Known as a City garden, the garden of the National theatre in Sofia is the oldest and the most centrally located, originally created in 1872. It is also one of the prefered locations for the Indain movies in Bulgaria. With its green lawns and under the shade of the trees and with the splashing sound of the fountains – it is a favorite spot for everyone walking in the center of the city.
The flower beds, which are constantly freshened up with the flowers of the season are a real treat to the eye.
And a number of Indian movies have chosen the City garden as their shooting location.
The Tamil thriller “Masss” was the first to discover it and you can see parts of it featured in their Naan Aval Illai song:
Here come some interesting sights to look for in the Sofia City garden:
On one side of the garden you can spot groups of men surrounding small chess tables and playing chess on them. Then, if you happen to be in Sofia when the days are warm, you would find a gipsy orchestra playing music next to the fountains, providing a musical back drop for your visit. If you pass them close by and they hear a foreign language spoken, sometimes they start playing the music typical for that nation in order to attract their attention. And some tourists stop and faithful to the merry spirit of a tourist would dance to the popular tunes.
And it is next to the fountains in the City garden that Shah Ruh Khan and Kajol shot this scene from the movie “Dilwale”, where Kajol is frightened by a dog running towards her and Shah Rukh comforts her.
There is another interesting spot to visit, if you stand facing the National Theatre with the fountain at your back, on you left if you go down that street, pretty soon you will come across a tree, whose branches are low, so you could touch them, and most of the lower branches are decorated with martenitza. This is a very Bulgarian tradition, when on the 1st of March every year people give their friends and loved ones with token of red and white treads, which you should wear until you see the first stork, which symbolizes that spring is coming. And then you see your stork, or when you see that the trees are in bloom, you tie your martenitza to a tree branch.
That tree in the City garden in Sofia is one of the most decorated and attractive trees, where you can feel some of the Bulgarian traditions, so it is definitely worth looking for.
And the major landmarks around the garden include The National theater, the City Gallery, the Bulgarian National Bank and the Ministry of Deffence.
So take some time during your tour of Sofia and visit the City garden to take into its sights and sounds and if you would like to look like a movie star, strike a pose like Shah Rukh Kahn looking in the direction of the National theater: