Built in the 4th century, the Church of St. George (also called the Rotunda of Sveti Georgi) is thought to be the oldest building in Sofia. Located in a courtyard between the President’s Building and the Sheraton hotel, the small church is surrounded by Roman era ruins. Largely destroyed by the invading Huns, it was rebuilt in the 6th century and many of the interior murals were painted between the 10th and 14th centuries. After the Ottoman conquest in the 16th century, it was converted into a mosque and most of the church’s medieval frescoes were painted over and not uncovered again until the 20th century.
The Church of St. George has been a working church since the middle of the 19th century. Visitors should look for a frieze that contains 22 portraits of the prophets, as well as remnants of the 10th-century frescoes.
Located in the center of Sofia, the Church of St. George may be within walking distance of your hotel. If not, take the Metro to the Serdika station or streetcar 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 12, 18, 20, 22 or 23. The church is open from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., May through August, and from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., September through April. It also holds daily services.