From all sides the city of Sofia is surrounded by mountains: in the north these are the spurs of Stara Planina, in the southeast the low Lozenskie mountains, from the south mount Vitosha. The city center is very compact and has a bit of a Parisian flavor. In the center, you can see many of the city’s attractions. The center of Sofia is suitable for leisurely walks in the parks, relaxing in outdoor cafes where you can enjoy delicious coffee. Sofia ranks first among the capitals of Europe in terms of the number of parks per capita.
To the right of the Cathedral of St. Alexander Nevsky you can see the building of the People’s Assembly on the pediment of which the motto is visible: “Unification is the guarantee of strength” (Unification of the rule of the silat).
From the history
Emperor Alexander II (1818-1881) is one of the most prominent Russian rulers and reformers. Having accepted Russia in 1855, exhausted and impoverished, over the years of his reign, he carried out a number of reforms that contributed to the rapid economic, political and social development of Russia (abolition of serfdom, reorganization of the army, etc.). Alexander II, following charitable impulses in 1877, declared war on Turkey, under the yoke of which the Bulgarian people lived for 500 years. At the cost of tremendous efforts of his people human sacrifices, material costs, Alexander II freed Bulgaria from Turkish slavery.
On the 15th anniversary of the end of the War of Independence, a monument to the tsar-liberator was erected in Sofia. A competition was announced for the best design of an equestrian statue of the Russian emperor. 90 sculptors from 13 countries took part in the competition. 120 boxes with layouts with a total weight of 2.2 tons arrived at the competition. The winner of the competition was the talented Florentine sculptor Arnoldo Zocchi (1826-1940).
Monument to Alexander II was completed in September 1903
The monument stood on the square for 4 years, wrapped in a black blanket and fenced off. Only on August 30, 1907, the grand opening of the monument took place in the presence of the townspeople, the Bulgarian prince Ferdinand I and members of the Russian imperial family, as well as the commander of the Bulgarian militia, Russian General Nikolai Grigorievich Stoletov.
The height of the monument is 14 meters. The monument consists of 2 parts a polished granite pedestal with bas-reliefs and a bronze figure of a horseman, depicting Emperor Alexander II. The heroes of the war of liberation (1877-1878) are depicted under the statue: Joseph Vladimirovich Gurko, Mikhail Dmitrievich Skobelev, as well as the commander-in-chief, Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolaevich.
On the facade of the monument, heroes are depicted carrying the goddess Nika on their shoulders, followed by Bulgarian militias.
The Russian Emperor Alexander II remained beloved and popular for the Bulgarian people, his name is famous and handed down from generation to generation.