Sofia

Article

January 21, 2022

Sofia (in Bulgarian: София, Sofiya, /ˈsɔfijɐ/) is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria, 590 m above sea level at the foot of Mount Vitosha, not far from Iskar. Its inhabitants, the Sofiots (in Bulgarian: софиянци, sofiyantsi), represent 17% of the country's population, placing Sofia in the 13th rank of the most populated cities in the European Union. Sofia is also the fourth largest city in the Balkans, after Istanbul, Athens and Belgrade. It is at the same time the political and cultural center of the country, its main center of exchanges as well as its first industrial center, with steel, metallurgical, mechanical construction and chemical activities. It has also been a university center since 1888. The city occupies a very important geostrategic position in the region, which has largely contributed to its demographic expansion.

Toponymy

The Thracian tribe of the Serdes gave their name to the first urban settlement established on the site: Serdica in the 7th century BC. BC. Then the Bulgarians called it Stredets (the town in the middle). The Byzantines called it Triaditsa. In 1376, it took its present name Sofia, after the Hagia Sophia.

Geography

Location

Sofia is located in the west of the country. To the south of the city is the Vitosha massif which culminates at 2,290 m (Černi vrăh - Black Peak) and which is a popular excursion destination for Sofiotes. About 25 km north of the city begin the Balkan Mountains which extend from west to east for 500 km across the whole of Bulgaria. The city is crossed by the Iskar River, a tributary of the right bank of the Danube.

Climate

Sofia experiences a continental climate, with large amplitudes in a day, and large differences from one year to another. Indeed, it is located at the limit of the Siberian winters experienced by the countries of the East, and the clemency of the winters of the Mediterranean countries. Bulgaria enjoys a complex climate and Sofia is a striking example. The average annual temperature is 10.6°C and the average annual precipitation is 581.8 mm. July and August are the hottest months with an average temperature of 21°C. January and February are the driest with average rainfall of 33 and 31 mm. The heaviest rainfall is in May and June with 67 and 75 mm respectively. The coldest month is January with an average temperature of −0.5°C

Administrative divisions

The city of Sofia (Sofia-Grad), i.e. Sofia - capital region, is one of the 28 regions (in Bulgarian област 'region', Pl. области) of Bulgaria. The agglomeration of Sofia includes 3 satellite towns and 34 villages. It is made up of 24 districts (boroughs): Bankja (Bankia, Банкя) Vitoša (Vitosha, Витоша) Vrǎbnica (Vrabnitsa, Връбница) Vǎzraždane (Vazrajdané, Възраждане) Izgrev (Изгрев) Ilinden (Илинден) Iskǎr (Искър) Krasna poljana (Krasna poliana, Красна поляна) Krasno selo (Красно село) Kremikovci (Kremikovtzi, Кремиковци) Lozenec (Lozenetz, Лозенец) Ljulin (Liulin, Люлин) Mladost (Младост) Nadežda (Nadejda, Надежда) Novi Iskǎr (Нови Искър) Ovča kupel (Ovtcha kupel, Овча купел) Oborište (Oborishte, Оборище) Pancarevo (Pantcharevo, Панчарево) Podujane (Poduyané, Подуяне) Serdika (Сердика) Slatina (Слатина) Studentski grad (Stoudentski grad, Студентски град) Sredec (Sredetz, Средец) Triadica (Triaditza, Triaditsa)

Demographics

In 1887, Sofia had 20,000 inhabitants. In 1910, the population of the capital reached the figure of 100,000, reaching the status of a large city. The population of the city increases very rapidly at this time: it is

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