The Central Sofia Market Hall is a remarkable building in Sofia’s heart. The building, covering an area of more than 3,200 square meters, was designed by architect Naum Torbov and built between 1909 and 1911 on a wooden building where theatrical productions and circus performances were staged. The Halls were Bulgaria’s first modern covered market, offering various products such as meat, dairy, poultry, fish, vegetables, and more.
The building’s style is Neo-Byzantine, incorporating medieval Bulgarian construction art motifs. Its picturesque exterior is accented on the main entrance by a triple window and the coat of arms of Sofia, with a small clock tower at the top. The facade is famous for relieving the city’s coat of arms above the entrance, created by artist Haralampi Tachev.
The Central Sofia Market Hall has been a cultural monument of national importance since 1955, attracting attention due to its architectural similarities with the Central Mineral Bath, located on the opposite side of the street. The Halls have been preserved over the years, with the interior significantly altered in the 1950s, and then underwent a modernization and reconstruction in 1988 to reopen in 2000.
Today, the Sofia Market Hall employs over 1,000 people on three floors, offering various products, including food, clothing, accessories, and jewelry. The building’s historical significance and architectural beauty make it one of the symbols of the city of Sofia, attracting visitors and locals alike.
However, the future of the Central Sofia Market Hall is currently under threat. The building was sold to a private company in the early 21st century, which has since sold the property to a German retail chain. The chain plans to convert the landmark building into a supermarket, risking its historical significance. Independent municipal councilor Boris Bonev, representing the civil non-governmental organization “Save Sofia,” has demanded that the project for the building’s reconstruction be published and subject to public discussion.
In conclusion, the Central Sofia Market Hall has been essential to the city’s history and culture since its construction over a century ago. Its unique architecture, historical significance, and central location make it a vital landmark in Sofia. Preserving this building’s rich history and cultural significance is crucial for future generations.