Sofia Bulgaria - City Tour
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This article is about the capital of Bulgaria. For other uses, see Sofia (disambiguation).
Party House by night, Sofia (by Pudelek, cropped by ArionEstar).JPGNDK Sofia 2012 PD 06.jpg
Basilica of St. Sophia1.jpgStatue of Sveta Sofia.jpgZx620y348 2628889.png
1st row: Sofia skyline from the National Palace of Culture
2nd row: National Assembly Square (Monument to the Tsar Liberator, National Assembly, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral)
3rd row: Largo; National Palace of Culture
4th row: Saint Sofia Church; Statue of Saint Sofia; Tsarigradsko shose and Capital Fort
Flag of Sofia
Flag Coat of arms of Sofia
Coat of arms
Nickname(s): Serdica, Sredetz (older names)
Motto: Grows, but does not age
(Расте, но не старее, Raste, no ne staree)
Sofia is located in Europe SofiaSofia
Sofia location within Europe
Sofia is located in Earth SofiaSofia
Sofia on Earth
Coordinates: 42.70°N 23.33°ECoordinates: 42.70°N 23.33°E
Province Sofia City
Cont. inhabited since 7000 BC
Neolithic settlement 5500–6000 BC
Thracian settlement 800 BC
• Mayor Yordanka Fandakova (GERB)
• City 492 km2 (190 sq mi)
Elevation 500–800 m (1,707–2,888 ft)
• City Increase 1,260,120
• Density 2,651/km2 (6,870/sq mi)
• Urban 1,543,377
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
• Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal code 1000
Area code(s) (+359) 02
Car plate prefix С, СА, СВ
Sofia (/ˈsoʊfiə/) (Bulgarian: София, Sofiya,pronounced [ˈsɔfijɐ] ( listen)) is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria. The city has a population of 1.26 million, while over 1.5 million people live in its functional urban area. The city is located at the foot of Vitosha Mountain in the western part of the country, within less than 50 kilometres (31 mi) drive from the Serbian border. Its location in the centre of the Balkan peninsula means that it is the midway between the Black Sea and the Adriatic Sea, whereas the Aegean Sea is the closest to it.
Sofia has been an area of human habitation since at least 7000 BCE. Many of the major universities, cultural institutions and commercial companies of Bulgaria are concentrated in Sofia. Sofia is one of the top 10 best places for start-up business in the world, especially in IT technologies. Sofia is Europe's most affordable capital to visit as of 2013
For the longest time the city possessed a Thracian name, derived from the tribe Serdi, who were either of Thracian, Celtic, or mixed Thracian-Celtic origin. The Serdi and the name of emperor Marcus Ulpius Traianus (53 – 117 AD) prompted the Romans to give the city the combinative name of Ulpia Serdica; Ulpia is derived from an Umbrian cognate of the Latin word lupus, meaning wolf. It seems that the first written mention of Serdica was made during his reign and the last mention was in the 19th century in a Bulgarian text (Сардакіи, Sardaki). During the Romans civitas Serdenisium was mentioned the brightest city of the Serdi in official inscriptions. The city was major throughout the past ever since Antiquity, when Roman emperor Constantine the Great referred to it as my Rome, and it nearly became his capital.
Other names given to Sofia, such as Serdonpolis (Σερδών πόλις, City of the Serdi) and Triaditza (Τριάδιτζα, Trinity), were mentioned by Byzantine Greek sources or coins. The Slavic name Sredets (Срѣдецъ), which is related to middle (среда, sreda) and to the city's earliest name, first appeared on paper in an 11th-century text. The city was called Atralissa by the Arab traveler Idrisi and Strelisa, Stralitsa or Stralitsion by the Crusaders
Destination is Antalya
History of Antalya City
Antalya which means “the home of Attalos” was founded by Attalos II. Following the fall of Kingdom of Pergamon (133 BC), the city was independent for a while but then fell into the hands of pirates. It was later incorporated into the Roman Empire by Commander Servilius Isauricus in 77 BC. In 67 BC, the city then became a naval base for Pompeius. In 130 AD, the visit of Hadrianus provided progress for Attalia city. Attalia which was accepted as the centre of episcopacy during the Byzantine period made a great advancements after possessed by Turks. Since modern city is located on the ancient settlement, the ruins of antiquity can barely be traced. The first one of the ruins that can be seen is the part of harbour pier that indicates the old harbour and the walls surrounding the harbour. Hadrian’s Gate with ongoing restoration works on the other side of the walls is one of the unique ancient monuments of Antalya.
In antiquity, Antalya and its surroundings were known as “Pamphilia” meaning “very productive” and the west side of the city was known as “Lycia”. The people who migrate from the west coasts of Aegean Sea founded the cities like Aspendos, Side in VIII century BC. The King of Pergamon who reigns in II century besieged Side. The King, who could not capture Side, came to a place where now Antalya city centre is located, and founded the city. The city was named after him as Attaleia. In time, people called the city Atalia, Adalya. The name Antalya originated this way.
In the archaeological excavations, people were proved to have lived in Antalya and its environs 40.000 years ago. From the date 2000 BC, this region was ruled under the control of city states such as Hittite, Pamphylia, Lycia, Cilicia and Persia, Alexander the Great and its successors Antigonos, Ptolemais, Selevkos and the King of Pergamon. Roman Period later started to reign. The ancient name of Antalya was Pamphylia and the cities built in this area lived their golden age especially in the 2nd and 3rd centuries. Towards the 5th century, they began to lose their glory.
While the city region was under Eastern Roman Empire or, widely known name in Turkey, Byzantines, in 1207 the Seljuks took over the lands. In the period of Anatolian Principalities, the city entered into sovereignty of Hamitoğulları which was a family from Teke tribe. Teke Turkmens are also one of the largest populated tribe in today’s Turkmenistan, old Turkish homeland. In the 11th century, a part of this tribe came to Antalya. Today Teke Area is another name of the Region of Lake (Göller Yöresi) which covers the north of Antalya and some parts of Isparta and Burdur. In the Ottoman period, today’s Antalya city centre is the centre of the Teke District of Anatolia Province. In those years, this place is called Teke Sanjak. The current name of the Antalya city is a little bit changed form of her ancient name and has been given in the Republican period.
Evliya Çelebi, the Ottoman traveller, who came to Antalya in the second half of the 17th century, stated that there were 4 quarters and 3.000 houses inside the ancient walls and 24 quarters outside the walls. The market of the city was outside the walls. According to Evliya Çelebi, the Harbour had the capacity of 200 ships. Antalya which was the centre of Teke district connected to Konya administratively was made an independent district in the last period of Ottoman Empire. (thedestinationworld.com)
Hazret Sultan Mosque in Astana, Kazakhstan
One of the most modern attractions of Astana, the young Kazakhstan capital, is the Hazrat Sultan Cathedral Mosque. The construction of this largest mosque in Central Asia took as long as 3 years and was inaugurated in July 2012. The colossal building resembles an oriental palace, whose construction involved over 1,500 builders and masters, who with joint efforts created the most beautiful landmark of Astana.
Hazrat Sultan Mosque is the second largest mosque in Central Asia after Turkmenistan’s Türkmenbaşy Ruhy Mosque. Hazrat Sultan Mosque is located on the right bank of the Yesil River near the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation in Astana.
“Hazrat Sultan” is translated as “Apostolic Sultan”. The mosque was named in honor of one of Sufi sheikhs – Khoja Ahmed Yassawi (the XII century), who was a poet, philosopher and Muslin saint, well-known in the territory of whole Central Asia. The mausoleum of this saint is located in Kazakh city of Turkestan.
The Hazrat Sultan, as one of the largest mosque in Asia, occupies the area of 11 ha, able to house up to 10,000 people. The mosque premises area amounts to 17.8 ha and includes tabernacles, a hall for wedding ceremonies, rooms for Koran reading and having lessons for seminarians, as well as a cloakroom and аn ablution room. Thus, this is a fully functional mosque corresponding to all modern requirements.
The mosque dome is 51 meters in height and 28 meters in diameter. The main dome is surrounded by eight small ones, at the mosque corners there are four 77 m-high minarets. The Hazrat Sultan minaret was built in a classic oriental style, the main color of the façade and interior design is white. The Central Hall is supported by massive white columns, which enhance the sense of monumentality of this structure. The façade and inner finishing are abound with traditional Kazakh ornaments. The Hazrat Sultan Mosque is a new piece of work of architectural art of Kazakhstan and a diamond in the Astana panorama.
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