Sofia has been good purely because it’s a nice city to write and read in–I’m lucky to have found a place to stay very close to the city center, so I’ve been able to walk to the library and see a few sights since I arrived here (see below). The Ottoman sites have been difficult to find (there is a mosque I missed somewhere) but hopefully this gives a good picture of what the city is like today in contrast to the Ottoman sites that were built in the current center.
I leave for New York tomorrow afternoon–crazy to think the semester is starting on Monday. I’ll see many of you guys on the other side of the pond very soon!
St. Nedelya Church
Banya Bashi Mosque (1576). Name comes from the phrase "many baths" (natural thermal spas actually rest underneath the building). This is the last functioning mosque in Sofia.
Ivan Vazov's house. Vazov was considered to be the "Patriarch of Bulgarian Literature" and a key revolutionary figure in the fight against the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century. See: Under the Yoke (Book)
Sofia's Archaeological Museum, also the former building of the largest and oldest Ottoman mosque in Sofia, Büyük camii ("Grand Mosque"), built from stone in ~1474 under Mehmed II's rule.
Floorplan of Büyük camii
The Largo, an example of Stalinist architecture
Nevski Cathedral (built in 19th-century)
Central Military Club (1895)
SS. Cyril and Methodius Library. Where the country's Oriental collection is stored and where I've been the whole day