. Only over 1% of the juridically married do not de facto live within marriage. The families that consist of two people are 46.8%, another 34.2% of the families are made up by three people, whereas most of the households (36.5%) consist of only one person.BOOK, 2011 census, Sofia-capital, National Statistical Institute of Bulgaria, Sofia, 37 40 43 68 71 74 99 117 132 190 193 196, 23,weblink 2012, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160215111319weblink">weblink 15 February 2016, Sofia was declared the national capital in 1879. One year later, in 1880, it was the fifth-largest city in the country after Plovdiv, Varna, Ruse and Shumen. Plovdiv remained the most populous Bulgarian town until 1892 when Sofia took the lead. The city is the hot spot of internal migration, the capital population is increasing and is around 17% of the national,WEB,weblink Population and Demographic Processes in 2014 (Final data) – National statistical institute, Nsi.bg, 11 April 2018, thus a small number of people with local roots remain today, they dominate the surrounding rural suburbs and are called Shopi. Shopi speak the Western Bulgarian dialects.

Economy

File:Zx620y348 2628889.png|thumb|upright=1.15|left|Capital Fort, a 126-meter skyscraper on Tsarigradsko shoseTsarigradsko shoseSofia is the economic hub of Bulgaria and home to most major Bulgarian and international companies operating in the country, the National Bank and the Bulgarian Stock Exchange. The city's GDP (PPS) per capita stood at €29,600 ($33,760) in 2015, one of the lowest for a capital region in the EU, but well above other cities in the country.WEB,weblink Regional gross domestic product (PPS per inhabitant at current market prices), by NUTS 3 regions, Eurostat, 12 March 2017, Nominal GDP in 2014 was 32.8 billion leva ($19.1 billion) The average per capita annual income was 6,890 leva ($4,019) in 2014,{{Sfn|Sofia|2016|page=64}} and average monthly wages in June 2018 were $880, the highest nationally.WEB,weblink Average monthly wages and salaries of the employees under labour contract by statistical regions and districts, National Statistical Institute, 28 October 2018, Services dominate the economy, accounting for 85.9% of gross value added.{{Sfn|Sofia|2016|page=72}}In 2015, Forbes listed Sofia as one of the top 10 places in the world to launch a startup business, because of the low corporate tax (10%), the fast internet connection speeds available – one of the fastest in the world, and the presence of several investment funds, including Eleven Startup Accelerator, LAUNCHub and Neveq.MAGAZINE,weblink 10 Top Cities Around The World To Launch Your Startup, Forbes, 29 November 2015, 13 March 2016, Historically, after World War II and the era of industrialisation under socialism, the city and its surrounding areas expanded rapidly and became the most heavily industrialised region of the country.WEB,weblink Kapital Quarterly, Sofiaecho.com, 11 April 2018, The influx of workers from other parts of the country became so intense that a restriction policy was imposed, and residing in the capital was only possible after obtaining Sofianite citizenship. However, after the political changes in 1989, this kind of citizenship was removed. In 2015, Globalization and World Cities Research Institute ranked Sofia as Beta- world city.WEB,weblink Alpha, Beta and Gamma cities (updated 2015) – Spotted by Locals blog, 11 March 2015, Spottedbylocals.com, 11 April 2018, As of 12 September 2018, Sofia is ranked among the 100 financial top centres worldwide.WEB,weblink The Global Financial Centres Index 24, September 2018, Long Finance, Up until 2007, Sofia experienced rapid economic growth. In 2008, apartment prices increased dramatically, with a growth rate of 30%.WEB,weblink Bulgaria Housing Market Favors Buyers but Far Away from Collapse, www.novinite.com, 8 February 2009, In 2009, prices fell by 26%.WEB,weblink Bulgaria Residential Property Prices Down by 26% in Q4 y/y, www.novinite.com, 30 January 2010, In January 2015, Sofia was ranked 30th out of 300 global cities in terms of combined growth in employment and real gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in 2013–2014. This was the highest rank amongst cities in Southeast Europe.WEB,weblink Sofia ranks 30th in GDP/capita, employment growth 2013–2014 global report, www.seenews.com, 22 January 2015, The real GDP (PPP) per capita growth was 2.5% to $33,105 (28,456 euro) and the employment went up by 3.4% to 962,400 in 2013–2014.WEB,weblink Global Metro Monitor An Uncertain recovery, brookings.edu, 22 January 2015,

Transport and infrastructure

With its developing infrastructure and strategic location, Sofia is a major hub for international railway and automobile transport. Three of the ten Pan-European Transport Corridors cross the city: IV, VIII and X.Sofia infrastructure from the official website of the Municipality {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20080528144952weblink |date=28 May 2008 }} {{bg icon}} All major types of transport (except water) are represented in the city.File:21.04.10 Sofia 31005 (6168607167).jpg|thumb|A Siemens DesiroSiemens DesiroThe Central Railway Station is the primary hub for domestic and international rail transport, carried out by Bulgarian State Railways (BDZ), the national rail company headquartered in the city. It is one of the main stations along BDZ Line 1, and a hub of Lines 2, 5 and 13. Line 1 provides a connection to Plovdiv, the second-largest city in Bulgaria, while Line 2 is the longest national railway and connects Sofia and Varna, the largest coastal city. Lines 5 and 13 are shorter and provide connections to Kulata and Bankya, respectively. Overall, Sofia has {{convert|186|km|mi|0|abbr=in}} of railway lines.WEB,weblink Sofia (capital), National Statistical Institute regional statistics, 11 February 2013, 17 October 2013, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20131114022155weblink">weblink 14 November 2013, Sofia Airport handled 6,962,040 passengers in 2018.WEB,weblink 24chasa.bg, Близо 5 млн. пътници обслужени на летище София през 2016 г. – 24chasa.bg, Public transport is well-developed with bus ({{convert|2380|km|0|abbr=on}}),WEB,weblink History of the bus network in Sofia, Sofiatraffic.bg, 30 August 2012, tram ({{convert|308|km|0|abbr=on}})WEB,weblink History of the tramway network in Sofia, Sofiatraffic.bg, 30 August 2012, and trolleybus ({{convert|193|km|0|abbr=on}})WEB,weblink History of the trolleybus network in Sofia, Sofiatraffic.bg, 14 February 1941, 30 August 2012, ) lines running in all areas of the city.WEB,weblink Public transport Sofia â€” official websiteaccessdate=24 May 2008, bg, WEB
,weblink
, Transport Company Bulgaria— official website
, www.dak-transport.com
, 21 August 2009
, bg
, dead
,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20090907131419weblink">weblink
, 7 September 2009
, The Sofia Metro became operational in 1998, and now has two lines and 34 stations.WEB
,weblink
, Българска национална телевизия – Новини (Bulgarian National Television – News)
, www.bnt.bg
, 2 September 2012
, Bulgarian
, dead
,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20120903000901weblink">weblink
, 3 September 2012
, dmy-all
, {{As of|2012}}, the system has {{convert|39|km|0|abbr=on}} of track. Six new stations were opened in 2009, two more in April 2012, and eleven more in August 2012. In 2015 new 7 stations were opened and the subway extends to Sofia Airport on its Northern branch and to Business Park Sofia on its Southern branch. On July 2016 the Vitosha Metro Station was opened on the M2 main line. A third line is currently under construction and is expected to be finished in the second half of 2019.WEB,weblink ОП Транспорт и разширение, Metropolitan.bg, 2 May 2018,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110814060151weblink">weblink 14 August 2011, dead, This line will complete the proposed subway system of three lines with about {{convert|65|km|0|abbr=on}} of lines.WEB
,weblink
, Metropolitan Sofia Web Place
, www.metropolitan.bg
, 24 May 2008
,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20081001173420weblink">weblink
, 1 October 2008
, dead
, dmy-all
, The master plan for the Sofia Metro includes three lines with a total of 63 stations.WEB,weblink General Scheme, Metropolitan.bg, 12 March 2013,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130514222128weblink">weblink 14 May 2013, dead, Marshrutkas provide an efficient and popular means of transport by being faster than public transport, but cheaper than taxis. There are around 13,000 taxi cabs operating in the city.WEB,weblink National Federation of the Taxi Drivers in Bulgaria. Regional Member Sofia, nftvb.com, 24 May 2008, Additionally, all-electric vehicles are available through carsharing company Spark, which is set to increase its fleet to 300 cars by mid-2019.WEB,weblink Shared Electric Vehicles Spark in Sofia Increase by 170, Novinite, 13 March 2019, 30 March 2019, (File:Sofia (37536243674).jpg|thumb|left|Cherni Vrah Boulevard)Private automobile ownership has grown rapidly in the 1990s; more than 1,000,000 cars were registered in Sofia after 2002. The city has the 4th-highest number of automobiles per capita in the European Union at 546.4 vehicles per 1,000 people.Sofia in Figures, p.26 The municipality was known for minor and cosmetic repairs and many streets are in a poor condition. This is noticeably changing in the past years. There are different boulevards and streets in the city with a higher amount of traffic than others. These include Tsarigradsko shose, Cherni Vrah, Bulgaria, Slivnitsa and Todor Aleksandrov boulevards, as well as the city's ring road, where long chains of cars are formed at peak hours and traffic jams occur regularly.WEB,weblink Fines for bad repair work – 'Dnevnik' newspaper, www.dnevnik.bg, 24 May 2008, Consequently, traffic and air pollution problems have become more severe and receive regular criticism in local media. The extension of the underground system is hoped to alleviate the city's immense traffic problems.Sofia has an extensive district heating system based around four combined heat and power (CHP) plants and boiler stations. Virtually the entire city (900,000 households and 5,900 companies) is centrally heated, using residual heat from electricity generation (3,000 MW) and gas- and oil-fired heating furnaces; total heat capacity is 4,640 MW. The heat distribution piping network is {{convert|900|km|0|abbr=on}} long and comprises 14,000 substations and 10,000 heated buildings.

Education and science

File:Faculty of Chemistry Sofia University.jpg|right|thumb|The Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy of Sofia University]]Much of Bulgaria's educational capacity is concentrated in Sofia. There are 221 general, 11 special and seven arts or sports schools, 56 vocational gymnasiums and colleges, and four independent colleges.{{Sfn|Sofia|2016|page=141}} The city also hosts 23 of Bulgaria's 51 higher education establishments and more than 105,000 university students.{{Sfn|Sofia|2016|page=148}}WEB, Register of Higher Schools in Bulgaria,weblink Ministry of Education and Science, 27 October 2018, The American College of Sofia, a private secondary school with roots in a school founded by American missionaries in 1860, is among the oldest American educational institutions outside of the United States.WEB,weblink History, acs.bg, 17 December 2018,weblink 14 June 2018, dead, A number of secondary language schools provide education in a selected foreign language. These include the First English Language School, 91st German Language School, 164th Spanish Language School, and the Lycée Français. These are among the most sought-after secondary schools, along with Vladislav the Grammarian 72nd Secondary School and the High School of Mathematics, which topped the 2018 preference list for high school candidates.WEB,weblink Кои са най-желаните гимназии в София и кои паралелки останаха празни, Which high schools in Sofia are the most preferred, Offnews, 3 July 2018, 27 October 2018, Higher education includes four of the five highest-ranking national universities – Sofia University (SU), the Technical University of Sofia, New Bulgarian University and the Medical University of Sofia.WEB,weblink Bulgarian universities, Webometrics Ranking of World Universities, 17 February 2019, Sofia University was founded in 1888.WEB,weblink Official website of the Sofia university â€” History, Sofia University, 19 October 2013, More than 20,000 studentsWEB,weblink Sofia University aims to attract more foreign students, Akademika, 14 June 2013, 19 October 2013, Bulgarian, study in its 16 faculties.WEB,weblink University Faculties, Sofia University, 19 October 2013, A number of research and cultural departments operate within SU, including its own publishing house, botanical gardens,WEB,weblink Independent structures of SU, Sofia University, 19 October 2013, a space research centre, a quantum electronics department,WEB,weblink Faculty of Physics structure, Sofia University, 19 October 2013, and a Confucius Institute.WEB,weblink University Centres, Sofia University, 19 October 2013, Rakovski Defence and Staff College, the National Academy of Arts, the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy, the University of National and World Economy and the University of Mining and Geology are other major higher education establishments in the city.Other institutions of national significance, such as the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS) and the SS. Cyril and Methodius National Library are located in Sofia. BAS is the centrepiece of scientific research in Bulgaria, employing more than 4,500 scientists in various institutes. Its Institute of Nuclear Research and Nuclear Energy will operate the largest cyclotron in the country.NEWS,weblink Bulgaria's Nuclear Institute: New Cyclotron To Become Operational in 2 Years, Novinite, 27 October 2016, WEB,weblink MSB – Projects, www.msb.bg, All five of Bulgaria's supercomputers and supercomputing clusters are located in Sofia as well. Three of those are operated by the BAS; one by Sofia Tech Park and one by the Faculty of Physics at Sofia University.WEB,weblink Малката изчислителна армия на България, Bulgaria's small computing army, Kapital Daily, Yoan, Zapryanov, 22 June 2018, 15 July 2018, Bulgarian,

International relations

Twin and sister cities

{{More citations needed section|date=October 2015}}{{See also|List of twin towns and sister cities in Bulgaria}}Sofia is twinned with:{{div col|colwidth=22em}} {{div col end}}

Cooperation agreements

In addition Sofia has co-operation agreements with:
  • {{flagicon|HUN}} Budapest, HungaryNEWS,weblink Sofia, Budapest to Cooperate in Culture, Tourism, Economy, 11 May 2018, en-EN,
  • {{flagicon|FRA}} Paris, FranceWEB,weblink Friendship and cooperation agreements, Paris.fr, 12 October 2013, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20131015042144weblink">weblink 15 October 2013,
  • {{flagicon|POR}} Lisbon, PortugalWEB,weblink Acordos de Geminação, de Cooperação e/ou Amizade da Cidade de Lisboa, 23 August 2013, Camara Municipal de Lisboa, Portuguese, Lisbon – Twinning Agreements, Cooperation and Friendship, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20131031202617weblink">weblink 31 October 2013,

Honour

Serdica Peak on Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica is named after Serdica.

See also

{{clear right}}

References

{{Reflist}}

Bibliography

  • WEB, {{harvid, NSI, 2016, |url=http://www.nsi.bg/sites/default/files/files/publications/SOFIA_2015.pdf|title=Sofia in Figures|publisher=National Statistical Institute of Bulgaria|accessdate=26 October 2018|language=Bulgarian, English|date=2016}}

Further reading

  • JOURNAL, Gigova, Irina, The City and the Nation: Sofia's Trajectory from Glory to Rubble in WWII, Journal of Urban History, March 2011, 37, 2, 155–175, 10.1177/0096144210391612, The 110 footnotes provide a guide to the literature on the city
  • WEB,weblink Sofia in Figures 2009, Regional Statistical Office of Sofia, 2009, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20111011205615weblink">weblink 11 October 2011,
  • WEB,weblink Sofia â€” 130 Years Capital, Bulgarian, dead,weblink" title="archive.is/20110128155857weblink">weblink 28 January 2011,

External links

{{Sister project links|voy=Sofia}} {{Cities in Bulgaria}}{{Capitals of Bulgaria}}{{Provinces of Bulgaria}}{{Capital cities of the European Union}}{{List of European capitals by region}}{{European Capital of Sport}}{{Authority control}}

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