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Address: bul. Ivan Ivanov №10

5.6 km. from the center of Sofia

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The Unknown Sofia: Paleontological Museum at Sofia University

The topic of dinosaurs and extinct species is among the most interesting for the children and for the adults too. When it comes to paleontology, however, it seems that we are not familiar enough and many people do not even know that there are such museums so close to them. One of them is the paleontological museum at Sofia University, which we have chosen to present in the “Unknown Sofia” section.

History of the Museum

Under the dome of the North Wing of Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski ”the secrets of the distant geological epochs have been hidden for almost 70 years. The place was established in 1956, but is not among the popular places to visit by tourists. The reason for this is not the fact that there is nothing to show, but the unusual location.

The idea for the museum came from the famous Bulgarian geologist Prof. Georgi Zlatarski, who formed the first paleontological collection in the late 19th century. At the beginning of the next century, extremely valuable and rich collections were purchased and so gradually this temple of knowledge began to develop and enrich. In its current form, it was arranged in 1965 and now the collection of materials collected in the course of research activities exceeds 15,000 samples. Among them are a huge number of fossils, rock samples and maps from Bulgaria and neighboring territories.

What Can We See There?

The central place in the collection is for the pride of paleontologists – a restored skeleton of the genus Deinoterium* with impressive dimensions of 7 meters in length and 4.20 meters in height. It is made of authentically preserved bones (more than 90%). Other impressive finds include the remains of a saber-toothed tiger, porcupine, giraffe, tapir and monkey, as well as a fossilized dolphin skeleton found near Balchik.

Where is the Museum?

Address: 15 Tsar Osvoboditel Blvd., Sofia University, North Wing, 5th floor

Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 10:00 until 12:00 am and from 01:00 until 04:00pm.

*Dinoterii (deinoteriums) – an extinct genus of giant mammals related to modern elephants. They disappeared at the end of the last ice age, around 11,000 BC. A well-preserved skeleton was discovered in Bulgaria in 1963 in the region of Haskovo.

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Some Especially Important Amenities in Art Hotel Simona

The new reality has led to transformations in all areas of our lives. Undoubtedly, there are some in the hotel business so that we can ensure greater safety for guests and employees. Therefore, no matter how many innovations we introduce in the service, there are some “basic” requirements. However, it is precisely these amenities that we often seem not to notice, but without them the stay would definitely not be so pleasant.

Hotel Amenities Without Which It Would not be the Same

Cleanliness

Well, the pandemic has probably made more people pay attention to hygiene, but in general this is something we take for granted. However, Art Hotel Simona has developed a special safety program and methodology for disinfection of our hotel rooms, conference halls, Simona restaurant, as well as the common areas.

Security

Many guests accept hotels as a home away from their own home and therefore expect to have serious safety and security measures there. That is why with us you have the opportunity to use a free safe, and the hotel is also equipped with security cameras.

Parking

Something that will be very important to you if you do not want to use taxis and plan to travel with your car or rent one. Parking in Sofia, especially in the evening, is sometimes a real nightmare, so the free parking at Art Hotel Simona is certainly a huge convenience that will save you a lot of worries.

Internet

In our country we are used to accepting the Internet as a completely ordinary and normal extra. Well, then it certainly impresses you when you visit places where the WiFi is not very good and you have to wait for the desired page to load, as in the good old days. That is why in Art Hotel Simona we have thought about this issue, building a connection using the latest technology with hotspot points, which allows guests to move around the hotel without having to connect to different routers on each floor. This system provides super fast WiFi and a great connection anywhere in the hotel – even in the summer garden of the restaurant “Simona”.

Breakfast

No need to tell you how important the breakfast is. Besides, you don’t think it would be convenient to wake up and wander around an unfamiliar city looking for something tasty to eat. For this reason, Simona restaurant offers a nutritious start to the day so you can concentrate on the important things.

Restaurant

And when it comes to food, let’s take care of the menu throughout the day, as well as to have a place to have a drink to relax after work. Of course, you would probably like to explore the city, but if you prefer to take a shower and eat without having to go far, with us you can do it in Simona restaurant.

Comfortable Beds

The hotel takes care of many basic needs, but one of the most important is to provide a comfortable place to relax. And to feel good it is not enough just to have a place to sleep – what matters is a good mattress, cleanliness, arrangement of the room and good air circulation. That is why we at Art Hotel Simona have taken care of the overall comfort of the guests by adding our own artistic touch to the interior of the premises.

Lighting

This is quite a problem in many hotels because most do not offer adequate lighting in the rooms and bathrooms. Good lighting is also very important for the experience in the room and ensuring security. What do you think?!

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Weekend Offer: The Bells (PHOTOS)

Bells Park is one of the emblematic of Sofia. We all know where it is (hopefully), but how many of us know its history?! The place where the impressive monument is located is extremely beautiful and is only a kilometer from Mladost district.

The area offers the opportunity to walk in nature, and you can certainly find quieter picnic areas if you prefer privacy. Before that, however, be sure to take a walk to see the many bells from around the world, especially if you have children – a lot of fun.

What is a Bell Park?

This is a complex whose official name is the International Park of Children of the World. It is located near the Sofia village of Bistritsa at the foot of Vitosha Mountain. It was opened in 1979 on the idea of ​​Lyudmila Zhivkova because of the hosting of our country at the International Children’s Assembly “Flag of Peace” under the auspices of UNESCO (Children’s Art Festival).

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Photo: NUKK

The complex is designed by the sculptors Krum Damyanov and Mihail Benchev, the architects Blagoy Atanasov and Georgi Genchev and eng. Anton Maleev. It was built in just 30 days and in its center there is a monument with a height of 37 meters. It consists of 4 vertical pylons, oriented according to the directions of the world. At the top there is a sphere that symbolizes the planet, and 7 bells – for each of the continents. Many more bells (over 130) are located in a circle around the main monument.

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Curious about the Bells:

  • We can find a copy of a bell from the 4th century BC;
  • The oldest original bell is from the 11th century;
  • One of the bells (from Latin America) took part in a real uprising;
  • In 1996, a few bulldozers were about to demolish the monument;
  • The Bulgarian bell weighs 1300 kg, and the reason – in honor of the 1300th anniversary of the founding of our country.

How to Get There?

You can use public transport – buses 314, 111, 112, or the more convenient option – by car (there is a place to park). Unfortunately, you can’t rely much on signage, so you’d better turn on your GPS navigation.

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And we are waiting for you in Art Hotel Simona, where you will enjoy a cozy, artistic atmosphere, unique design rooms, interesting culinary offerings, impeccable hygiene and special treatment. And all this only 3 km from the center of Sofia.

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A Journey Into the Past: How Sofia Became a Capital of Bulgaria

The history of the largest city in Bulgaria – Sofia, begins long before the creation of our country. The earliest data on the inhabitation of the territory are from the early Neolithic. Over the centuries the city did not stop developing, but it was declared the capital only in 1879.
Before that we can trace interesting events from its prehistory, as well as from the Thracian, Roman and Medieval eras. We will tell you about them some other time, and now let’s follow when and how the city rises to the most important administrative center of the Third Bulgarian State.

Name Development

Today’s Sofia in the past bore different names. The oldest documented is Serdonopolis (translated from Greek “city of the Serds”) and according to researchers the Serds inhabited the area in the first century BC. Emperor Trajan officially gave the city the name Ulpia Serdica, often abbreviated only to Serdica. After the region joined Bulgaria at the beginning of the 9th century, it became known as Sredets, and the name Triaditsa is also used in ancient Greek sources. In the 14th century it was already mentioned as Sofia on behalf of the Church of St. Sophia.

How Did Sofia Become a Capital?

For centuries, Sofia has played a particularly important role as a central center and a natural crossroads connecting East and West. And indeed, as the motto of our capital states, the city is growing, but not aging, and therefore it has more than 7,000 years of history.

After the Liberation of Bulgaria from Turkish slavery, a temporary Russian government was formed with headquarters in Plovdiv, which was significantly larger in terms of population at that time. The head of the temporary administration is the Russian prince Alexander Dondukov-Korsakov, who later moved to Sofia and this became a sign of the future strategic location of the city.

A little later, at the suggestion of Marin Drinov, the city was chosen as the capital of the Principality of Bulgaria (April 3, 1879). This led to a rapid increase in population and Sofia became a large and important political, administrative, economic, scientific and cultural center.

The Early Capital

When Sofia was declared the capital, the population was just over 11,000, and urbanization lagged far behind. At that moment there were only two schools, almost no administrative buildings, and only 3,000 houses. But the situation changed very quickly, because the city had good communication lines and a key location for the construction of the future railway network of the Principality.

Transformation of Sofia

In the same year (1879) the first urban plan of Sofia was prepared by the city engineer S. Amadie, who transformed the city. Some of the most prominent architects and builders at that time came to help build the new look. Bold changes began and the center shifted from the square at Banya Bashi Mosque to the square around the Cathedral “St. King ”(today’s Holy Sunday Church).

The first city architect – the Czech Antonin (Adolf) Kolar, created the Ministry of War, Hotel Bulgaria, the Military Club, etc., and Chitalishte Slavyanska Beseda, the buildings of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, the Bulgarian National Bank and the mausoleum of Prince Alexander Battenberg were conceived by the Swiss Hermann Meyer. A famous Viennese architect of Bulgarian origin (Konstantin Jovanovic) designed the building of the National Assembly. The emblematic Eagle Bridge, which is considered the symbolic gate of the city, was designed by the chief architect Kolar and Vaclav Prosek in 1891. The name, as you know, comes from the bronze statues of eagles on the bridge.

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If you have a way to the capital Sofia, welcome to Art Hotel Simona, which is located very close to the city center. We will accommodate you in interesting design rooms and we will make sure that you have eaten well with the specialties in the Simona Restaurant.
We are expecting you!

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Romantic Escape From the Routine in Art Hotel Simona

Valentine’s Day is long gone, but it doesn’t mean we should forget about romance until next year on the same date. Therefore we offer you a great dinner in Simona Restaurant and unforgettable emotions in the romantic rooms of Art Hotel Simona ***. Give yourself memories – ones that will be remembered for a long time!

In fact, the very stay of a couple in a hotel evokes associations with romance. And the secret is not necessarily in the leaves of roses scattered on the floor, or breakfast in the bed. It’s all about sharing time with your loved one, so really enjoy it.

Symbolism of Colors

Have you ever wondered what our life would be like without colors – only black and white?! Too boring, isn’t it?! The colors are beautiful and help we can express ourselves, our essence and artistry.

Colors can generally be classified into two groups – warm and cold. And when we talk about romance, passion and love, we definitely do not deal with cold shades. We think mostly of red, pink, orange, but we can add a few more.

The red

is known as the color of strong emotions, life and love. Attractive and very provocative, acts on lovers as an explosive substance. Energy flows from it and it seems to have some magical charge. For the Jews it was a symbol of sin, in ancient Egypt it was associated with violence and cruelty, and in China with life. Psychology strongly confirms that red has the power to influence our moods, perceptions and actions.

The pink one

evokes romance and a desire for intimacy. It can be defined as the color of unconditional love, understanding and concern for the other. As a result of the combination of red and white, pink combines the eroticism of red and the innocence of white. And the darker the pink, the more passion his energy has. According to psychology, pink brings hope, calm and sensuality. Saturated shades are a signal of flirtation, debauchery and a slight madness.

The orange

is not the color that we initially define as romantic, but it is warm and communicative. Gives more confidence, optimism and self-confidence. It embodies a balance between consciousness and libido. Stimulates trust and a sense of wholeness. It creates an unadulterated feeling of warmth and, unlike red, no matter how intense the orange, it cannot acquire aggressive energy.

Pastel colors,

delicate light tones have the ability to soothe, while creating mood and harmony. In combination with floral motifs they give a special romance. A similar feeling can be achieved with ivory and purple.

And here are some of the romantic offers of Art Hotel Simona:

The whole hotel provides guests with a fascinating art adventure with a romantic touch. Art Hotel Simona offers the perfect escape from the boring reality. And you can add a delicious romantic menu in the cozy art atmosphere of the Simona Restaurant, too.

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Summer Sofia – Another Opportunity for a Great Vacation

If we decide to focus on the positive, we will notice how great Sofia is. Especially in the summer, when the traffic has significantly decreased and the view of Vitosha is more beautiful than ever. Here we can find everything – historical and cultural landmarks, beautiful nature, entertainment, sports…

What to Do in Sofia During the Summer?

Lakes

There are lakes in the middle of the city, and others – very close, but in the nature. For fans of urban coziness, Lake Ariana is a very good option. In summer you can ride a water bike or a boat there, and then take a walk in the Borisova Garden Park.
If you prefer the “escape” among the greenery, we recommend Boyana Lake, which you can combine with a visit to Boyana Church and Boyana Waterfall. The eco-trails there are well marked, so you can’t get lost.
Another great idea is Pancharevo Lake, located in an extremely picturesque area. If you want go water skiing, you can try Kazichene Hydropark.

Mountains

Coming to Sofia and not seeing Vitosha is like going to Rome and not seeing the Pope, as they say. During the state of emergency, even walking in the mountains was banned, but we can now catch up. In addition, the museums of Vitosha are opened, so we have many opportunities for a pleasant stay. Otherwise, the Golden Bridges is among the most preferred places.
Lyulin mountain is a slightly underestimated alternative to Vitosha, which, however, guarantees a much calmer stay. So if you prefer more intime place, enjoy the charm of Lyulin. And if you think you can walk, climb Dupevica or try the Esperanto eco-trail. If not, just choose a suitable place to have a picnic.

Pools

It is true that it is difficult to imagine Sofia as a sea, but there are great places for summer water fun here, too. You can choose from many pools and swimming complexes. Some of them are more for rest and sunbathing, but there are also some more suitable for swimming as Dianabad and Spartak. If you want something more interesting and with more fun, do not hesitate to go to the hydro park “Windmills” in Gorna Malina.

Extreme experiences

The world, seen from above, sounds like a great offer, doesn’t it ?! And how about seeing Sofia from the sky?! Ballooning, paragliding, bungee jumping or parachuting, ATV off-road challenge on specially selected routes, shooting training… Browse the web and you will find countless offers.

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We at Art Hotel Simona are waiting for you to make your stay a real experience. Simona Restaurant will take care of the delicious side of things.

We are expecting you!