About this building
The Sofia Synagogue, built between 1905 and 1909, is the largest Sephardic synagogue in Europe. Inspired by the Vienna Synagogue, the architect Friedrich Grünanger designed the monumental building in the neo-Moorish style. Today, the synagogue houses the Jewish History Museum.
The cathedral of Saint Joseph is a Roman Catholic church and it is the largest catholic cathedral in Bulgaria: it can hold up to 1000 worshipers. The current building was inaugurated in 2006. It has been rebuilt on its previous location after it was destroyed by Allied bombing raids during the second World War. The foundation stone of the new building was laid by Pope John Paul II during his visit to Bulgaria in 2002.
The former mosque is the oldest building of its kind in Sofia. The mosque with its squared plan has nine domes of equal diameter. They are supported by pointed arches and covered with leaden sheets. The middle ones are higher and ‘the entire space, through a special system of domes and arches, is an absolutely symmetrical construction, and it’s on this symmetry, harmony and equality among all its parts, that the major artistic effect is due. During the Russian-Turkish War (1877-1878) the mosque was turned into a hospital. Later it was a library, museum and printing house, and since 1892 it has housed the National Archaeological Institute With Museum .