City Guide
St. Sophia Church

     St. Sophia Church is the oldest Eastern Orthodox Church in Sofia with a long and fascinating history. It was built on the site of several earlier churches and places of worship dating back to the days when it was necropolis of the Roman town Serdica. The basic cross design of the present basilica, with its two east towers and one tower-cupola, is probably the fifth structure to inhabit the site and was built during the reign of Byzantine emperor Justinian in the middle of the 6th century (527-565).

     During the Second Bulgarian Empire (12th to 14th century), it acquired the status of a metropolitan church, giving the city its latest name: Sophia (meaning "holy wisdom"). During the Ottoman rule, the church was converted into a mosque. After the Liberation, it was restored and reinstated as a church - there are no Muslim features left.