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The city, where I live

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Jan Jan | 11:29 UK time, Wednesday, 9 June 2010

HI, everybody! Today I invite you to take a walk around the city, where I live now. Sofia is the capital and the largest city of Bulgaria. Its population is about 2 million people. It is located at the foot of extinct volcano Vitosha. Here were founded the structures, dated the 4th century BC. The present motto of Sofia is «Ever growing, never old! »

Yesterday I decided to pretend a tourist! I took my photo camera and went sightseeing. I'd say it was quite unusual pastime, taking into account, that I've viewed local attractions several times. Unexpectedly, I liked it very much! Now you have an opportunity to get an idea of Sofia without leaving your place. Take a comfortable position and enjoy!

First of all take a look at the map. There are a lot of tourist attractions, but I'm going to show you the most remarkable. You can see the red line, which marked the bus rout. And following the arrow sign, we begin our tour on the square, where Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is situated.


The Cathedral is dedicated to Russian Saint, Prince Alexander Nevsky. It was built between 1904 and 1912 in honor to the Russian soldiers who died during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878, as a result of which Bulgaria was liberated from Ottoman rule. St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is the second biggest orthodox cathedral in the Balcan States. It accommodates about five thousand persons.


Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

At the right side of the Cathedral you can see long building on the corner of the street. It's the Sofia University of St. Kliment Ohridski.


The Sofia University of St. Kliment Ohridski

The University is often regarded as the most prestigious university of Bulgaria, founded in 1888. It has 16 faculties and three departments, where 14,000 students receive their education annually.

Yesterday it was very hot day and I was extremely happy, when I'd happened on a salutary yogurt bar. There you can choose any fresh frozen barriers and cut fruits you like and then they are mixed with yogurt or without it. I chose the one with raspberries and strawberries! It was cool pleasure! Very delicious!


To the next destination my way passed through one of many green oasis of Sofia, where I found this stone car. It's so amusing, isn't it?


At the left side of the Cathedral, down on Tzar Osvoboditel boulevard you will find Russian Orthodox Church, officially known as Church of St. Nicholas the Miracle-Make.


Russian Church

The Church was built after the liberation of Bulgaria by Russia from the Ottoman Empire and was named, as was the tradition for diplomatic churches, for the patron saint of the Emperor who ruled Russia at the time, Nicholas II of Russia.

On the other side of the street I found the egg of the happiness. On the plate was written «Touch that egg and make a wish!». Guess, what I did within the next few minutes!


I continued to walk down on the street to The former royal palace at Battenberg Square. Now it's called the National Art Gallery. I'm fond of details and I couldn't resist taking a picture of these pretty notes on the roof of the building.


The National Art Gallery

Finally here we are, in the heart of the city! It is marked with the monument of Sofia.


The monument of Sofia

These next building are the most important in Bulgaria, because here the President and the Government sit.


The Former Party House

The President's Office

The Trial Chamber

Holy Sunday Church is my favorite one in Sofia, my place of meditation. When I'm in, I feel that I can communicate with my family as if I am next to them.


Holy Sunday Church

We won't follow the red line anymore and turn to Vitosha boulevard, the pedestrian street of Sofia, which is in the middle of the map.


Vitosha boulevard, the pedestrian street of Sofia

We make our way to the main place which used by locals and tourists to relax and take a gulp of fresh air during a day. It's the neighborhood of the National Place of Culture, the central concert and event hall.


National Place of Culture

Yang people choose this place for riding skateboard and cycling. As for me, I like reading on the grass, sitting in the shade. Moreover here you can taste the best pizza and ice cream in the city!



It was late afternoon, when I decided to have a dinner at last. My way to the restaurant ran across Sloveykov Square, where the Book market is located. I'm its frequent customer. Here you can find classical and modern best sellers in different languages and various educational books as well.


Sloveykov Square

And I couldn't pass by this lovely shop with wooden figures and toys.


The end of my walk was jammy!


That's all for now! I hope, I could show you around Sofia and our photo tour was enjoyable. .

Friendly greetings,



  • Comment number 1.

    Hi Jan
    One more time I have to confess, your blog is amazing, I really enjoy it a lot, the way you show the city, the photos, the local, the attractions are beautiful!
    From the beggining, at the map, until the end, there are so many atractions that I think this place is very special.

    I'd like to say thank you for a excellent blog

    Rogerio (Sao Paulo-Brazil)

  • Comment number 2.

    Jan! Your made my day! This blog is the most verstaile. The Bulgaria is not a well known country but you make it special for all of us. Now I too wanted to visit Sofia one day. I like to be ever growing and never old :). I've noticed in your blog that you talked about meditations and we can see your interest in travelling too. You've an itchy feet, isn't it? Can you please tell us what's your way of learning English. We'd love to hear your tale of hardwork. What kind of books do you like? and which author? Let me thank you for the beautiful blog.
    Best of luck for the next entry

  • Comment number 3.

    According to the pictures you have shown us, Bulgaria is quite simmilar to Russia, which is probably good as it is easier to adapt for you in new country. I like the picture of Vitosha boulevard because of the mountains. It looks like Bulgaria have both great cultural heritage and stunning scenery. I wish I would be there eating an ice cream with raspberry.

    Best wishes.

  • Comment number 4.

    Hi Jan, nice pictures, interesting city I would like to visit it. Of course your photo tour was enjoyable to me. Is good to know new places and their history, well done and thanks for it...


  • Comment number 5.

    Your blog is interesting, I really enjoy it. The Sofia capital of Bulgaria is a attractive place with many historic buildings. I have never been in Bulgaria, however, through your blog I could imagine how beautiful it is and hopefully my dream to be there is come true.


  • Comment number 6.

    Hi Jan,
    nice to learn more about your City. I like to view the photos of different biggest Cities, in this case of the City Sofia. Have you ever been inside the National Art Gallery? How much collection of the famous names belongs them? And, are there in the Sofia a lots of private Art Galleries?
    Thanks, Jan. (by the way, Jan means from Kazakh My soul :)

  • Comment number 7.

    Hi Dear friends!

    One more time many thanks for your interesting comments! You are the best, guys!

    To Rogerio: I'm glad, you like Sofia city! You've told me that Varna with its beaches is rather like Brazil. Is Sofia looking like any of cities in your country?

    To Mahjabeen: You are right! I can't stay for a long time in one place. I'm fond of traveling and discovering new places for myself. Actually, the process of learning language is also discovering something new. You know, different nation, culture, history and etc. And thank you for your other questions. I promise to answer them in one of my next blog! Follow it!

    To BBC_fan: The best thing in Sofia for me is amazing view of Vitosha mountain every day! There is no mountains in Moscow and this is really different detail for me in Sofia! But I wouldn’t say, that Bulgaria is similar to Russia. It’s true than after the Russo-Turkish War lots of building by Russian architects appear in Sofia. But as we know, Bulgaria was occupied during 500 years by the Ottoman Empire. And as you can guess, It has a huge affect on Bulgaria. However, you have to see the difference with your own eyes! Welcome to Bulgaria and Russia some day!

    To Alex: Thanks and you are always welcome to Sofia!

    Tienhoa: Keep dreaming and you’ll visit it some day!

    To Emat: Hi! Interesting remark about my name! Answering your questions, I haven’t been in the Nation Art Gallery. As far as I know it contains only Bulgarian peaces of art. And I must confess, I’m not true fan of it. In other worlds, I don’t understand it. The question about private art galleries is quite provocative. Unfortunately, Bulgaria is quite poor county and its people prefer prompt profit to capital investment. Honestly, I haven’t heard about famous private collections in Bulgaria! And you?

    Best wishes,


  • Comment number 8.

    dear jan ...u are great because i am thinking about sofia university for the seek of study but after your tour i have decided to go for study in sofia .....i have never seen before the beauty of bulbaria .........thanks

  • Comment number 9.


    By these ten days, I've simply observed what you can do. From the very outset, you've appeared with a different taste which has made me speechless. Honestly speaking, yours is the most lively blog, I've ever read. Your writing seems that you're having a chat, face to face. In addition, the topics of the blog till you delivered are fantastic. Specifically I thank for the blog on 'ART'. It's really an eye-opener. And, how nicely you've introduced your city to all !!! Great.

    Look forward to more mindblowing something.


    Ashish, Bangladesh.

  • Comment number 10.

    Hi Jan,

    I've gone through this blog time and again as I like your writing style and total presentation of targeted topics. It's really imposing. But, I'm a bit surprised about your visit around the city. As far I know Vasil Levski (Vasil Ivanov Kunchev) is one of the national heroes in Bulgaria. Isn't there anything in the capital city that commemorates him?

    Would you please share it in any writing?


    Ashish, Bangladesh.

  • Comment number 11.

    To ali_sha: Hi! I’m glad that my blog was useful for you! Moreover here in Sofia students live in Student town. It’s amazing place for young people, where party lasts 24 hour nonstop! When you’ll be here, just let me know and I’ll show you around with pleasure!

    To Ashish: Hi! Thank you for such an interesting question! Of course, Vasil Levsi is one of the most famous person, connecting with Bulgaria. There are a few places, which have been named in Vesil Levski honor. First of all, there is Monument at Levski's place of execution in Sofia. It is under reconstruction now. One of the main boulevards is called in his honor, Vasil Levski Boulevard. One of the Bulgarian football team bears the name of Levski. Bulgaria’s national stadium was named Vasil Levski National Stadium. Here is the Vasil Levski National Sports Academy. Not only in Sofia, but all over Bulgaria the memorable monuments can be found. Even all over the World!

    Best wishes,


  • Comment number 12.

    Dear Jan,
    This is the first time I have joined the BBC - Learning English Blog and I think that I can get many, many of useful information about English in general and other aspects of life. I was impressed on reading the title named “The city, where I live”, by Jan. Your blog is full of emotions; with fantastic photos ....I’m living in a city which is 60 kilometers far away from my hometown. Hanoi, an attractive, energetic and crowed city, also, it’s the capital of Vietnam. It’s really different from my town. Your blog makes me remember….Suddenly, I want to absorb in the peaceful atmosphere, the perfume of milk flower…I want to come back my house… Especially, I extremely want to visit your city ^^
    Thanks so much for making me loving my town, my country more!
    All good things for all of you!

  • Comment number 13.

    Hi Anh!

    I'm glad about you! I think it's always great to return home for some time! Have a good time there!

    Best wishes,




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