34 Facts About Sofia


From 1530 to 1836, Sofia was the regional capital of Rumelia Eyalet, the Ottoman Empire's key province in Europe.

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Sofia was selected as the capital of the Third Bulgarian State in the next year, ushering a period of intense demographic and economic growth.

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Sofia has been named one of the top ten best places for start-up businesses in the world, especially in information technologies.

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In 1979, the Boyana Church in Sofia was included onto the World Heritage List, and it was deconstructed in the Second Bulgarian Empire, holding much patrimonial symbolism to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.

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Population of Sofia declined from 70, 000 in the late 18th century, through 19, 000 in 1870, to 11, 649 in 1878, after which it began increasing.

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The metropolitan area of Sofia is based upon one hour of car travel time, stretches internationally and includes Dimitrovgrad in Serbia.

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Name Sofia comes from the Saint Sofia Church, as opposed to the prevailing Slavic origin of Bulgarian cities and towns.

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Sofia is the second highest capital of the European Union and the third highest capital of Europe (after Andorra la Vella and Madrid).

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Sofia has a humid continental climate with an average annual temperature of 10.

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Springs and autumns in Sofia are usually short with variable and dynamic weather.

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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.

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Sofia considered making Serdica the capital of the Byzantine Empire instead of Constantinople.

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The Ottoman commander left the following description of the city garrison: "Inside the fortress [Sofia] there is a large and elite army, its soldiers are heavily built, moustached and look war-hardened, but are used to consume wine and rakia—in a word, jolly fellows.

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In 1530 Sofia became the capital of the Ottoman province of Rumelia for about three centuries.

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Sofia entered a period of economic and political decline in the 17th century, accelerated during the period of anarchy in the Ottoman Balkans of the late 18th and early 19th century, when local Ottoman warlords ravaged the countryside.

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Sofia was relieved from Ottoman rule by Russian forces under Gen.

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Thus, Sofia became the first capital on the world to be overflown by enemy aircraft.

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The population of Sofia expanded rapidly due to migration from rural regions.

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Sofia's architecture combines a wide range of architectural styles, some of which are aesthetically incompatible.

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The architecture of Sofia's centre is thus a combination of Neo-Baroque, Neo-Rococo, Neo-Renaissance and Neoclassicism, with the Vienna Secession later playing an important part, but it is most typically Central European.

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Besides the city proper, the 24 districts of Sofia Municipality encompass three other towns and 34 villages.

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Sofia is the seat of the executive, 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.

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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.

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Sofia is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Bulgaria alongside coastal and mountain resorts.

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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.

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Sofia applied to host the Winter Olympic Games in 1992 and in 1994, coming second and third respectively.

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Sofia was designated as European Capital of Sport in 2018.

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Sofia is ranked as Beta- global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network.

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In 2015, Sofia was ranked 30th out of 300 global cities in terms of combined growth in employment and real gross domestic product per capita, the highest one amongst cities in Southeast Europe.

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Sofia is a regional IT hub, ranking second among the Top 10 fastest growing tech centers in Europe in terms of annual growth of active members.

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Multinationals with major research, development, innovation and engineering centers in Sofia include the second largest global IT center of Coca-Cola, Ubisoft, Hewlett-Packard, VMware, Robert Bosch GmbH, Financial Times, Experian, etc.

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The Sofia Metro became operational in 1998, and now has four lines and 47 stations.

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The master plan for the Sofia Metro includes three lines with a total of 63 stations.

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Sofia has an extensive district heating system that draws on four combined heat and power plants and boiler stations.

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