Knyazheska Garden can be defined as the garden of generations. This location in the centre of Sofia has undergone many transformations – passing from generation to generation.
Let us briefly introduce you to its history. Originally in the 1870s, “Knyazheska” Garden was just a meadow flooded by the city river. In the winter, when its waters froze, ice-skating and musical entertainments were organised. After 1882, at the prince’s idea, the first vegetable and fruit garden was created, and several flower pavilions were built. About ten years later, the first botanical garden was established on this site. A zoo was added to it and was a great attraction for the locals. In 1936, a royal kindergarten was also built with a maze, a swimming pool, a children’s theatre, an airplane, a tank, and a locomotive for children to explore.
After the Zoo was moved to its present location, we come to 1954, when the Communist regime erected the Soviet Army monument in the garden for propaganda purposes. Hence the widespread name of this place, known to all as the “Soviet Army park”.
Today, as new history is about to erase the old and move the monument to a more private place, it can be said that this is a hot spot for historical and political debate. And that younger generations are not stopping to add new colours to history – literally and figuratively. An example is the “Keeping up with time” initiative of 2011 when the monument was repainted by a group of activists in the colours of various “Western” superheroes. The organisation is called Destructive Creation, and its name comes from the idea that through “strong creative expressions, old destructive attitudes and understandings are shattered.”
The park today is also known as “the place of the young”. At any time of the day or evening, you will notice how the noise of the ramps and skateboards of the youth never stops. Here, Sofia’s youngest skate talents listen to music on their skateboards and have fun while getting excited in their quest to leave their mark on the spirit of the city and its history.
#soSofia tip: Located in the Knyazheska Garden, in the very heart of the city, Sofians enjoy drinking beer there, try it yourself?