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Free Sofia Tour's Blog

September 16, 2019
parking in sofia

Parking in Sofia

Have you ever considered visiting Sofia by car? A lot of people do and that is why this time we are focusing on everything you need to know about parking in Sofia. WHERE CAN I PARK? In Sofia the company responsible for all the transport and parking is called the Urban Mobility Centre aka UMC. They are the ones providing parking premises, passes, tokens and basically everything connected with parking in the city as well as impounds your vehicle. If you don’t want to get there it is always better to pay for the parking. There are two types of short term paid parking zones in the center – a Green one and a Blue one. They are active only during the day and the municipality of Sofia has given detailed information about the reach of those zones and provided a map. BLUE ZONE Parking limit: The maximum duration of parking in this zone is up to 2 (two) hours. Working hours: Weekdays from 08.30 to 19.30 Saturday from 08.30 […]
September 12, 2019
bulgarian rose

Interview with Kaya Kolishka – Bulgarian Symbols

We are very happy to introduce the last of the 5 bright, talented artists we have worked with for our project “Bulgarian Symbols” – the charming Kaya Kolishka. Kaya Kolishka Kaya decided to pick the Bulgarian rose as something traditional and timeless. Her idea was to present this flower in a more stylized and contemporary way and thus create a beautiful illustration, fitting perfectly with the concept of our new line of T-shirts. The rose and especially the rose oil are often compared to liquid gold for a reason. The tradition of picking roses has been deeply embodied in Bulgarian culture and traditions for centuries. Here are a few words from Kaya herself about her work on the project: The Interview Describe yourself with up to 5 words! Trying not to be negative. What are you doing at the moment? Working in a call center and drawing in my free time. Which is/are your color/colors? White like an empty sheet of paper. If you could hire yourself to work for […]
September 10, 2019
stork

Interview with Mira Miroslavova – Bulgarian Symbols

The idea behind our Association’s newest project – Bulgarian Symbols, was to present the work of 5 talented Bulgarian artists and their vision of widespread Bulgarian symbols. The chosen designs became part of our first merchandise line. In fact, we like to call it a travelling exhibition as it spreads Bulgarian culture around the globe. This time, we would like you to meet Mira Miroslavova! Mira Miroslavova Mira is a talented, upcoming Bulgarian visual artis; a perfectionist in everything she does. She is constantly drawing, portraying the world around her, experimenting with shapes, colors and  visual designs. For her work on “Bulgarian Symbols” she picked the image of a stork. A bird often associated with the local “Martenitsa” tradition. Bulgarians celebrate this holiday every year on the first of march. It is a sign that the new cycle of life is starting with the coming spring. It’s around that time of year that storks fly back from the warmer countries – a true indication that spring has already arrived. Here is […]
August 18, 2019
musicians

Interview with Vyara Boyadjieva – Bulgarian Symbols

It is time for us to introduce you to yet another talented female artist, that has been involved with our Bulgarian Symbols project. It is our Association’s first attempt to present popular Bulgarian symbols in a modern and fashionable way. This time we would like you to meet Vyara Boyadjieva! Vyara Boyadjieva Vyara is originally from Sofia, Bulgaria, but now lives and studies in Cambridge. She is one of those bright minds in the field of illustration and design. For her work in “Bulgarian Symbols” she chose to portrait a visual image of Bulgarian folklore music – one of the undisputed symbols of our country. The illustration itself shows the unity of traditional Bulgarian folklore instruments and the way their sound touches everyone’s heart and soul. This music is part of the Bulgarian national identity, but also reaches far beyond the Bulgarian borders.   You can read a bit more about the idea behind the illustration from the author herself: The Interview Describe yourself using only a few words! An […]
August 9, 2019
kuker

Interview with Victoria Paeva – Bulgarian Symbols

If you have been following our social media and blog post articles, you already know that our Association realized its first merchandise idea this year. The concept was to involve 5 young and talented Bulgarian artists to create an illustration in an attempt to show their vision of Bulgarian symbols. Now it’s time to introduce our second illustrator – Victoria Paeva. Victoria Paeva Victoria Paeva is from Sofia, Bulgaria. In her illustration, the thought provoking Viki picked the topic of a cherished Bulgarian tradition – “Kukeri” – mythical creatures, who wear scary masks and dance loudly to scare away the bad spirits. Viki researched on the topic and managed to create a unique blend by merging it with the widely discussed idea of the human ego. It’s a reference to the masks that we are all wearing and the way we hide our inner self from the outside world. The mask in her work is not only a Bulgarian symbol of a long lasting tradition, but also a symbol of […]
July 29, 2019
bulgarian cities zina

Interview with Zina Nedelcheva – Bulgarian Symbols

As we already announced in our previous blog post, our new merchandise line – Bulgarian Symbols is finally here! It is our Association’s first souvenir collection. The concept was to involve 5 young and talented Bulgarian artists to create an illustration in an attempt to show their vision of Bulgarian symbols. Today, we would like to introduce you to our first illustrator – Zina Nedelcheva. Zina Nedelcheva Zina Nedelcheva is from Plovdiv, Bulgaria. In her illustration, Zina chose to portray Bulgaria as one big house. Underground cellars, the oh-so-unusual Klek Shops, the balconies, our graffiti culture and many more symbols of Bulgaria adorn the building. A few days ago we sat down with Zina and talked to her about her style of work and her participation in the “Bulgarian Symbols” project. The Interview Describe yourself using only 5 words! A shy, naive dreamer with a lot of wishes left to fulfill. What is your main focus at the moment? I am preparing a new production of a limited series of clothes, accessories […]
July 28, 2019
Symbols of Bulgaria

“Bulgarian Symbols” – Our Brand New Merchandise Line

Exciting news! Our organisation, the 365 Association, is always up for a new challenge. In 2019 we set 3 new, ambitious goals in front of ourselves – to open up a new interactive space dedicated to the last stages of the communist regime in Bulgaria – The Red Flat, to create a new walking tour, which tells the story of the Bulgarian Jewish community  – Sofia Jewish Tour and to also initiate a new line of merchandise that lays out some of our favorite Bulgarian symbols. Bulgarian Symbols The idea of creating our own merchandise is something that we have been discussing for the past few years. As tour guides we are best at presenting Bulgaria’s symbols and landmarks on the streets of Sofia and Plovdiv. We felt that 2019 is the right moment for us to start working on another ambitious project. It is now time to eternalize these moments. And by that we mean giving you the opportunity to take them back home with you. Being a non-governmental […]
July 10, 2019
yellow bricks

Sofia’s Yellow Brick Road

Ever wondered whether Bulgaria and Hungary have something in common or whether there’s some other connection between their capital cities – Sofia and Budapest? It turns out that yes, there is. The following post will tell you about one of them: Sofia’s yellow cobblestones. THE STORY OF SOFIA’S YELLOW COBBLESTONES After Bulgaria’s Liberation from the Ottoman Empire in 1878, Sofia was designated as capital of the newly established country. However, it was chosen for its geographic location and not its architecture; at the time, it did not look much like a city, let alone a capital. Dirty puddles, mud, and stinking water covered the city center. This is why Prince Dondukov, head of the Provisional Russian government in power at the time, quickly ordered changes. In 1901, Sofia’s first trams set off on six routes, served by 25 individual trains, and in 1905, Maria Louise Boulevard became the first city street to be paved. Afterwards, the Municipality began an ambitious plan to pave a big portion of the city. It bought two quarries in the neighboring Vitosha mountain – […]
June 21, 2019
sofia bulgaria guide

Sofia – Capital of Bulgaria – The Ultimate Travel Guide

Sofia is Bulgaria’s capital and largest city. Situated in the very heart of the Balkan peninsula,  it is one of Europe’s oldest cities. While still undiscovered by many, more and more people are now falling in love with the city’s unique east meets west vibe. HISTORY OF SOFIA For the past 6000 years this city has seen it all. Once called Serdica – an important trade center in the Roman empire. Then conquered by the Bulgarians in the 9th century, then conquered by the Byzantine Empire, then re-claimed by the Bulgarians and then a stronghold of the Ottoman empire. After Bulgaria gained its independence in the late 19th century, Sofia was chosen as the country’s new capital. It’s now been capital for 140 years. The city’s appereance today has been widely shaped by the twists and turmoils of the 20th century. Up until WW2 Bulgaria was a parliamentary monarchy and Sofia’s architecture was influenced by the examples of Austrian, French and German architecture. The second half of the 20th century […]