August 2016: Located in the courtyard behind our hotel, and surrounded by the buildings occupied by the President of Bulgaria is one of the oldest buildings in Sofia. The Church of St. George dates to the 4th century built by the Romans. It is a cylindrical domed structure built on a square base. Layers of frescos inside the church help to tell the history of the building, and the occupants through the centuries.
The church is part of a larger archeological complex. The courtyard steps below street level, and is open for all to experience. The ruins, from the ancient town of Serdica include a section of a Roman street, with preserved drainage, the foundations of a larger basilica, and other building foundation. The church is protected by UNESCO, is the oldest Eastern European Orthodox church and said to be one of the oldest buildings in the city.
A steel canopy and structure have been added to the exterior of the church of St. George, in an attempt to allow the public near the church, preserve the history, and stabilize an unsteady structure. Although I appreciate the repairs that have been done to the building, I am disappointed that the new is not clearly marked from the old, so that a visitor can easily visualize the history of the Church of St. George.