Posts tagged “Sofia

A Whole Year

Wow! I can’t believe it has been a whole year since my last post!

  I honestly have no idea where that time went. At least I have plenty excuses for being a bad blogger like health problems (don’t really want to talk about it, but don’t worry it was nothing serious), organizing a wedding (yay, I’m a married woman now), working full day and moving to another country (hello from London).

Oh, where to start from? Weddings were simply amazing! We actually had two weddings, one in Sofia and one in London, where my husband lives. It was a lot of rush, because we had only one week gap between the two events and for that time I had to pack my bags, say goodbye to everyone in Sofia and get on the flight for London, where my husband’s family was waiting for us with a huge pink sign “Just Married” and a very welcoming party at home. To be honest I didn’t expect that, because they left Sofia just a day before us and basically they spent that whole day decorating the house for us instead to relax after the flight! 🙂 image1Yes, I am hiding behind the flowers and the balloon, because I was too tired for pictures.

Those who follow my blog know that I don’t like to write a lot as I believe that pictures have millions things to say and they do it way better than me. Here are some pictures from the wedding in Sofia (Unfortunately, I still don’t have pictures from the second wedding). You can also see some more on my Instagram page – Alzayat.Nadia. I hope that you will enjoy them.

image Getting ready for the big day at the beauty salon.  We needed coffee to wake us up. 🙂 imageBridesmaids’ bouquets._MG_7485Some help from the bridesmaid.

imagePersonalised gifts for the bridesmaids.

imageThe venue 🙂_MG_8907

You might not believe me, but I actually didn’t have chance to try the cake. I was so busy with having fun with our guest that I forgot to eat._MG_8505This picture is so much fun! Love it!
image2Some of the beautiful flowers we received from our guests! image3The amazing view from our room!

I look forward to write new posts! I missed you all and my blog so much!!! Posts about where we go and what we do in London are coming soon as well.

Take care xo

Pictures: Ivaylo Iovchev


Explore Sofia | Church of St. George

The Church of St. George is considered the oldest building in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. It was built in the beginning of the 4th century AD during the reign of the roman emperor Constantine the Great.IMG_6555IMG_6724The temple is situated in the courtyard of the Government Office and Sheraton Hotel.IMG_6725IMG_6730(I had to take picture of this beautiful door!)IMG_6731IMG_6727It is a cylindrical domed structure, built on a square base. Its width is about 9.5 meters in diameter and its height is about 14 meters.IMG_6531 Old versus new.IMG_6545 IMG_6544Originally the building was used for public purposes. After the recognition of Christianity as a religion in the Roman Empire, the rotunda became a baptistery (a building for conversion to Christianity), due to the many conversions, following the authorization of this religion.IMG_6542IMG_6551At the time of Emperor Justinian the Great (reigned 527 – 565) the Rotunda was transformed into a church. The first wall painting was made in the same period.IMG_6553IMG_6546During the Ottoman rule the Rotunda St. George was transformed into a mosque. The Christian paintings on the walls were obliterated with white plaster and in their place were painted floral motifs. IMG_6537IMG_6534(I found this piece on the ground.)IMG_6557The main entranceIMG_6556After the liberation of Bulgaria in 1878 the Rotunda was deserted, and after the death of Prince Alexander Battenberg it was transformed into a mausoleum.IMG_6560 IMG_6559Information: wikipedia and bulgariatravel
Photographs are by me.

Explore Sofia | Ivan Vazov National Theatre

IMG_6516-2Hey everyone! Explore Sofia is a new topic on my blog. I’ve decided that it’s high time to write about Sofia, after all it’s my hometown. So, I grabbed my small not professional Canon and went for a long walk along Sofia’s streets. I took plenty of pictures, which means there will be many articles. 😉
I hope that you will welcome the idea!
IMG_6753IMG_6756 Named after the prominent Bulgarian poet, novelist and playwright Ivan Vazov, the National Theatre is the oldest and most authoritative theatre in the country and one of the major landmarks of Sofia as well.IMG_6469 IMG_6468The theatre’s Neoclassical building was designed by famous Austrian architects Hermann Helmer and Ferdinand Fellner and built in 1906. Beside Ivan Vazov Theatre, Helmer and Fellner together designed over 200 buildings, mainly theatres and apartment buildings across Europe in the late 19th century and early 20th century.
IMG_6489IMG_6505IMG_6503The large pediment, supported on six white marble columns, depicts Apollo and the Muses. The twin towers on either side of the building are crowned with sculptures of the goddess Nike in a chariot.IMG_6466 IMG_6464The Ivan Vazov National Theatre has a well-equipped main stage with 750 seats, a smaller 120-seat stage and an additional 70-seat one on the fourth floor. It employes some of the country’s best actors and stage directors and performs Bulgarian as well as international plays.IMG_6499IMG_6497An old photograph of the theatre.The fountain and its reflecting pool were built in 1976, and have recently been restored. If the weather is good, the area in front of the theatre is full of people of any ages and men playing chess. IMG_6743IMG_6750IMG_6751

links: wikipediasofia-guidevisitbulgaria

Bulgarian Projects

Today, I bring you four projects in various fields – Architecture, Interior Design, Art and Photography. They are all designed by Bulgarians and realized in Bulgarian, which makes me really proud!

Red Apple Apartment Building
The surrounding neighborhood consists mostly of apartment blocks, which were built in relatively short period of time and not very long ago. Because of that it lacks the typical historic layers of the city center. In order to enrich the neighborhood with an atmosphere from another time, Aedes Studio set the uneasy task to design a new “old building”; a contemporary building with past – a building that contains opposites. The backbone of the concept is the brick – the material that brings together the idea of old and new. The brick is made from clay, it is backed in fire and it is built by hand; it gathers the warmth of all those three. Read the whole article.
Photographs: Courtesy of Aedes Studio
Interior Design:
Graffiti Café is located in the largest city and seaside resort on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast and the third largest city in Bulgaria – Varna. The Café, designed by Sofia-based MODE design studio won worldwide fame with its trendy interior soon after the opening and it has been declared the best bar in the world by Restaurant&Bar Design Awards. (link)
Photographs: © 3 in Spirit12Art:
|CON|temporary Library Installation
Plovdiv-based Studio 8 ½ was invited by “Art Today” Association to design and construct a temporary library in the main hall of an ancient Turkish bath, which is abandoned since decades. “Chifte Bath” (Meaning used by both males and females) was built in the XVI century over an even older Roman bath. The building is a unique architectural monument of local importance and one of the few buildings of this period in the city of Plovdiv preserved until nowadays. To learn why the entire library is built of wood and why Studio 8 ½ decided to arrange it in the hall’s center, please visit archdaily. Photography: © Architect Vladislav Kostadinov
Forget Your Past – Photographic series by Nikola Mihov
Many iconic monuments from the communist era in Bulgaria were dismantled after the fall of the totalitarian regime in 1989. Nevertheless, more than one hundred important monuments built between 1945 and 1989 remain standing. Today, most of them are neglected and ransacked. Nikola Mihov’s photographic series is an interesting and thought-provocative project, which reveals 14 of the most significant, yet forgotten monuments in Bulgaria. For all photography, history, architecture, policy lovers, this article (here) is a must read.

What’s New with Me

 I can’t believe I haven’t written in my blog for 3 months! I have to admit I missed it and all my online friends and I really hope not to absent anymore! One of the reasons I didn’t write was that I did an intensive English language course as knowing this international language is quite important nowadays (especially for someone like me, who runs a blog in English). I probably still don’t speak and write correctly in English, but you should know that I try really hard. Anyway, here are some personal photographs I want to share with you. The picture below is from my graduation ceremony, which was in April. The hat was quite uncomfortable!

IMG_5825_2Few days after the ceremony we had a graduation party, which was amazing! The event was at Sheraton Hotel in Sofia and everything was simply perfect – the food, the music, the atmosphere, the service. I had the time of my life and came back home at 6 am, but it was a well deserved party after six years of studying. I am a bit disappointed that the photographer didn’t take any pictures of the building from outside as it’s really beautiful and iconic. However, I found one on Internet (from also participated in the protests in Sofia, although I know that not much things depend on the normal people. I just felt that I need to be out on the streets as I see a government, who simply doesn’t solve our problems and what bothers me the most is the fact that a large percentage of young and well-educated Bulgarians emigrate and settle abroad. According to an article I read on Internet one of every eight young people in Bulgaria has concrete plans to leave the country in a search for better live in the near future, but frankly I think that probably every third has a plans and government doesn’t take any actions against this madness. After all, aren’t young people those, who should lead the country?
Don’t get me wrong I am not into policy and I don’t mind which party governs as long as our country moves forward toward a better future. All in all, I don’t regret participating in the protests, even if nothing changes I am really proud to see that more than 40 000 Bulgarians stood for their rights and I am even more proud that the protests are peaceful.IMG_6154

Boyana Church

Boyana Church is a medieval Bulgarian Orthodox church situated on the outskirts of Sofia.
It was built in three stages: in the late 10th and early 11th, the mid-13th, and the mid-19th centuries. In 1979 the monument was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.The church owes its world fame mainly to its frescoes from 1259. A total of 89 scenes with 240 human images are depicted on the walls.
They form a second layer over the paintings from earlier centuries and represent one of the most complete and well-preserved monuments of Eastern European medieval art.Information: Wikipedia
Photographs: 1.Todor Bozhinov, 2,3,4,5.Elena Chochkova, 6.Aleksander Dragnes, 7.vintagedept 8.buildingoftheyear

Endangered Old Buildings

The other day me and my friend went for a walk in the old downtown of Sofia and I noticed a few dangerous buildings. It’s very sad and disturbing to see so many beautiful historic buildings in such condition. It’s just unacceptable to me! Here is what architect Vladi Kalinov, director of construction control directorate at Sofia municipality, says about the endangered buildings:  “The number of dangerous buildings is generally retained. We remove and renew some but others appear. More complicated and slow is going the process for renovation of cultural monuments. The communication between different institutions is very difficult and cumbersome with them. We had the idea for them to get a credit as a municipality and through it to restore several similar buildings according to the rules. However, still the conditions on loans are severe. Unfortunately, the economic situation is not good at all in this respect. Banks do not like to lend loans as collateral are buildings because they are already filled with them. So we will manage with our own funds…We work with those who, in the first place, are extremely urgent and we directly assign them to be removed.” via vestnikstroitel
(Click on the picture to enlarge it)

Some Renovated Buildings


ON THE LEFT SIDE: Hears tower
Location: 300 West 57 Street, New York City, U.S.
Architects:  Norman Foster
Completed in 2006
Photography: Wikipedia

ON THE RIGHT SIDE: Business Center Rakovski
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
Architects: ProArch
Completed: 2011 (or 2012)
Photography: VestnikStroitel

Don’t you think these two buildings are similar? 

Un Tour de Sofia :)

Last Saturday I went out for a long walk. It was a rather gloriously warm day and a walk was the perfect way to be out in it. I visited some really nice places in Sofia, I had a great time and I can’t wait to share with you all that I saw!!
1/ In the morning I visited an Architectural Workshop for kids!! The kids are so talented!! It was such a great experience!! Take a look at the last picture, can you imagine that these clocks was made by kids?! They look amazing. And yes, they are handcrafted by these super sweet kids!! Oh, I wish I had kid now  just so I could bring him/her to this workshop. 🙂 More info: Facebook page / Photography: Facebook page
2/ After that I saw a super cute store with lights you won’t find anywhere else.  Most of them are handcrafted by Bulgarian designers, and the girl from the store was sooo nice (she allowed me to take a pictures of the store). She recommended me a good gallery in the same area and of course I went there right after our nice Saturday talk 😉 More info about the store: candelabrumstore.com3/ The gallery is super cool and  highly successful. It is located in the shopping area of the city. There you can buy good designer accessories, and to enjoy the many workshops and events they host. Take a look at the photography, can you imagine she is not professional photographer ?! I was shocked when they told me these are amateur photography, because I can say they are really good!! (click on the picture for enlarge view) More info about the gallery: Facebook page4/ The last stop was IKEA. Yes, I know what you are thinking “everyone have been to IKEA”. You are right, there is IKEA in almost every country in the world. It’s probably the most famous furniture store. But the first store in Bulgaria was opened just this winter. So that was my first visit to Bulgarian IKEA 😀 I actually don’t really like its furniture, because they’re too expensive for what you get (not great quality). What I like about IKEA is the functionality of its furniture, which is the thing that make them so successful 😉 By the way the candle on the last picture smells really nice, so I recommend it to you.*Please excuse my English. It is not my native language. 😉

Bulgarian architects | I/O architects

I/O is a Sofia based architectural studio, established by Georgi Katov and Viara Jeliazkova in 2004. Unfortunately I couldn’t find more information about this studio, but I promise that I will try to find some more information.

I/O е софийско архитектурно бюро, основано от арх.Георги Кътов и арх.Вяра Желязкова през 2004г. За съжеление, не можах да намеря повече информация за това бюро, но обещавам да потърся.Stone house / near Sofia, Bulgaria
Total area 220 sqm / Project 2003-04 / Construction 2004-06 /
Pictures east-centricarch / Photographs Boris Missirkov, Georgi BogdanovApartment block in Sofia, Bulgaria
Total areа 9000 sqm / Project 2005-06 / Construction 2005-07 / Pictures east-centricarch House in Bistritsa (near Sofia), Bulgaria
Total area  87 sqm / Project 2002-03 / Construction 2006-08 / Pictures east-centricarch / Photographer Abitare Bulgaria – Architecture and Design Magazine
Apartment block in Burgas, Bulgaria
Total area 7500sqm / Project 2004-05 / Construction 2005-07 / Pictures e-architectApartment Block in Boyana, Sofia, Bulgaria
Total area 2786.9 sqm / Construction 2007-11 / Pictures east-centricarch / Photographer Abitare BulgariaPrivate house in Black Sea Coast, Bulgaria
Total area 1100 sqm / Project 2004 / Construction 2005-07 / Picture e-architect