The ruins of the ancient fortress of Serdica


Serdika (lat. Serdica) - an ancient city in Thrace. Serdika - Sredets - An antique and medieval fortified city in the center of Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.

Disclosed and exhibited Rotunda St. George IV century. with the remains of the palace of Emperor Konstantin I the Great and the ancient street, the Eastern fortress gate, the ruins of the fortress bastion near the Serdik thermal mineral spring, the family paraclis of St. Nicholas with the walls of the palace of Sevastokrator Kaloyan (13th century), the church of St. Petka (Paraskeva) old 1241, Church of the Holy Savior, the late medieval Church of St. Petka of Samardia and others.


The settlement of the Thracian tribe of Serds, which appeared near the Serdikian thermal mineral spring, one of many in the Sophia Basin in the VIII century BC. e., archaeologically traced to the Neolithic site. Around the VI century BC e. conquered odris, whose kingdom was conquered by the Macedonians under King Philip II. The name Serdica (Serdica) was given to the city by the Romans, after the conquest of the Odris in 29, apparently, contrasting their historical claims to the memory of ancient hearts. Emperor Trajan (98–117) granted the city the rights of Roman citizenship (Ulpia Serdica municipality, named Trajan Ulpius). Having become the center of the Roman province of Lower Dacia, subsequently Thrace (since 395 in the Eastern Roman Empire - Byzantium), Serdika during the second century grew strongly into a “large and impregnable” (according to Ammianus Marcellinus, 357) city, the beloved residence of the Roman emperor Constantine (306–337). ("Serdika is my Rome"). Here in 343 in the Cathedral of St. Sofia hosted the Serdian Cathedral.

In the 5th-6th centuries, during the era of the Great Migration of Peoples, the city experienced the invasions of the Goths and other barbarian tribes, was captured by the Huns of Attila. Under the emperor Justinian (527-565), the city is reborn as an important administrative center and a powerful fortress under the name Triaditsa. The episcopal department (since the time of Emperor Constantine) is subordinate to the archbishop of the city of Justinian Prim.

During the Bulgarian-Byzantine war (807–815), Khan Krum Khan in 809 entered the city with a vile cunning, then breaking his oath promise when agreeing on the honorable surrender of the Byzantine garrison, severely tortured and exterminated all unarmed surrendered soldiers and many civilians, and the city was captured and plundered. The city became the border Bulgarian fortress Sredets (Latin Serdica → Old Slav. Sѣѣьь).

Architecture edit |Photo and description

The ruins of the ancient fortress “Serdika” can be seen in Sofia - they occupy the underground passage between the building of the Presidential Administration and the building of the Council of Ministers right in the center of the city. The eastern gate of the fortification was restored and exhibited for two years from 1997 to 1999.

The city of Serdonpolis or Serdika founded the Thracian tribe of hearts in the second millennium BC. The hearts occupied a favorable mineral springs area. But at the beginning of our era, the city was captured by the Romans, who appreciated the strategically successful location of the settlement, as well as the presence of thermal springs. In the era of Mark Ulpius Trajan, who ruled the empire from 98 to 117, the city was named in his honor - Ulpiya Serdika - and became the center of the entire region.

Konstantin the Great has repeatedly noted that Serdika is his favorite city, sources claim that he says the sentence: “Serdika is my Rome”. In addition, here Constantine decided to move the capital of the Roman Empire to Constantinople, and before this happened, Constantine ruled the empire from Serdica.

During the reign of the emperors Commodus and Marcus Aurelius, around 175, Serdica was fortified with a fortress wall with observation towers facing each side of the world, as well as four gates. Another fortress wall was erected in the 5-6 centuries.

Under the current Holy Week Square in Sofia, there used to be a city forum, to which a pair of cobbled city streets led. In the area of ​​the current Serdika metro station, there were once cobbled streets and aristocratic villas with running water and sewage.

In the south-west of the fortress were the buildings of the administrative power of the empire. During archaeological excavations, ruins of public and residential buildings at the western gate, as well as ceramics and other finds, were found.

The main historical core of the capital of Bulgaria, including the medieval Sredets and ancient Serdica, is a historical and archaeological reserve.