Археологическо ниво на базилика Света София

Archaeological Level of St. Sophia Basilica

Useful Information

Location: St. Sophia Basilica, Sofia.
(42.696556, 23.331147)
Open: Church: All year daily .
MAY to OCT daily 10-17:30.
NOV to APR Tue-Sun 10-17:30.
Fee: Church: free.
Adults BGN 6, Children (6-18) BGN 2, Children (0-6) free, Students BGN 2, Doctoral Students BGN 2, Seniors free, Disabled free.
Family (2+*) BGN 10, Group (12+) BGN 55, School Class (10+) BGN 6.
Guide BGN 30, English Guide BGN 60.
Classification: SubterraneaCave Tomb
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: Ar=600 m².
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Храм „Св. София - Премъдрост Божия", София, ул. Париж № 2 (срещу Столична община), Тел.: 02-987-09-71.
Archaeological Level of St. Sophia Basilica, St. Sophia Church, ul. "Paris" 2, 1000 Sofia Center, Sofia, Tel: +359-2-987-0971.
Polina Stoyanova, Tel: +359-2-980-53-13. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1893 first excavations in the foundations of the church "St. Sophia".
1910-11 archaeological excavations.
2013 underground museum opened to the public.


Археологическо ниво на базилика Света София (Archaeological Level of St. Sophia Basilica) is a huge archaeological excavation located beneath the church. The church is a early Christian Basilica which was first built as a small chapel, only 10.10 m long and 4.65 m wide at the eastern part of the necropolis. At this time the necropolis or cemetery was located outside the city walls on the Roman city Serdica. It was during the reign of Emperor Constantine the Great, soon after he issued the Edict of Milan in 313. The most important remains from this first chapel are the mosaic floor and the altar mosaic representing the Garden of Eden, which is today kept in the National Archaeological Museum. It was the first Christian temple in Serdica and was probably destroyed by the Visigoths at the end of the 4th century.

Princess Sofia, heiress or relative of Constantine the Great came to Serdica. According to another version the maiden Sofia was just a relative of Constantine the Great. She was sick when she arrived, but was cured in the city. She stayed in the city and built the church as a thank you, and after her death she was buried in it.

Other legends in literature link the construction of St. Sophia with Emperor Justinian I (527-565). In the first half of the 6th century the fortress walls of Serdica were restored and the ruined building of St. Sophia was rebuilt by order of the emperor. The result was the church we can see today.

Due to the much bigger size of the new church, much of the ancient necropolis was buried by the building. In the basement the excavated graves and the remains of three earlier churches are exhibited. The tombs are mostly vaulted masonry, a few are mural-painted. The tomb of Honorius, discovered northwest of the St. Sophia Basilica, was named after an inscription on the lid of the lunette, which reads: "Honorius, servant of God." It shows 5th century Christian symbols.