The Rotunda St George is considered as the oldest standing building in Sofia. It was built in the 4th century when Sofia was a residence of the emperor Constantine the Great. Today the Rotunda is hidden in the courtyard of the Presidency and is a part of a largest archeological complex of ancient Roman ruins.
It was built of red bricks and has a complex symmetry. At the center, there is a domed rotunda room with semicircular niches in the corners. Inside you will find 5 layers of frescoes – the oldest is from 4th century with floral motives, the second, the third and the fourth are from the Bulgarian Middle Age and the last one is with Islamic ornamental motifs.
During the Ottoman rule in the 16th century, the church became a mosque. In the middle of the 19th century, the Rotunda, along with the St. Sophia Church and the Sofia Mosque (today National Archaeological Museum) was abandoned by the Muslims. Not long later, the Bulgarians reclaimed its original purpose of a Christian church
Today the Church is several meters under the ground level and it attracts many tourists and pilgrims. For special occasions the church is used as a venue for military ceremonies or for classical and orthodox concerts.
An early Christian church similar to St George in Sofia is the Rotunda in Thessaloniki, in Greece. It has almost the same architectural plan, but a considerably larger size, built with the same construction techniques.
- Website http://svgeorgi-rotonda.com
- Phone +359 2 980 9216
- Address 2 Kniaz Aleksandar Dondukov Blvd., Sofia