Study tours to Sofia
The Bulgarian city of Sofia is not at the top of the "most visited capitals of Europe" list. However, that does not mean that it is not worthy of a study trip. Quite the contrary, in fact.
Bulgaria's largest city, with its 1.4 million inhabitants, is situated at the foot of the Mountain Massif Vitosha. As one of the oldest capitals in Europe, you can date its history back to the 8th century BC, when the Thracian settlers settled there.
Sofia has had a turbulent history under many masters - including the Romans, the Huns, the Ottomans, and the Soviet Union. In 1376, the city was named 'Sofia' (Greek for 'wisdom'). The architecture of Sofia is a mixture of old and new. One of the oldest buildings is the 1,000-year old Boyana Church, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. This is not because of its age, but because of the world-famous frescoes from 1259. They have been restored and are a fantastic sight.
Another brilliant Sofia landmark is the Aleksandar Nevski Cathedral. The church, with its golden roofs and verdigris domes, is the largest of its kind in the Balkans. The mighty edifice was completed in the mid-1920s. Inside the church, there are many vaults, crypts, and bars that are definitely worth seeing.
Sofia's huge cultural venue, the National Palace of Culture, is more modern than its other buildings. Built during communism, it was an attempt to create a place where townspeople could meet and cultivate the culture and public life. The buildings offer cafes, bookstores, bingo halls and much more.
If you want to shop, Vitosha Boulevard, the name of the main street, is where the leading fashion boutiques and luxury stores are. It is said to be one of the world's most exclusive and expensive shopping streets, so you have to have to bring the big if you plan to make a purchase.
You can also opt for something much cheaper and visit a mine bath. Sofia was originally founded by sources of mineral water and mine baths are still one of the city's trademarks. The public mineral baths are kept in Art Nouveau style, mixed with Bulgarian, Byzantine, and Orthodox styles.
There is the city's breathing space, the Borisvoa Gradina Park, created in 1864. This park has, among other things, a lovely rose garden. You can also take a trip into the national football stadium, Vasil Levski Stadium.
While you are out and about, remember to look for the so-called mehanas, or the Bulgarian taverns. with true Bulgarian food, candles on the tables, a log fire, and something good in your glass, you are in for a treat!