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The Rotunda of St George (Sveti Georgi), Sofia

4.5
#4 of 37 in Sightseeing in Sofia
Architectural Building Religious Site
Hear priests chant in the old Slavic language and sing Byzantine music while performing the daily liturgy at The Rotunda of St George (Sveti Georgi). The Romans built the red-brick rotunda--the oldest building in Sofia--in the fourth century CE, presumably on the site of a pagan temple. A modern hotel was built around the church in the 1950s, and in the courtyard you can see the contrast between the opulence of the huge hotel and the humility of the small church. The church is famous for its 12th- to 14th-century frescoes. Twenty-two large figures of prophets crown the central dome around the image of Christ. As you exit the church, wander around the neighboring ruins of the ancient town of Serdika. For travelers who use our world travel planner, Sofia holidays become easier to arrange, with trips to the The Rotunda of St George (Sveti Georgi) and other attractions mapped out and timetabled.
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4.7
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  • From the outside it looks like a very lovely Church. Very interesting. We could not enter as we were not wearing the appropriate clothing. Men cannot wear shorts and singlets and women cannot wear dre...  more »
  • An interesting visit to this ancient ruin that was actually inside the Palance ground. Visitors were allowed with no admission charges. Worth a visit. Sofia is full of Roman and ancient ruins.  more »
  • The round and very impressive because it rises inside the Presidential Palace, the courtyard where Roman ruins have been found. In the evening and open to the public and instills an austere charm.
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  • “St. George” Rotunda Church is the oldest architectural monument in Sofia and the only building in good repair, intact to the roof, dated as far back as the Roman Empire. Its construction coincides with a moment of a remarkable flourishing of Serdika as one of the largest and most considerable Roman towns on the Balkan Peninsula. 
  • A fantastic reminder of the Christian faith extending to the present from the time of Constantine. Beautiful, inspiring, faith building. Unfortunately they try to sell souvenirs in the church. Apparently they have not heard that Jesus threw the profiteers out of the temple.
  • Very cool because of the history. Though they say it's from the 4th century, really it's just the roof that is, but still... pretty impressive!!
  • Free to visit, check out this 1st century church which is also the oldest church that is still in service. No photography allowed so be sure to check it out for yourself. Amazing that this structure is maintained throughout the centuries!!
  • St George Rotunda Church is the oldest building in Sofia. It is dated as far back as Roman Empire. The church building till roof is still in tact.

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Where to stay in Sofia

Set yourself up for easy and convenient access to Sofia's historical core and its most popular tourist sites by staying in an upscale hotel in the city center. While you'll find some hotels on the main boulevard, look for modern hotels off the main streets to keep costs lower. Staying outside the center in the outlying neighborhoods means you'll need to use public transportation, but the network is extensive and accommodation prices farther out are lower. For a real budget-friendly option, consider staying in a hostel; the city boasts a wide array of these, many of which include breakfast.
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