• Sofia, Bulgaria, mixes past and present with graceful fluidity

    2011-05-20

    Despite a difficult past under Communist rule, Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, has emerged as a timeless location of beauty and elegance. Tourists may feel the draw towards Sofia's cobblestoned streets to mingle with the friendly locals or search for remnants of the city's past.

    The Sofia Nation Art Gallery is inside the former Tsar's royal palace, reports World Travel Guide. It boasts original marble fire places and more than 60,000 pieces from various time periods, such as the Bulgarian revivalist movement that began in 1878.

    During the peak of the Ottoman Empire, more than 70 mosques lined the city streets of Sofia. Today only one remains, the Kodi Seyfullah Efendi Camii. Completed in 1576, it was fully restored after the fall of Bulgarian communism to feature an elegant blue dome and inscribed calligraphy from the Koran.

    In September, the city is infiltrated with music aficionados for the SeeMe Sofia festival. According to Frommer's, this three-day event showcases the raw talent of up and coming DJs and vocal artists and puts on demonstrations of the latest technology in the industry.

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