Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, is one of the oldest settlements in the world with its more than 8500 years of history.
Traces of human activities were found in the center of Kremikovtzi district from 6500 BC. The city of Trary and Tylatei tribes emerged along the mineral springs in 8th century BC. The city was later called by the Romans Serdica i.e. “the city of the Serdi”, which were the local tribe since 1st centurty BC.
During the time of Emperor Marcus Ulpius Traianus (98-117 AD), Serdica received official city rights and an independent self-government. In the second half of the 2nd century AD Ulpia Serdica was strongly fortified with monumental city walls for defense against the impendent barbarian menace, coming from the lands north of the Danube River. At the end of the 3rd century the city became a centre of the newly found Roman province of Dacia Mediterranea.
Serdica was the favourite city of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great. In fact he was born not very far west from here. The emperor even thought to move the imperial capital to Serdica. His statement “Serdica is my Rome” was recalled for generations. At the time of Constantine the Great Serdica became the eparchial center of the Church.
The French historian M. Le Quien (1661-1733) started the list of Archepiscops of Bulgaria with the name of Protogen Serdician, who lived at the time of Constantine. Protogen was one of the 20 most respected members of the First Ecumenical Council in Nycea in 325 AD. In the year of 343 an Ecumenical council was convened in Serdica.
The city became part of the First Bulgarian Kingdom in 809 and was known as Sredetz in medieval times. It was named Sofia in 14th century and chosen for capital of Bulgaria in 1879.
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