Fodor's Expert Review Alexander Nevski Church
Named after the Russian Tsar who saved his country from invading Swedish troops in 1240, and who is also revered as a saint in Bulgaria, this imposing Neo Byzantine building is one of the largest Orthodox churches in the world and dominates central Sofia. Built as a memorial to 200,000 Russian soldiers who died in the Russo-Turkish Liberation War (1877-78), the foundation stone was laid in 1882, but it was not completed until 1912. Covering an area of more than 30,000 square feet and said to be able to hold up to 10,000 people, some of Russia and Bulgaria's best artists worked on it. The external architecture is simply beautiful, and its multi-domed roof reaches 175 feet at its highest point. The interior, which has five aisles and three altars as well as plenty of imported Carrara marble, is gloomy and dimly lit, but this just adds to the mystical atmosphere.