European capitals like London and Paris are established in one's capacity of cities by the Roman Empire. Sofia had existed as a city thousands of years before emperor Mark Ulpi Trayan issued an emperor's deed that proclaimed and officially announced the Tracian city Serdon for Minicipium. Some of the factors that determine the fate of Sofia as a city are the hot-water mineral spring, diagonal road that connected Europe with Asia, fertile land, and the appropriate climate. Every city has its own history and its local peculiarities that make it special and are constant during the centuries. Even today trans-European routes passing trough Sofia connect Western Europe with Asia and the Baltic Sea with the Middle East. The mineral springs located behind the Central Universal Store of the city which are successors of the Roman Baths are still used by people. The Northwestern part of the city centre is a City centre for more than 3000 years. Even now the city streets are exactly tracing the ancient Roman city streets, in spite of the several meters layer of human artifacts standing between them. Sofia now is a capital of the Bulgarian state, but it has always been an administrative or cultural centre of its surrounding territory. It was centre of "Serdica", a province of the Tracian kingdom, capital city of the Roman province Inner (the Mediterranean) Dacia, centre of the First Bulgarian Kingdom region - "Sredecki komitat", it was bishopric during the Byzantine slavery and centre of the Ottoman empire region "Sofia sandjyak" and main city of the "Rumeli" region that comprise the Balkan peninsula. Sofia has become a Christian centre in the time of Constantine the Great. Today the "Sofia Mala Sveta Gora" is a complex of still functioning monasteries. Sofia is now an economical and cultural centre of Bulgaria and during the Second Bulgarian kingdom merchants from Venice, Dubrovnik and the East had offices in the city. Some of the most typical habits for the capital - drinking coffee and smoking tobacco - have been part of the capital daily life since the Ottoman slavery. The image of city has changed during the centuries, its 10 meters wide streets, build by the Romans have become narrow and swinging like river medieval streets. After the liberation of Ottoman slavery kings and princes of Bulgaria Austro-Hungarian aristocrats erected buildings and planed the capital according to their notion of beauty and order. During the Bulgarian socialistic period the monumental buildings placed now in the centre of the city over the ancient Roman city were built. Buildings like CUM, hotel Sheraton, the residence of the Council of Ministers were constructed and they still prevail the "heart of the city" area.
This site is co - financed by the Culture programme
of Sofia municipality and it is developed
with the kind assistance of МЕ „Old Sofia”.
© Ulpia Serdica 2010