St. “Alexander Nevsky” Patriarch’s Cathedral

This Bulgarian Orthodox Cathedral is the most recognizable symbol not only of Sofia city, but also of Bulgaria. Located in the heart of the city, the Orthodox Cathedral, which serves as the cathedral church of the Patriarch of Bulgaria, is visible from many different locations around Sofia due to its gold-plated domes. The decision to build the Cathedral was made after the Bulgarian Liberation in 1878. The funds for building the Cathedral were gathered from local church communities throughout the country. The Cathedral was finally built in 1912, at the beginning of the First Balkan War. Alexander Nevsky was a Russian saint, patron saint of Tsar Alexander II, the “Liberator” and the Orthodox Cathedral is dedicated to him in a gesture of appreciation and gratitude to the Russian Tsar.

Many Bulgarian and foreign architects, sculptors, iconographers and builders contributed to the construction and decoration of this impressive Neo-Byzantine Cathedral. An interesting fact is that the bell tower contains 12 bells purchased from Moscow, the heaviest of which weighs 12 tonnes and the lightest – only 10 kilograms. Together all 12 weigh 23 tonnes.

#soSofia tip: Shake up your photography – look for the gold-plated domes of the Cathedral from various spots in the city.

St. Alexander Nevsky Sq.