Last Updated on January 3, 2022
Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, is one of Europe’s greatest gems. Rich with history and culture, it is the perfect destination for a long week getaway or something a little longer. With so much to see, it’s often a good idea to form an itinerary so you know exactly what you’re doing when you get here.
The first monuments on your list should be the churches. While most European cities will have their fair share of churches, Sofia’s stand head and shoulders above the crowd.
The Most Beautiful Churches in Sofia
1. St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
Built in neo-byzantine style, this is one of the largest orthodox cathedrals in the world. On every visitor’s must-see list, the cathedral has massive pulling power for a few reasons. The first being its sheer size.
It can hold 10,000 people inside! It also has a lot of gold plating inside, including on the dome, and the bell towers, so it sparkles during the day and night. It also has incredible works of art inside it and breathes pure luxury – even the walls are made with the finest Italian marble.
2. The Church of St Paraskeva
Located in the centre of the city, this is the third largest church in Sofia. Another very orthodox church, this church, which is dedicated to St Paraskeva, is quite unusual looking. For example, the cella actually disappears into the surrounding apses instead of being a stand-alone chamber.
The church itself was built in 1930 – it’s build being postponed by the war.
3. Saint Nedelya Church
Another orthodox church, Saint Nedelya (which translates to Saint Sunday),is a medieval church that has been destroyed and rebuilt several times throughout the ages. It now stands complete again and is one of Sofia’s finest landmarks.
First built in the 10th century, check it out while it is not too busy – perhaps on a Sunday morning.
4. Saint John of Rila
Saint John of Rila was the first Bulgarian hermit. The story goes that he chose to surround himself with wild animals and birds instead of people.
He had a great many followers and this church in Sofia is just one of the churches they built in his honor. It was said that Saint John could also perform miracles
5. The Church of St George
This is an early Christian red brick rotunda that many believe is the oldest building in Sofia. Located behind the Sheraton Hotel, this church sits pretty in the ancient ruins of Serdica.
The church was built by the Romans and is a cylindrical structure that houses exquisite paintings inside it. The lovely frescos of 22 prophets that cover the dome and the murals will be a firm favorite for any art lovers.
6. Boyana Church
Located in the Vitosha Mountain, which is in the south of Sofia, this is landmark that you’ll remember. Built in the Middle Ages, it has wonderful murals on the walls which were contributed by unknown artists.
The architecture has been described by art historians as several decades ahead of its time and the church is considered to be an idyllic and tranquil.