On August 31st, Sofia opened its second subway line. The final stop on the line is just a few blocks from our house. The girls have been looking forward to taking the underground train, so today, just for fun, we all took a ride down town.
While the construction workers were digging out the tunnels for this new train they discovered something they didn't expect. Under Sofia lies an ancient and all but forgotten city that dates back at least 2,500 years. I knew they discovered ruins and had to take precautions to preserve the historic artifacts they discovered, but I had no idea just how much they found.
We got off the train at the Serdika stop in the heart of downtown Sofia. Within a few blocks we could walk to the Presidential complex, the primary judicial building, or the Bulgarian Parliament. We could see the main city mosque, a prominent Orthodox Christian cathedral, and one of the largest synagogues in Europe. Just above the station is the statue of St. Sofia that replaced the statue of Lennon after the fall of Bulgaria's socialistic dictatorship toward the end of the last century. Yet we were not looking up at any of theses amazing sites. We were looking down as an army of excavators worked in the scorching heat to uncover the mysteries of Bulgaria's ancient history.
The station itself is pretty impressive as well. Having lived in Chicago for 4 years, I am no stranger to subways. This one is unlike any I have ever seen. Along the platform are artifacts in glass cases, and all around you remnants of a lost city are open to view. It was more like a museum then a mass transit station.
It is very exciting to be in Sofia as these discoveries are being made. Our girls learned a bit about the history of their mother's country today. So did we.