Aleksander Nevski Cathedral is one of the symbols of not only Sophia but of Bulgaria itself. The church with its massive domes was built between 1882 and 1912 in
memory of the 200,000 Russian soldiers who died fighting for Bulgaria’s independence during the Russo-Turkish war 1877-78. It is named for a 13th century Russian warrior-prince.
The church was designed by Alexander Pomerantsev, built in the neo-Byzantine style, its interior is covered in mosaics and gold covered domes. The interior is decorated with naturalistic murals, huge chandeliers and elaborate onyx and alabaster thrones. The cathedral’s crypt contains Bulgaria’s largest and best collection of icons that date back to the 5th century.