An ancient history of Sofia, cultural heritage accessible for all

Project facts

Project promoter
Municipality of Sofia
Project Number:
Target groups
Researchers or scientists
Initial project cost:
Final project cost:
From EEA Grants:
€ 1,169,728
The project is carried out in:
София (столица) / Sofia (stolitsa)

More information


The project aims to restore, preserve and protect three buildings of cultural heritage value for future generations. It also aims to present the heritage of the capital city within the European context of cultural exchange and cultural diversity. Sofia is one of the most ancient European capital cities with a rich historical and cultural heritage. The main buildings to be restored and preserved are the Triangular tower and “Western Gate” of Serdica, and the seismic strengthening of the Basilica “St. Sofia”. The project is in line with the main purpose of the programme and with the objectives of the National Strategy for Regional Development and the Municipal Development Plan. Targeted are the civil society, researchers, students, tourists, cultural organizations, NGOs. The Norwegian partner (Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU)) contributes to the successful project implementation providing on-time know-how, sharing of best practices and knowledge in the field of restoration and preservation. The cooperation strengthens bilateral relations.

Summary of project results

The project aims at restoring / renovating sites of cultural and historical value; revitalization of exhibition spaces / platforms through interactive technologies; protection of cultural heritage sites and development of open-air museums. During its long life, the Hagia Sophia Basilica suffered from an unknown number of earthquakes, resulting in numerous cracks in the walls, arches and dome, the basilica had serious problems with the impact of earthquakes. Prior to the start of the project, the West Gate of Serdika is in an extremely unsatisfactory state - the destruction of the original substance, the loss of the grout, the masonry masonry, the shuffling of the stone flooring, the collapse of the stone steps, etc. The triangular tower of Serdika was discovered and explored in 1958, but has not been available for visitors yet and its full potential has not been realized. With the realization of the project, the Triangular Tower is now a distinct place for the development of cultural events, providing space for expression of cultural identity. The goal is 100% for the specific three sites. The implementation of the project will increase the attractiveness of Sofia as a tourist destination. The project envisaged the implementation of a total of 17 activities presented in chronological order. The chosen methods for practical implementation of the project were aimed at ensuring the effective implementation of the activities and the achievement of the objectives. Civil society, including disadvantaged people, children, people interested in the development of cultural heritage will be directly and positively influenced by the implementation of the project activities, responding to their cultural, recreational and educational needs by responding of a new restored, preserved, ennobled and revitalized site of historical and cultural significance. There are new places for rest and relaxation, where local residents and guests of the city will be able to spend their free time. Representatives of Roma origin were given temporary employment as well as professional training in the area of landscaping, park planning, maintenance and restoration and conservation activities. The project activities will also have a positive impact on cultural institutions such as local museums, cultural institutes and galleries - increasing attendance.

Summary of bilateral results

The project partner has contributed to the conservation and restoration of open-air archaeological structures. Many of the recommendations in this area have been taken into account and have contributed to the better conservation and restoration of sites. Good collaboration has led to the popularization of the Bulgarian cultural heritage in Norway and the creation of not only peer-friendly but also friendly relations. We believe that this is only the beginning of a good future cooperation in the field of preservation of the cultural and historical heritage.