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Largoto

 

Ancient cultural and communication complex “Serdica” combines areas with various purposes, divided into two zones. The “Largo” zone, situated underneath Nezavisimost Square, integrates the unearthed archaeological remains into a site for cultural events. The remains of one of the two main streets of the Roman town, the decumanus maximus, which connects the eastern and the western gate of the city, can be seen here. A large residential building, covering an entire insula (urban block), can be seen south of it. The building also had small shops, from which travelers and the town’s inhabitants could purchase food and various goods. A lapidarium is located close to the building. It displays different monuments from the collection of the National Archaeological Institute with Museum at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, some of which were excavated from Nezavisimost Square and the surrounding area. The “Largo” zone is equipped with three halls with different functions – a special hall for conferences, lectures and discussions, an exhibition hall, which also includes a freely accessible info-point, and a hall for temporary exhibits and projects. The area under the domes is also used for various cultural and social events, such as exhibitions, modern and classical concerts, film productions, performances, etc. Among the most important events held there are the European Researchers' Night, the annual Cantus Firmus European Music Festival, and the opening of the 2019 Webit.Festival. The “Largo” area is freely accessible every day from 7:00 to 22:00.

The second part of the complex encompasses the archaeological exhibition underneath Knyaginya Maria Luiza Boulevard. The excavations were carried out between 2010 and 2012 during reconstruction of the central parts of Sofia and construction of the second Metro line. The complex consists of several insulae along the main streets of the Roman city, where the houses of the city elite were located. Within an area of 6000 m2 parts of six streets are visible, along with two early Christian basilicas, thermae and five buildings with residential, production and trade functions. Most of the buildings are of a considerable size, include both a private heating system and a bath, and are distinguished for their rich internal decoration, all of which illustrates the resources of the city elite in Serdica in the period of its heyday (IV – VI century). Among the highlights of the complex is the Felix mosaic, which is entirely preserved in one of the buildings. Remains of one of the earliest Christian temples in the region– the Episcopal basilica of Protogenes, where presumably the Council of Serdica convened in 343, as well as the residence of Archbishop Leontius from the end of the VI century, are of great significance for the history of the city. Sections of earlier buildings from II – III century and representative artifacts uncovered during the archaeological excavations, along with interesting remnants from everyday life in ancient Serdica are exhibited in different parts of the complex.

Source: Regional History Museum - Sofia