There are many temples in Sofia, but Boyana church is one of my personal favorites. Away from the city center, it is a gem for explorers and for anyone keen on plunging into the medieval history of Bulgaria.
When I was little and my parents brought me here first, all I had eyes for were the huge red sequoia trees in the yard (very uncharacteristic for my country). When I grew up and visited again, I was fascinated by the magnificent frescoes, especially by the one of the main donator, Sebastocrator Kaloyan, who is portrayed together with his wife Dessislava. All of the paintings in the church look unusually emotionally vivid, considering they were made in the 13th century, which is why they are believed to have played an important role in the development not only of Bulgarian, but also of European medieval painting.
Boyana church dates back to the 11th century. It has been renovated through the years and had actually been used as an Orthodox temple up until 1954. Now it is part of the UNESCO world heritage, and is an important art history monument. A guided tour (10 BGN in a foreign language) here is really worth your time if you want to learn more about the masters of the frescoes and about the people depicted. I recommend reaching the church by taxi, as the public transport is irregular and not very reliable.