There is a Yellow Brick Road in Sofia. Really. The bricks were a wedding gift to a Bulgarian Tsar from an Austro-Hungarian Emperor and they line a road that runs through the administrative centre of the Bulgarian capital, near most of the tourist landmarks.
One of the most important landmarks is the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. This enormous neo-Byzantine church (it is one of the largest Eastern Orthodox cathedrals in the world), all green and gold domes, was built in memory of the Russian soldiers who died wresting Bulgaria from Ottoman rule in 1878.
Between Turkish and Russian influences (Bulgaria was a contented Soviet state for 50 years) and a dash of European Union "connectedness" (since 2007), Sofia is a fascinating place to visit.
At about 7,000 years old, it is one of the oldest cities in Europe. Long before there were cheap flights to Sofia, the Thracians, Greeks, Romans, Macedonians and Turks all flocked there for its life-giving mineral springs - there are seven independent springs in the city. It's no exaggeration to say that this stylish city is one of the jewels of Eastern Europe.
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