The building of the Sofia University has always fascinated me with its combination of charm and stability. The mixture of the French and Bulgarian architects’ projects brought to the city centre a small scholar campus. But actually, I find the Rectorate even more attractive from the inside.
In the patio there is a small garden with a fountain and a café. Lots of young people gather here for a coffee or a beer. Right next to the garden is the University library. When you walk in it is like you are passing a decade with every step – when you are at the front desk – you will be at the beginning of the 20th century. The boxes of catalogues and some of the reading rooms have not been changed for years.
Inside the main building you can either run into modern halls, communist style auditoriums or small rooms as they were originally built. And still there is much more to be seen. A skeleton of a mammoth, found while building the University, has always been an attraction. Indoors there is also a University museum, a gallery, the ceremonial hall, cafés, book-stores and a restaurant.
Going to the Sofia University is always an interesting visit; there is always something going on. The atmosphere of the place shows the combination of old and new: professors and students, history and new ideas. The first Bulgarian University, nowadays with more than 20 faculties, continues to be the best one in the country.