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Sofia - Things To See - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Travelling

Sofia is the capital of Bulgaria however Sofia is no grand metropolis. It’s a largely modern, youthful city, with a scattering of onion-domed churches, Ottoman mosques and stubborn Red Army monuments that lend an eclectic, exotic feel

Some of the things that are worth seeing are listed below:

Statue of Sofia, this was displayed on the occasion of the new millennium and was the work of Sculptor Georgi Chapkanov. Since 2000 the statue has been on one of the key sites in the capital city, thus adding a finishing touch to the group of buildings in the downtown area. It figures a young woman with a crown in the form of a fortress, holding a laurel wreath in her right hand, and an owlet, the symbol of wisdom, in her left hand.

The Memorial Temple “St. Alexander Nevsky” was designed by Russian architect Alexander Pomerantsev, the church was built in the neo-Byzantine style favoured in Russia at the time and is adorned with mosaics and gold-laden domes. The cavernous, incense-scented interior is decorated with naturalistic, though now rather faded, murals, pendulous chandeliers and elaborate onyx and alabaster thrones. Visitors are welcome and there are daily services where you can hear evocative Orthodox chants and prayers.

The Mineral Baths which are also known as the Turkish Baths were completed in 1913. Its elegant striped facade and ceramic decorations recall the designs of the medieval churches in Nesebâr on Bulgaria' s Black Sea coast. To get here, take public transport or a taxi from the city centre.

You can get to the heart of Bulgarian art by browsing the National Gallery Quadrat 500. This is where you can admire the country’s largest collection of medieval paintings as well as impressive examples of contemporary art. Other art venues worth seeing include the Sofia City Art Gallery and the Forum Art Gallery, both of which host rotating exhibitions of Bulgarian and international art.

Lovers of opera and ballet can indulge in the classics at the Sofia Opera and Ballet. You can’t go wrong with its range of world-class performances and with ticket prices starting from only 10 euros it is a bargain. Fans of classical music can also opt for a night out at the excellent Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra.

Planning your next shopping trip? You’re more likely to think about a weekend in Milan or New York than in Bulgaria. While it’s true that Sofia is no big fashion capital, it has its fair share of small boutiques and designer clothing that come at more affordable prices than in Western Europe. But it’s safe to say that shopping in Sofia stretches far beyond the famous brands.

Visitors can take home authentic pieces of the country. Everything from organic rose oil cosmetics, Bulgaria is the world’s leading producer of rose oil, Bulgarian raspberry wines, white cheese and spices. You’ll find a good selection of products at Rose of Bulgaria and Vino Orenda stores. The best place to stock up on fresh and cheap local foods is the Ladies’ Market, but avoid visiting after dark and beware of pickpockets.

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