Sofia (Bulgarian: София) is the capital and biggest city of the Republic of Bulgaria, with a population of 1,208,930 (2003). It is located in the western part of Bulgaria, at the foot of the mountain massif Vitosha, and is the administrative, cultural, and industrial center of the country.
There are 16 universities in the city, among them Sofia University, founded in 1889. It is the see of an Eastern Orthodox metropolitan and of a Roman Catholic diocese. On a site inhabited as early as the 8th century BC, Sofia is the second oldest capital city in Europe. It has been given several names throughout the course of history, and the remnants of the old cities can still be seen today.

The historical location of the Mobile Studios in Sofia:
Alexander Battenberg Square

The place we have chosen for the placing of the Mobile Studios in Sofia - the "Alexander Battenberg Square" has been the scene of many historical events, so it has gone through various changes of symbolic significance, reflecting disparate cultural and political periods in our past.
After the Liberation of Bulgaria from the Ottoman Empire at the end of the 19th century the building of the previous residence of the Ottoman District Governor has been transformed during the reign of Prince Alexander Battenberg into a neo-Baroque royal palace. During the reign of the two Bulgarian kings of the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha dynasty the palace became the centre of the active social life of Sofia. During World War II heavy bombardments destroyed many of the beautiful buildings near Alexander square. Later the communist regime destroyed the fence and the fountains of the palace's gardens to open view of the newly constructed Communist Party House, removed from the façade all the symbols of royal power and turned the building into a National Art Gallery.
After the death of the communist leader Georgi Dimitrov in 1949 immediately opposite the former palace building the army constructed in six days his Mausoleum where his embalmed body has been exposed, similar to that of Lenin in Moscow. The mausoleum was a white cuboid neo-classical style building, designed by a famous Bulgarian architect in just one night while he was jailed by the Party as a "representative of the hostile bourgeoisie." With the mausoleum the Alexander Battenberg square became the centre of all compulsory official parades during the regime. After the transition from dictatorship to democracy the mausoleum has been abandoned and became prey to graffiti artists and later demolished in 2000. Now the place where it stood is part of the city garden and is called "The Gardens of the United Nations".
So, Alexander Battenberg square has witnessed the forth of the monarchy, the communist propaganda, the mass rioting at the beginning of democracy, not only witnessed, but even symbolized them. Now it is a common part of the city center and with the renovated buildings of the former palace and the crowded city garden is a perfect place for a cultural happening.


Some links about Sofia:
- City of Sofia
- Sofia City Council
- Article about Sofia
- Sofia Life Travel Guide
- Sofia Photo Gallery
- Pictures from Sofia
- Cultural Guide
- Brief Information on Sofia
- Sofia Photo Gallery

These are quotes of a Wikipedia Text, the full information is available here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sofia

This text is licensed to the public under the GNU Free Documentation License


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mobility | networks | media art | performance | fashion | design | science | urban interventions | communication | cultural policies | cooperation | talk | internet | netart

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Neli Mitewa | Mila Odazhieva | Kyd Campbell | Petko Dourmana | Peter Anders | Greta Gancheva | Willy Prager | Stefan A. Shtereff | Galia Dimitrova | Margarita Dorovska | Yana Kostova

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