Information about Sofia

The Capital City of Sofia
Sofia is the capital and the largest city in Bulgaria with a population of 1 377 531 people. It is located in western Bulgaria at the foot of Vitosha Mountain and it is key administrative, industrial and transport centre in Bulgaria.   

Sofia is located immediately next to the northern slope of Vitosha.

Four mountain passes lead to the city, namely Vladaya, Dragoman, Petrochan and Botevgrad passes. Important roads used to pass through them even in the antiquity, which connected the Adriatic and Central Europe to Black Sea and Aegean Sea and the Near East.  Owing to its central location on the Balkan Peninsula, Sofia used to be a big and flourishing city in the past. Several shallow rivers cross Sofia, the biggest of which are the Vladaya River and Perlovska. The Iskur River flows by the eastern districts, but it is not a big and deep river in this part. Sofia has been famous since antiquity for its numerous mineral and thermal springs.

In the place of the former neolith village in 8th century BC, near the thermal springs, an ancient Thracian town was founded which was later called Serdika by the Romans, who conquered it.   The town entered the territory of the Bulgarian state in 809 and it received the Slavic name of Sredets. From the end of 14th century to the 70s of 19th century, the city, together with the Bulgaria state, was under the Ottoman rule. The present name of Sofia dates from the beginning of 15th century when the city was named after the most important church, the ancient Saint Sofia. After the liberation from Ottoman yoke and the rebirth of the Bulgarian state, Sofia was chosen as the capital in 1879. As a result, the number of its population rapidly increased in comparison to other Bulgarian towns, mainly due to the internal migration.

In 1929 in Sofia an assassination attempt was committed in Sveta Nedelya Church, which was recognized as the graves terrorist act in the history of Bulgaria. 

The transport system of the capital is well-developed and it is an important part of the national transport system. There are outlooks for the development of motor transport due to the fact that three transport corridors 4, 8 and 10 cross Sofia. The main entrance-exit thoroughfares are in the direction of south-east (Trakia Motorway), east-north-east (Hemus and Sub-Balkan Motorway), south-west (the direction of Pernik-Blagoevgrad-Kulata) and north-west (direction Slivnitsa-Kalotina). The transit traffic is re-directed to the so-called ring road. The central part of the city is busy in the rush hours due to the narrow streets and the unsolved parking problems.

All powers of the state, such as legislative, executive and judicial power, are concentrated in Sofia.  The buildings of the National Assembly, the President’s Residence, the Council of Ministers and all Ministries are located in the centre of the capital. All supreme institutions of the judicial power are also located in Sofia. 

Brief information about Sofia:
Region: Sofia
Population: 1,377,531 people
Transport:  land, air
Main religion: Orthodox Christian
Airport: 1 km
Altitude: 550 m
Postal Code: 1000
Telephone code: 02