>Travel Pictures


Around Sofia

As part of the weekend, we had a 4-hour city tour. Because of the cold weather, however, our times outside were limited. I would like to return during the summer or spring to do another, more photo-intense visit, but for now these will have to do!

Alexandar Nevsky Cathedral

One of our stops was at the famous Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. There is a wealth of information available on the net about it (such as here), but suffice to say it is a large, sprawling cathedral that looks even more impressive from the side than from the front. As we entered we were informed that photographs were not allowed, but when we came out, I found that, somehow, my camera had malfunctioned - as it hung around my neck, it had mysteriously been taking pictures inside. Oh no! Oh well!

The most impressive sight to me was the huge yellow light pouring in the side windows. It gave the entire inside area a 'glow' that filled up the empty spaces. The Icons and frescos were impressive, as was the fragment of bone on display.

the Rotunda of St.George

This tiny church is considered to be the oldest iin Sofia. It is dated from the 4th century, but most historians seem to agree that it is built atop a much older Roman shrine. There are Roman ruins underneath and in back of the building, which seems to lend pretty strong support to this theory! Nowadays, however, the entire complex is surrounded by the Sheraton hotel.

Presidential Palace

Outside the Sheraton walls is the office of the President of Bulgaria (that's what all that Cyrillic writing says - Republika Bulgaria Prezident). Every hour there is a semi-impressive changing of the guard ceremony. The guards gooestep most of the way out and back, but once close to the end, they relax and just walk!

Lion Bridge

I suppose it makes sense that the Lion Bridge would have, well, lions on it. This was right near our hotel, so I figured I needed to include them here. They make a handy stop for the birds!

Statues, buildings, and flags

In front of the government building is a stretch of flags reaching down the so-called 'yellow-brick road' to an enormous statue. I don't recall what the statue signifies, but I do remember that it was originally rejected by the city because of the "pagan symbolism" in it, including the laurel wreath and owl on either of the lady's arms!

Cold Weather

But the most pervasive sight around town was people bundled up against the cold. Even the buildings looked chilly. We were told that at various times during the Communist era, the buildings would get a quick spritz of paint whenever a foreign dignitary was in town - but only on the front facade and over everything including doors and windows! We saw plenty of places that looked like they could use another coat, as the paint is peeling liberally from their front.

Of course, if things got too bad, you could always get your picture taken with a couple of guinea pigs - or buy a picture, whichever struck your fancy!

Main Bulgaria Page - Mathcounts 05 -  Around Town - Cultural Performance - Belgrade Team

To the Stutz's Welcome Page