The legacy of Bulgaria
The area of modern day Bulgaria has been a cultural crossroad since ancient times, while Sofia is the second-oldest capital in Europe (after Athens). Even Constantine the Great considered making it the capital of the Byzantine Empire instead of Constantinople.
Even though the city was destroyed in 447 AD by the Huns and devastated for over a century, it managed to get back on its feet and rebuilt by the Byzantine emperor. The city of today is sprawling with interesting artifacts and the architecture is a fascinating mix of Roman ruins, Orthodox churches and Soviet buildings. As I walk around in the old city, I marvel at centuries unfolded before my eyes and try to savor as much as possible of the atmosphere.