About the project

The Ancient History of Sofia – Cultural and Historical Heritage Accessible to All project is focused on the restoration and preservation of the cultural heritage for future generations, as well as on a more comprehensive presentation of the capital city within the European context of cultural exchanges and cultural diversity by means of activities focusing on restoration, conservation and preservation of buildings and areas of cultural and historical value. The sites forming part of the project were selected following an in-depth analysis and consideration of the rich and diverse cultural heritage of Sofia and its contribution to the development of cultural tourism:

  • The Western Gate of Serdica – a site of exceptionally high cultural value and historical importance, whereby all the finds in it possess a major exposition potential;
  • The Triangular Tower of Serdica – dates from the time of Emperor Justinian, and is part of the fortification system of ancient Serdica;

The Saint Sophia Church – the second oldest building in Sofia is one of the most valuable architectural monuments of global importance in South East Europe, dating back to the early Christian times. Its preservation for future generations is vital in view of its importance.

The present project is in conformity with the priorities of Programme BG 08 “Cultural Heritage and Contemporary Arts” financed under the FM of the EEA 2009-2014, and is fully in line with the objectives of the National Strategy for Regional Development and with the European policies in this field. It focuses on strengthening the regional importance of tourist products, and pays special attention to the role of economic diversification and to the preservation and use of cultural heritage. On the local level, the project proposal is in harmony with the Strategy for Cultural Development of Sofia 2013-2023, and it will contribute to the achievement of the main strategic objectives, namely to ensure a more active participation by the citizens in the use of culture products and services, and to fulfil the vision that Sofia should pursue a sustainable development as an innovative and creative city of opportunities and as a platform for active involvement of the citizens in the modern cultural life and their fruitful interaction with cultural heritage. The specific objectives laid down in the municipal plan are a further evidence that the project is a necessary step towards their achievement because they are targeted, firstly, at encouraging cultural development and attracting new visitors, and secondly, at the integration of minority groups.

Activities

  • Restoration, conservation and urbanisation of the Western Gate site
  • Anti-seismic strengthening  of the Saint Sophia Church
  • Exposure  and social access to the Triangular Tower of Serdica
  • Developing a sustainable model for training and integration of unskilled members of the Roma community
  • Developing an interactive software system targeted at the Roma population

Target groups:

  • Civil society;
  • Persons showing interest in the cultural heritage of Sofia;
  • Researchers, students, tourists, people seeking opportunity to enrich their knowledge about cultural heritage and history;
  • Cultural institutes, non-profit organisations, etc.;
  • Tourists and visitors to the city

The project includes activities to improve the ways and means for integration and inclusion of the Roma population within the civil society and to ensure the preservation of three archaeological sites of extremely high cultural and historical value. Considerable side  benefits and revenues will be generated for the local population.