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Sofia City
Sofia is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Bulgaria, with 1.4 million people living in the
Capital Municipality. 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.I wish I had been born
in this city however I’m born in Dobrich.
One of the oldest cities in Europe, the history of Serdica-Sredets-Sofia can be traced back some 7000
years; prehistoric settlements were excavated in the centre of the present city, near the royal palace, as
well as in outer districts such as Slatina and Obelia. The well preserved town walls (especially their
substructures) from antiquity date back before the 7th century BC, when Thracians established their
city next to the most important and highly respected mineral spring, still functioning today. Sofia has
had several names in the different periods of its existence, and remnants of the city's millenary history
can still be seen today alongside modern landmarks.
Museums
Sofia houses numerous museums, notably the National Historical Museum, the Bulgarian Natural
History Museum, the Museum of Earth and Men, the Ethnographic Museum, the National Museum of
Military History, the National Polytechnical Museum and the National Archaeological Museum. In
addition, there are the Sofia City Art Gallery, the Bulgarian National Gallery of Arts, the Bulgarian
National Gallery for Foreign Art as well as numerous private art galleries.
Places of special interest
The city also offers many places of special interest such as the Sts. Cyril and Methodius National
Library (which houses the largest national book collection and is Bulgaria's oldest cultural institute),
the Sofia State Library, the British Council, the Russian Cultural Institute, the Polish Cultural Institute,
the Hungarian Institute, the Czech and the Slovak Cultural Institutes, the Italian Cultural Institute, the
French Cultural Institute, Goethe Institut, Instituto Cervantes, and the Open Society Institute. The city
is also known for the Boyana Church, which is a UNESCO world heritage site. In addition, Sofia
houses the Sofia Zoological Garden, which was founded in 1888.
Sofia currently enjoys a booming film industry as the filming ground of several international film
productions. Vitosha Boulevard, also called Vitoshka — ranked as the world's 22nd most expensive
commercial street — represents numerous fashion boutiques and luxury goods stores and features
exhibitions by world fashion designers. Sofia's geographic location, situated in the foothills of the
weekend retreat Vitosha mountain, further adds to the city's specific atmosphere.
Transport in Sofia
Sofia is the centre of important international railway and automobile routes from Western Europe to
Istanbul via Belgrade, from Greece and Macedonia to the CIS. There are daily bus connections to
Ohrid, Strumitsa, Skopje, Nish, Istanbul, Athens, Thessaloniki.
21 tramlines, 11 trolley lines and about 200 bus lines perform the city transport services. Two-cabin
and two-seat lifts connect Sofia with Vitosha national Park. The modern requirements of the city traffic
make a general and gradual reconstruction of the street transport net as well as that of the motorways
leading to Sofia and the construction of communication facilities a first priority.
The settlements in Sofia are joined in one municipality-greater Sofia Municipality with an area of
119,400 hectares and population of 1,220,000. The Greater Municipality includes 61 settlements, of
which 4 are towns – Sofia, Bankya, Buhovo, Novi Iskar. Inside the ringroad, the area of Sofia city is
19,815 hectares, 2,087 of which belong to the city transport and communications and 510 to the
railways.
The large residential satellite-quarters are connected with the central part of the city and the industrial
zones through several main diagonal connections. 75-80 per cent of the passengers cross the central
part of the city and that has been one of the most difficult problems to tackle.
The population outside the ringroad is served by two systems – Bulgarian State Railways and the City
Transport.
There are no administrative limitations with regard to the use of private transport. Private transport,
however, constitutes a rather small percentage – 5-6 per cent of all work related journeys. This is due to
the high price of automobiles and fuel, therefore private transport cannot be an alternative to public
transport at this stage.
About 85 per cent of travelers use the public transport, which is consequently the reason for its
considerable socio-economic importance.
Transport in Sofia
Underground City Transport (Sofia Underground)
Ground Transport
Major Priorities for the Development of the Transport System
Types of Transport
Sofia Today - in figures
Territory - 1310 sq km
Height above the sea level - 550 m
Population - 1,220,000
Population density - 907 people per sq km
Average age of population 38.3 years
Housing
Number of units - 475,900
Utilised area - 30 sq km
Living area per person - 15.1 sq m
Centrally-heated housing units - 437,000
Length of the water supply net - 2657 km
Length of the drainage net - 822 km
Length of electricity net - 7823 km
Telephone lines - 408,000
Street net
Lenght - 2670 km
Area 28.126 sq km
Green zones
Number - 2810
Area in hectares - 5,441
Green zones per person - 48.7 sq km

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Sofia City

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