Today, Sofia’s European feel, abundance of restaurants
and cafes, over 250 historic landmarks and
architectural monuments, a great deal of cultural
places of interest for visitors, as well as the easy
transport system, are ranking it as the major point of
interest in Bulgaria.
With a population of 1.2 million, Sofia is the
largest city in Bulgaria and the country's chief
cultural, academic, political, and economic center.
Sofia is undergoing a renaissance of its architecture,
location and look. Many streets, buildings, parks, and
whole neighborhoods preserve an attractive
architectural style from the turn of the 20th century,
but also there’s the sight of 100,000-plus populated
suburbs, legacy of the post WWII architecture.
Sofia is the second oldest city in Europe, founded
7,000 years ago by the Thracian tribe Serdi. Later,
Sofia was the capital of the Roman province of Inner
Dacia in 29 A.D. Through the ages, the city played
role as an important trading center in the Byzantine
and Bulgarian Empires. Under Ottoman rule, Sofia was
the center of Rumelia province. Sofia became the
capital of restored Bulgaria in 1879, with a
population of only 20,000.
The current name comes from the basilica of St. Sofia
and means "wisdom" in Greek. Sofia's motto is "Growing Without Aging" ("Расте, но не старее").