Sofia (37536243674).jpg
Party House by night, Sofia (by Pudelek, cropped by ArionEstar).JPGNDK Sofia 2012 PD 06.jpg
Basilica of St. Sophia1.jpgSofia statue, Sofia (P1070773).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: Banya Bashi Mosque
5th row: Saint Sofia Church; Statue of Saint Sofia; Tsarigradsko shose and Capital Fort
Flag of Sofia
Coat of arms of Sofia
Coat of arms
Grows, but does not age[1]
(Расте, но не старее)
Sofia is located in Bulgaria
Location of Sofia in Bulgaria
Coordinates: 42°42′N 23°20′E / 42°42′N 23°20′E / 42.70; 23.33UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal code
Area code(s)(+359) 02

Sofia (ə/ FEE-ə;[12][13] Bulgarian: Со́фия, translit. Sofiya,[14][15] IPA: [ˈsɔfijə] (About this soundlisten)) is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria. The city is at the foot of Vitosha Mountain in the western part of the country. Being in the centre of the Balkan peninsula, it is midway between the Black Sea and the Adriatic Sea, and closest to the Aegean Sea.[16][17]

Sofia has been an area of human habitation since at least 7000 BC.[3] The recorded history of Sofia begins with the attestation of the conquest of Serdica by the Roman Republic in 29 BC from the Celtic tribe Serdi, raided by Huns in 343-347 AD and 447 AD, conquered by Visigoths in 376-382 AD, conquered by Avars and Slavs in 617 AD, and on 9th April, 809 Serdica was surrendered to Krum of Bulgaria.[18] Bulgarian rule lasted until 1018, in 1040 and 1193-1382, which was interrupted by more than a century of Byzantine rule and by nearly five centuries-long Ottoman rule until Bulgarian rule was restored in 1878.[18] During World War II Sofia was bombarded by the UK and US Air Forces and at the end of the war, it was seized by the Soviet Army.

Being Bulgaria's primate city, Sofia is a hometown of many of the major local universities, cultural institutions and commercial companies.[19] Sofia is one of the top 10 best places for start-up businesses in the world, especially in information technologies, according to Bulgarian National Television.[20] Sofia was Europe's most affordable capital to visit in 2013.[21]

The population of Sofia declined down from 70,000 in the late 18th century, through 19,000 in 1870, to 11,649 in 1878 and began increasing.[18] Sofia hosts some 1.23 million[2] residents within a territory of 492 km2,[22] a concentration of 17.5% of the country population within the 200th percentile of the country territory. The urban area of Sofia hosts some 1.54 million[9] residents within 5723 km², which comprises Sofia City Province and parts of Sofia Province (Dragoman, Slivnitsa, Kostinbrod, Bozhurishte, Svoge, Elin Pelin, Gorna Malina, Ihtiman, Kostenets) and Pernik Province (Pernik, Radomir), representing 5.16% of the country territory.[10] The metropolitan area of Sofia is based upon one hour of car travel time, stretches internationally and includes Dimitrovgrad in Serbia.[23] Unlike most European metropolitan areas, it is not to be defined as a substantially functional metropolitan area, but is of the type with "limited variety of functions".[24] The metropolitan region of Sofia is inhabited by a population of 1.68 million[8] and is made up of the whole provinces Sofia City, Sofia and Pernik, comprising more than 10,000 km².[25]


The first seal of the city from 1878 which calls it Sredets

For the longest time the city possessed[26] a Thracian name, derived from the tribe Serdi, who were either of Thracian,[14][16] Celtic,[27] or mixed Thracian-Celtic origin.[28][29]

The emperor Marcus Ulpius Traianus (53 – 117 AD) gave the city the combinative name of Ulpia Serdica;[30][31] Ulpia may be derived from an Umbrian cognate of the Latin word lupus, meaning "wolf"[32] or from the Latin vulpes (fox). 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).

Other names given to Sofia, such as Serdonpolis (Σερδών πόλις, "City of the Serdi" in Greek) and Triaditza (Τριάδιτζα, "Trinity" in Greek), 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 Atralisa by the Arab traveller Idrisi and Strelisa, Stralitsa or Stralitsion by the Crusaders.[33]

The name Sofia comes from the Saint Sophia Church,[34] as opposed to the prevailing Slavic origin of Bulgarian cities and towns. The origin is in the Greek word sophia (σοφία) "wisdom", which may derive from the Egyptian word sbÅ (𓋴𓃀𓇼𓀜) "teach, learn or wise" provided b oftentimes turns into ph in Egyptian to Greek translations. [35][36][37][38] The earliest works where this latest name is registered are the duplicate of the Gospel of Serdica, in a dialogue between two salesmen from Dubrovnik around 1359, in the 14th-century Vitosha Charter of Bulgarian tsar Ivan Shishman and in a Ragusan merchant's notes of 1376.[39] In these documents the city is called Sofia, but at the same time the region and the city's inhabitants are still called Sredecheski (срѣдечьскои, "of Sredets"), which continued until the 20th century. The city became somehow popular to the Ottomans by the name Sofya (صوفيه). In 1879 there was a dispute about what the name of the new Bulgarian capital should be, when the citizens created a committee of famous people, insisting for the Slavic name. Gradually, a compromise arose, officialisation of Sofia for the nationwide institutions, while legitimating the title Sredets for the administrative and church institutions, before the latter was abandoned through the years.[40]

The city's name is pronounced by Bulgarians with a stress on the 'o', in contrast with the tendency of foreigners to place the stress on 'i'. The female given name "Sofia" is pronounced by Bulgarians with a stress on the 'i'.

Other Languages
Acèh: Sofia
адыгабзэ: Софие
Afrikaans: Sofia
Alemannisch: Sofia
አማርኛ: ሶፊያ
العربية: صوفيا
aragonés: Sofiya
armãneashti: Sofia
arpetan: Sofia
asturianu: Sofía
авар: София
azərbaycanca: Sofiya
تۆرکجه: صوفیه
বাংলা: সফিয়া
Bân-lâm-gú: Sofia
башҡортса: София
беларуская: Сафія
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Сафія
български: София
བོད་ཡིག: སོ་ཧྥི་ཡ།
bosanski: Sofija
brezhoneg: Sofia
буряад: Софи
català: Sofia
Чӑвашла: Софи
čeština: Sofie
chiShona: Sofia
corsu: Sofia
Cymraeg: Sofia
dansk: Sofia
davvisámegiella: Sofia
Deutsch: Sofia
dolnoserbski: Sofija
eesti: Sofia
Ελληνικά: Σόφια
эрзянь: София ош
español: Sofía
Esperanto: Sofio
estremeñu: Sofia
euskara: Sofia
فارسی: صوفیه
Fiji Hindi: Sofia
føroyskt: Sofia
français: Sofia
Frysk: Sofia
Fulfulde: Sofia
Gaeilge: Sóifia
Gaelg: Sofia
Gagauz: Sofiya
Gàidhlig: Sofia
𐌲𐌿𐍄𐌹𐍃𐌺: 𐍃𐍉𐍆𐌹𐌰
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Sofia
한국어: 소피아
Hawaiʻi: Sofia
հայերեն: Սոֆիա
हिन्दी: सोफिया
hornjoserbsce: Sofija
hrvatski: Sofija
Ido: Sofiya
Ilokano: Sofia
Bahasa Indonesia: Sofia
interlingua: Sofia
Interlingue: Sofia
Ирон: София
íslenska: Sófía
italiano: Sofia
עברית: סופיה
Basa Jawa: Sofia
kalaallisut: Sofia
ქართული: სოფია
қазақша: София
kernowek: Sofia
Kinyarwanda: Sofiya
Kiswahili: Sofia
коми: София
Kreyòl ayisyen: Sofia
kurdî: Sofia
Кыргызча: София
Ladino: Sofia
لۊری شومالی: سۊفیٱ
Latina: Serdica
latviešu: Sofija
Lëtzebuergesch: Sofia
лезги: София
lietuvių: Sofija
Ligure: Sòfia
Limburgs: Sofia
lingála: Sofia
Lingua Franca Nova: Sofia
lumbaart: Sofia
magyar: Szófia
македонски: Софија
Malagasy: Sofia (tanàna)
മലയാളം: സോഫിയ
Malti: Sofija
Māori: Sofia
मराठी: सोफिया
მარგალური: სოფია
مصرى: صوفيا
Bahasa Melayu: Sofia
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Sofia
монгол: Софи
Nāhuatl: Sofia
Dorerin Naoero: Sofia
Nederlands: Sofia (stad)
Nedersaksies: Sofia
нохчийн: Софи
Nordfriisk: Sofia
Norfuk / Pitkern: Sofia
norsk: Sofia
norsk nynorsk: Sofia
Nouormand: Sophie
Novial: Sofia
олык марий: Софий
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Sofiya
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਸੋਫ਼ੀਆ
پنجابی: صوفیہ
Papiamentu: Sofia
Piemontèis: Sòfia
Tok Pisin: Sofia
polski: Sofia
português: Sófia
Qaraqalpaqsha: Sofiya
qırımtatarca: Sofiya
română: Sofia
Romani: Sofiya
rumantsch: Sofia
Runa Simi: Sofiya
русиньскый: Софія
русский: София
саха тыла: София
Gagana Samoa: Sofia
sardu: Sofia
Scots: Sofia
Seeltersk: Sofia
shqip: Sofja
sicilianu: Sofia
Simple English: Sofia
slovenčina: Sofia
slovenščina: Sofija
словѣньскъ / ⰔⰎⰑⰂⰡⰐⰠⰔⰍⰟ: Софїꙗ
ślůnski: Sofijo
کوردی: سۆفیا
српски / srpski: Софија
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Sofija
suomi: Sofia
svenska: Sofia
Tagalog: Sofia
தமிழ்: சோஃவியா
Taqbaylit: Sofia
татарча/tatarça: Sofiä
тоҷикӣ: София
Türkçe: Sofya
Türkmençe: Sofiýa
Twi: Sofia
удмурт: София
українська: Софія
اردو: صوفیہ
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: سوفىيە
vèneto: Sòfia
vepsän kel’: Sofii
Tiếng Việt: Sofia
Volapük: Sofiya
Võro: Sofia
文言: 索菲亞
West-Vlams: Sofia
Winaray: Sofia
Wolof: Sofiya
ייִדיש: סאפיע
Yorùbá: Sofia
粵語: 索菲亞
Zazaki: Sofya
Zeêuws: Sofia
žemaitėška: Suofėjė
中文: 索菲亞