Holiday in Bulgaria 2015 - 25: An Evening in Sofia (50 p.)

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Proud Earthling

To the previous part of the series:
Holiday in Bulgaria 2015 - 24: Rhodopes - Sofia (50 p.)

To the video:

August 10 2015

We continue our tour of Sofia at a crossing between tram line and trolleybus at the Lions' Bridge.

In this image you can spot a Sofia specialty: tramway mailboxes.

T6-700M on Marie Luise Boulevard, these units had been built by Bulgarian Tramcar 1986 - 1988 and were modernized from 2009.

We have reached Banya Bashi Mosque, the Central Market Halls to the right, in short called "Chalite" - like "Les Halles" in Paris.
In the foreground you can spot a rare tramway crossing: most lines feature the unusual gauge of 1009 mm, but three lines (20, 22, 23) - the tracks crossing here - are standard gauge.

Next we visited Sofia Synagogue which had been constructed after the once largest temple in Vienna.
More about it:

Former German Duewag T4/B4 units built in 1960 which had been bought in 1995 second hand from Bonn. This year they are supposed to be replaced by Tatra T6A5 trams from Prague.

Banya Bashi Mosque (literally: "Many Baths Mosque" as it is situated next to a thermal spa established since Roman times) is one of the oldest mosques in Europe. More information:

Sofia is a city of many layers: Sveta Petka Samardzhiyska, a church built on a temple site of the Roman town Serdica next to the parliament and presidential palace.

Inside the courtyard of the presidential office building you find the next highlight: the Church of St George erected in the 4th century.

Frescoes dating from the 10th century inside the church.

After eating dinner we climbed the hill past the parliament.

Czar Samuil had lived in the 10th-11th centuries.

Alexander-Nevski-Cathedral from the 20th century.

However, we visited the historically more important church of St. Sofia after which the city is named (the wisdom, not an actual saint).


The Russian Church.

This is the modern, controversial Sofia-Statue.

Layers of Sofia: excavations of the Roman town Serdica, the 16th century mosque in the background.

The central mineral spa with park behind the mosque.

Synagogue and mosque in one picture.

We have returned to the standard gauge line where T6B5B units from 1988 were operating.

An ex-Bonn GT6 built in 1959 from the other direction.

1009 mm - standard gauge crossing in front of the market halls.

The evening light was perfect for impressions from Lions' Bridge.

We are going local! Then we turned in early.

August 11 2015

During sunrise we pulled our luggage to the central bus station.

Our vehicle from operator Matpu for the next 4 hours - sadly no daytime trains were operating between Sofia and Nis that year - now one international service has been reintroduced.

We followed the electrified line Sofia - Dimitrovgrad but did not see any trains up to the Serbian border. Border procedures took about half an hour, then we continued through the centre of Dimitrovgrad.

Let's see if we will have more luck spotting trains next time... :0) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.