Vitosha Boulevard is the main commercial boulevard in Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital, and is lined with upscale shops, restaurants, and pubs. It runs between St Nedelya Square and Southern Park. Numerous high-end fashion brands have boutiques on Vitosha boulevard and adjacent streets: Versace, Escada, Bulgari, D&G, La Perla, Lacoste, Van Laak, Ermenegildo Zegna, Tru Trussardi, Moreschi, Marella, Max Mara, Gianfranco Ferré, Emporio Armani, Tommy Hilfiger, Boss, and Baldinini. The National Palace of Culture, the Palace of the Courts, and the home where the famed Bulgarian poet Peyo Yavorov lived and died are among the significant structures on the street.
The boulevard is named after Vitosha, a nearby mountain. It was an unaligned roadway under Ottoman administration in Bulgaria and was renamed Vitoshka ulitsa (“Vitosha Street”) during the 1883 Liberation. The street was originally lined with humble one-story cottages, but was transformed into an imposing commercial thoroughfare during the Interwar era when enormous public buildings were erected, totally altering Vitoshka’s image.
Vitosha Boulevard is the world’s 22nd most expensive commerce boulevard.
In May 2007, a boulevard repair was announced, with the goal of restoring the boulevard’s 1930s design. Additionally, historical seats and street lighting were erected, as well as Art Nouveau circular kiosks, additional green space, fountains, open-air bars, and a clock tower at St Nedelya Church that displays the time in several foreign capitals.
The boulevard’s renovation began in March 2013. In summer 2015, the boulevard had further refurbishment, completing the boulevard’s totally pedestrian zone between Patriarch Evtimiy Blvd. and Alabin Str.
The Vitosha boulevard has becoming less appealing as a result of continuing repair work and the profusion of newly constructed shopping complexes in Sofia.
The junction of Vitosha and Patriarch Eftimii boulevards, affectionately known as the Pharmacy (Apteka), is a popular gathering location.
History of the Vitosha Boulevard
The growth of Sofia’s main street is inextricably linked to the city’s development after its selection as the new Bulgarian capital in the late nineteenth century. Throughout the decades, the street was known by a variety of various names. The ottoman’s original name was “Dzhebel vitosh sokagi”. It was originally named Vitoshka (Vitosha Boulevard) in 1883. However, the name was altered multiple times afterwards. It was called “General Yosif Gurko” in the early twentieth century. Subsequently, to “Tsaritsa Joanna”. Following World War II, the street was renamed “Joseph Stalin” until 1961, when the name Vitosha was reinstated. It remains unchanged to this day.
In the late nineteenth/early twentieth centuries, the boulevard was mostly composed of two-story residences. Only a few of them remain. Today, what you’ll see are mostly modernist residential structures from the 1930’s and early 1940’s.
Indeed, there were other competitors for what would become Sofia’s most renowned boulevard in the early part of the twentieth century. Notable among them is the avenue “Tsar Osvoboditel.” It is still home to the majority of the city’s tourist attractions and iconic landmarks.
Location of Vitosha Boulevard
Vitosha Boulevard (named after the adjacent Vitosha mountain) is located in the heart of Sofia. It is close to a variety of other sites, including the famed Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.
Vitosha Boulevard is readily accessible from nearly any region of the city.
The north end of the pedestrian section of the boulevard is serviced by the Sofia Metro’s Serdika and Serdika II stations, as well as many tram lines, while the south end is served by the Sofia Metro’s NDK and NDK II stations, as well as multiple trolleybus lines.