This week`s destination in Focus is Sofia, previously known as well as Serdika, Sredets, and Triaditsa.
The capital of the Republic of Bulgaria is a unique city, growing but not aging, and having more than 7000 years of history.
Sofia is one of the oldest European capitals. The history of Sofia can be traced back to Neolithic times. In the 7th century BC, the Serdi came to the edge of the Vitosha Mountains in the west of present-day Bulgaria. They settled here and founded Serdika. For almost 400 years the Thracians determined the history of the Balkans, then the Romans came, conquered Thrace and developed the city into a Roman provincial capital. The Roman and Thracian traces have buried under modern buildings, e.g. the old town hall is located under the Sheraton Hotel, under the National Historical Museum, there are remains of an early Christian basilica. The usual Roman thermal baths can be visited under the Rila Hotel.
Today Sofia is the main administrative, industrial and transport center of the country.
It is the 15th largest city in the European Union, with a population of 1 307 376 (15.06.2016). Sofia is the economic hub of Bulgaria and home to major Bulgarian and international companies, operating in the country, amongst them the National Bank and the Bulgarian Stock Exchange. In 2015, Forbes listed Sofia as one of the top 10 places in the world to launch a startup business.
- Sofia was declared the capital of Bulgaria 131 years ago.
- Three international transport corridors intersect in Sofia.
- Sofia was lit by electricity on 1 November 1900.
- There are 49 mineral springs on the territory of Sofia.
- The oldest gold treasure of the world, founded in Bulgaria with over 3000 gold objects over 6000 years, can be seen in Sofia.