Sunlight Travel Logo
Sunlight Travel - Vacations in Bulgaria
Licensed Bulgarian Tour Operator


Early booking - Summer 2011 in Bulgaria
Early booking winter 2011-2010

NEW! NEW! Sofia Tour

NEW! NEW! Sofia Tour with visiting ancient museum under the basilica “St. Sofia”

Location: Sofia is the capital and largest city of  Bulgaria. It is located in western Bulgaria, at the foot of the mountain massif Vitosha, and is the administrative, cultural, economic, and educational centre of the country. Sofia is the city where more than 250 cultural and historical monuments from different ages blend harmoniously with modern appearance.

History: Sofia is a city with a 7000-year history, which makes it a unique phenomenon, dating back to most distant antiquity of Europe.
During the 8th century before the new era an ancient Thracian settlement,  called Serdica was established. The first name of Sofia actually comes from it. It was given to the city by the Thracian tribe- Serdi. The reason why this land became a settlement is the presence of warm mineral waters, running through Sofia Plain at that time. Even nowadays healing water is running down from drinking fountains in the centre of the capital city.
At the time of the Roman Empire, the city of Sofia was the centre of the Roman Quarter, called Lower Dacia. Ancient towers, fortress walls, administrative and religious buildings were built then. Then the capital city was named Sredets, which means "middle, centre", because its location is considered to be the Balkan Peninsula centre. Later on, Bulgarian lands fell under Byzantine rule and the city was renamed Triyaditsa, meaning "between mountains". After the liberation of Bulgaria from Byzantine rule the capital city name was Sophia.
The St. Sophia Church, which stands to this day next to the St. Alexander Nevski Memorial Cathedral, gave the city its present-day name.

Sightseeing: The city is the cultural centre of Bulgaria and has many museums, galleries , theatres and other cultural and historical sights that worth to be visited. Some of them are Alexander Nevski Cathedral- the biggest one in Bulgaria and one of the most spectacular building in Sofia, National Gallery for Foreign Art,St .Sofia Church-the namesake of the city, Council of Ministers,  Presidency,St. George Rotunda, National Archaeological Museum, Ethnographic Museum, National Gallery, Natural History Museum,  Russian Church St. Nikolay , National Parliament, National Palace of Culture, Lovers bridge,St. Nedelya - old metropolitan church and a real piece of art "Ivan Vazov"  National Theatre, built in a German neoclassicism architecture style. Founded in 1904 and completed in 1907,the hall is flanked by two balconies and there are 850 seats. The theatre employs some of the countries best actors and stage directors, enjoying popularity, not only in Bulgaria, but all over Europe.

Program includes: visiting the most famous sightseeing ancient museum under the basilica “St. Sofia”, Alexander Nevski Cathedral , The Parliament and Tsar Liberator Monument, The Russian Church and the Palace, The National Theater Ivan Vazov, The Central Bank of Bulgaria and the President House, The medieval St. Petka of the Saddlers church constructed at the place of a former Roman religious building,  St. George Rotunda, The Statue of Sofia, St. Nedelya Chuch, Vitosha Boulevard Shopping, The National Palace of Culture and Lovers bridge.

The ancient museum under the basilica “St. Sofia”


The basilica “St. Sofia” is situated in the capital of Bulgaria- Sofia, close to church-monument “St. Alexander Nevski”. This is one of the oldest churches in Sofia and its history is closely linked to that of the city. Today, the church is considered as one of the symbols of Sofia.

The church is built in the 6th century during the rule of the Byzantine Emperor – Justinian /527- 565 year/ above the bases of 4 other older Christian churches from the 4th century.

The ancient museum complex under the basilica "Saint Sofia" shows the unique archeological-cultural heritage of ancient Serdika. In the underground archeological floor of the basilica "Saint Sofia" is situated in one place the 18th century history

The church “St.Sofia” is built on the place of the ancient necropolis of Serdika /the ancient name ot the city of Sofia/ and other older churches from 4th century and dozens of ancient tombs. During archeological research are found fragments of the mosaics of one of the older churches below the basilica “St.Sofia”. It is considered that the building’s capacity is until 5 000 people. During the period between the 11th and 14th century the church was a metropolitan one and its glory was so enormous, that in the 14th century the church gave the name of the city – Sofia.

During the 16th century the basilica was rebuilt in a mosque and its murals and carvings destroyed. According to one legend from the 16th century, in front of the basilica the goldsmith George was burned alive, because he refused to accept the Islam. The basilica was damaged from the big earthquakes in the 19th century. The Muslims considered this as a bad omen and abandoned the basilica. The basilica was empty, until the Liberation of Bulgaria when it was used as a warehouse.

The building is renovated several times and from the beginning of the 20th century archeologists are discovering more and more findings. At the moment, the design of the basilica is almost similar to the one from ancient 6th century.

Near the basilica in 1873 year was hanged the famous Bulgarian revolutionist Vasil Levski /1837 – 1873 years/. Behind the basilica is situated the grave of one of the biggest Bulgarian writers – Ivan Vazov /1850 – 1921 year/.




Gallery


HEAD OFFICE "KISHINEV"

1407 Sofia
Lozenets qtr
10, Kishinev Str.

Tel./fax: 00359 2 862 1699,
00359 2 862 1799
Mobile: 00359 882 429 916
BRANCH OFFICE "YAKUBITSA"

1164 Sofia
Lozenets qtr
25A, Yakubitsa Str.

Tel./fax: 00359 2 868 8812
Mobile: 00359 882 429 279