Sofia’s Cultural Messages in 2019

Monday, 02 December 2019

In 2019 Sofia celebrated its 140th anniversary as the capital of Bulgaria. Many concerts, exhibitions and events were dedicated to this anniversary, as well as two new movies about the history of the city - 105 Minutes Sofia and May God be with Us. The Boyana Church, Sofia's biggest attraction, celebrated two anniversaries - 760 years since the renovation of the temple by Sebastokrator Kaloyan and 40 years since the monument was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The visit of Pope Francis to Sofia on May 5 and 6, 2019, and the Prayer for Peace on Earth he prayed with other religious representatives in the heart of Ancient Serdica, turned Sofia into a cultural ambassador. The Holy Father Pope Francis left a present for the Bells (Kambanite) Monument in Sofia, created 40 years ago in connection with the formation of Banner of Peace Children's Assembly in Bulgaria. The Vatican bell became part of the interesting complex of 107 bells on the occasion of the anniversary of the complex in 2019.

For one of the greatest Bulgarian holidays - May 24 the Day Of Slavonic Alphabet, Bulgarian Enlightenment and Culture, a day dedicated to the Bulgarian cultural contribution to the culture of all Europe, the sword and ring of the founder of Old Great Bulgaria - Khan Kubrat (635-650) were displayed in Sofia. They are part of the Hermitage Museum’s Collection.

On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, at the National Archaeological Museum were opened the exhibition The Colors of Ancient Rome. Mosaics from the Capitoline Museums and the poster exhibition A Sense for Luxury which presented mosaic panels found in Bulgaria, followed by an exhibition with the largest Bulgarian treasure At the Gates of the Royal Court – Treasures of Veliki Preslav, which you can visit till January 26, 2020 Sofia History Museum also offered some curious finds at its fifth annual exhibition Archeology of Sofia and Sofia Region found during 2018 archaeological season. A part of Serdica's northern fortress wall and a part of the outer wall were also displayed and between them an ancient canal that probably had drainage functions. Thus, contemporary Sofia will soon offer among its temptations a new archaeological site, a witness to the history of ancient Serdica. A new branch of Sofia History Museum opened its doors on June 1, 2019 at the Largo - Serdica Ancient Cultural and Communication Complex - a place for educational activities for different age groups: seminars, presentations, workshops.

2019 also marked the start of the first Ancient Festival - Serdica is my Rome!, organized by MOS MAIORUM ULPIAE SERDICAE Association for Ancient Reconstruction in order to promote the ancient heritage of Sofia and to draw attention to the restored ancient sites of the Western Gate of Serdica and Serdica Ancient Cultural and Communication Complex. Partner of the festival was Sofia Municipality.

From August 1 to August 6, 2019, the largest pilgrimage on the Balkans – the Rila Miracle Maker Pilgrimage, took place for the 10th time. In 2019 we celebrated the 550th anniversary since the relics of St. John of Rila were returned in Rila Monastery. In 2019, Sofia continued its story about the Neolithic period - a third burial place in the Neolithic settlement in Slatina Quarter was found, and studies in the central part of the Bulgarian capital by archeologists from Sofia History Museum led to interesting finds in the heat of the summer season.

You can read about the renewed spirit of Sofia captured by Jean Seville on the blog The Bulgarian capital was also visited by a team of the state Russian television company VGTRK from September 1 to September 4, 2019. The crew filmed video footage for a TV movie from the series „Один день в городе“ (One Day in the City) of the TV channel Моя планета (My Planet).

In 2019 Sofia also founded Sofia Tourism Region Management Organization.

Sofia’s anniversary as capital of Bulgaria was celebrated with the exhibition Words, Images, Places - 140 years since the proclamation of Sofia as Capital of Bulgaria which traces the life and development of the city, reflected in the works of generations of Bulgarian artists and can be visited till January 26, 2020 in Sofia City Art Gallery.

Millennial Sofia has a deep cultural message - feel the emotions of this ancient and modern city!