SOFIA, sn'fii-A. or SOPHIA Sredetzl. The capital of the Principality of Bulgaria, sit uated in a plain between the Vitosha Mountains and the main Balkan chain. 206 miles southeast of Belgrade and 300 miles northwest of Constan tinople (Map: Balkan Peninsula. D 3). It has been largely rebuilt since 1878 and presents the appearance of a modern city with electric light ing and street railways and creditable public buildings. In old Sofia are the ruined Sofia :Mosque, the Mosque of Buvuk-Jami, now used as a national museum and lihrary, and the vast baths with hot springs. The principal modern buildings are the palace of the Prince, the uni versity buildings, the new cathedral of Saint Alexander, the house of Parliament, and the various administration buildings. Sofia has a university (founded in 1888) with about 500 students, colleges for boys and girls, and a mili tary school and college. It is the industrial cen
tre of Bulgaria and has manufactures of silk, cloth, tobacco, etc. Situated at the converging of the principal highways of the principality and connected by rail with Constantinople, Belgrade, and the city is well adapted for its prominent position as a commercial centre, and has an extensive export trade in agricultural products, hides, and attar of roses. The popula tion was 30.400 in 1887 and 67,920 in 1900. prin cipally Bulgarians. Sofia is identified with the Scrdica or Nardicer of the Romans, which became the capital of facia Hipensis, and about 344 was the seat of a Church council. The town was plun dered by the Huns in the fifth century, and at the beginning of the ninth century it was taken by the Bulgarians. In 1382 it passed to Turkey, and in 1878 it was occupied by the Russians under Gurko.