Don’t miss famous Slaveikov Square atmosphere
You can experience the walking guided tours Sofia in many streets in the capital Sofia. However, the thrill to feel the authentic atmosphere that only books can give, you can find only in Slaveikov Square.
Today, Slaveikov Square is a famous square in the very centre of Sofia between Rakovska and Graf Ignatiev streets. The northern side of the street has the symbol of the square and this is a bench with two life-sized statues of poets. The poets are the revered father and son Petko and Pencho Slaveikov. Due to their works, the square is named after them. The father, Petko Slaveikov, moved to Sofia and bought a house there, on one of the corners of that same square, in 1879.
The earliest information is from 1515 and it relates Kafene Basi Square to a part of today’s Slaveikov Square. There used to be four remarkable buildings. These were the coffeehouse that was the gathering place for the Turkish notable people; and the mosque, the Blue Konak and the Konak.
Back then, in the 17 th century, the square was a very important ‘crossroad’. There used to be a fountain and ‘a tap with plentiful of water’.
After the liberation of Bulgaria, the square was extended. Gradually, many one-and-two-floor houses with gardens were built. The process of modernising the square began in the 1920s – 1930s of the 20th century. Then, in the 1940s it was completely modernised. It got its modern monolithic appearance with four-five-floor to seven-floor buildings with shops on the ground floor. At that time the most significant buildings were constructed. These are the Teachers’ Fund, the Ministry of Public Works (today Sofia City Library) and the French Institute.
Walking guided tours Sofia walk you down the Slaveikov Square
Walking quided tours Sofia takes you to one of Sofia’s central remarkable squares. This is the square that has the proper Bulgarian book market in all its glory.
Slaveikov Square went through a process of modernisation in 1980s. At that time, one of the lanes for cars was closed, trees were planted and the design of the square started to change. It is interesting how many bookstores opened doors at that time. Also, many informal bouquinistes on the square and in the bedestens around it were attracted. That is a good explanation of the boom of booksellers and then the book market after 1990.
Nowadays, the atmosphere at the square is unique. It is authentic. It is about second hand books (and new ones, of course) stored in a produce box waiting to be rediscovered. Probably, that can only be felt at Slaveikov Square. The numerous book stalls sell textbooks, new editions and antique hardcovers. Some of the stalls are qualified in selling sci-fi and fantasy, others sell dictionaries, travel guides. There are exclusive second hand books. There are also some foreign (like English, French, German) books.
The last reorganization of the square happened in 1998. Then, the bench – monument of Petko and Pencho Slaveikov and the new fountain were accomplished.
To sum up, walk the walking guided tours Sofia around Slaveikov Square, enjoy, smell and buy books; sit on the symbolic bench with the famous father-and-son duo Petko and Pencho Slaveikov and take your nice photos.
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