Ancient Sofia: Serdica - an EEA Norway Grants-project
The EEA Norway Grants-project 'An Ancient History of Sofia, Cultural Heritage Accessible for All' aims to restore, renovate and protect cultural heritage in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.
A new publication from the participants from the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research highlights the results from the project.
Bulgaria’s capital Sofia is an ancient city with rich historical and cultural heritage. Since its infancy as a Thracian settlement, the territory of modern Sofia has been a center of activity.
The Thracians called the settlement Serdica, and around 29 BC it was conquered by the Romans. Even- tually Serdica developed
into its region’s administrative center, and expanded, as protective walls, buildings of both admin- istrative and cultic
functions, and an amphitheater were built.
Today a great number of these structures can be admired as reconstructed ruins. The Met- ro station “Serdika II” and the Serdica Archaeological Complex right outside the station is an open air museum.
The Roman ruins exhibitedin situinclude part of Serdicas main streetDecumanus Maximus, a residence and private homes, as well as colorful floor mosaics. The Middle Ages are here represented with a church and an inn.
Elsewhere in the city one can, amongst many other ancient historic attractions, find the Church of St. George, consid- ered
being the oldest standing building in Sofia dating back to the 4th century AD.
And of course, the St. Sofia Basilica and the Western Gate and Triangular Tower of Serdica, respectively is and will be, open to the public.
Specifically, this project aims to present the heritage of the capital city of Bulgaria within the European context of cultural exchange and cultural diversity.
This entails including members of the Roma people in the work force. Sofia is one of the most ancient European capital cities
with a rich historical and cultural heritage.
Three buildings of cultural her- itage value will be restored and preserved for future genera- tions: The St. Sofia Basilica and the Triangular Tower and West- ern Gate of Serdica.
The beneficiaries are the civil society, researchers, students, tourists, cultural organizations and the Non-Governmental Organizations.
The cooperation with Norway will strengthen the bilateral relations. The Norwegian partner, Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU), contributes to the project implementation sharing their knowledge in the field of restoration and in situ preservation.
The project participants from the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research have been Kristine Ødeby and Vibeke Vandrup Martens.
Ancient Sofia: Cultural Heritage Restored, Renovated and Protected (PDF)