The photographic exhibition “Sofia Homes” presents 27 architectural gems of Sofia. Shot in general or in detail, beautiful, stylish and dignified, these buildings remind us of the rapid development of Sofia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. On April 3, 1879 (March 22 in the old style) during the Constituent Assembly in Tarnovo, Sofia was designated as the capital and residence of the Prince.
But April 3 is not just a date, but the beginning of the inspired construction of Sofia as a European capital. In less than three decades, the old Sofia, called by Konstantin Irechek “Bulgarian Venice” because of the alleys, with a population of about 12,000 people, acquired beautiful architectural ensembles, magnificent buildings such as the Military Club and the National Theater, electric lighting, trams and yellow pavers. But the most romantic side of this change are the dozens of Sofia homes of famous Bulgarian families. Initially, houses were built in neoclassical style with its harmonious proportions, symmetry, triangular gables above the windows. Towards the end of the 19th century, the new Art Nouveau style (Art Nouveau in Austria-Hungary; Art Nouveau in France, etc.) arrived here, inspired by the beauty of nature and striving to renew architecture. The Art Nouveau houses, laden with plaster, wood and wrought iron, eaves and small domed towers, add their unique charm to the streets of Sofia. The first Bulgarian architects with education from Vienna, Prague or Paris, along with foreign architects who accepted Sofia as their second home, created a remarkable cultural heritage that we can be proud of today.
The exhibition shows the point of view of Zdravko Petrov, author of the book “Historical Routes: Sofia” and the website historicalroutes.bg, which reveal interesting facts about the architecture and history of the most beautiful houses and public buildings in our capital.