ROUTE FOR GRAFFITI FANS
Sofia has recently became an outdoor art space, thanks to graffiti: they crop up here and there on a facade, transform a crumbling wall, turn a building into fantasy scene with amazing characters, attract passers-by and are painted by real artists.
In the summer of 2013 in the district of Hadzhi Dimitar huge graffiti appeared on three eight-storey blocks, known as the Santa Dobri, The Winged Diver, and The Girl with a Secret Gift Behind. Their pictures crcle round media and social networks, and passersby stop to admire the creative imagination of their authors.
At first painted were schools, social centres, baby kitchens; wall-painting on private buildings appeared. These graffiti have been the first major and art powerful factor at the neighbourhood level.
Organizer of all these has been the Foundation for urban art, and in particular, Yasen Geshev.
Art loses its meaning if it can be defined and retold in a few sentences. ЗSo we start from the Tourist Information Centre - Sofia to you in a novelty tour round the works of street art.
Viewers’ imagination is to do the rest!
STARTING POINT: TOURIST INFORMATION CENTRE – SOFIA
(Subway of St Kliment Ohridski Sofia University)
1. The starting point of this route is at the Tourist Information Centre – Sofia, where you can get detailed information on where and what to visit and how best to get there easily. You can get free city maps, leaflets and brochures for tourist sites, attractions and events in Sofia.
How to reach us?
By bus lines No 9, 84, 94, 280, 306
By trolley bus line No 1, 2, 4, 11
By metro: Station at St Kliment Ohridski Sofia University. Exit in the direction of the University and you will see us before you leave the subway. From the Tourist Information Centre – Sofia head to Vasil Levski Blvd, turn right on Ivan Vazov St. and the first location on the route, a store on 11-13 Ivan Vazov St., will remain on the right.
Duration: 7 min
Distance: 550 m
2. A SHOP IN THE CAPITAL CITY
11-13 Ivan Vazov St., authors 140 IDEAS, 2011
Next location on the route is 12 Tsar Osvoboditel Blvd. Take right along Ivan Vazov St., turn right on 6th September St. and the site will remain on the right of 12 Tsar Osvoboditel Blvd. Be sure not to miss some of the main landmarks of Sofia in this area: the National Assembly Hall and the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral Church.
Duration: 7 min
Distance: 550 m
3. RESTAURANT IN SOFIA
12 Tsar Osvoboditel Blvd.– authors ХРОМЕ+RAYAX, 2011
In order to reach the third location you should set along Tsar Osvoboditel Blvd. (where you can see the Russian Church, the National Art Gallery and the Council of Ministers), then cross the Nezavisimost Sq. (where you can see the ruins of the complex of Ancient Serdica and the Presidency), then go alongTodor Alexandrov Blvd., cross boulevard Hristo BotevBlvd. and you will reach the location – 32nd St Kliment Ohridski Secondary School will remain on the right.
A cause, authors’ copyright, stands out on the façade: Save the Imperial Eagle! Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds.
Duration: 18 min
Distance: 1.4 km
4. 32ND KLIMENT OHRIDSKI SECONDARY SCHOOL
63 Hristo Botev Blvd. – authors 140 IDEAS
The next step is the Social and Youth Centre of St Konstantin. To get there, head on foot to the left, along boulevard Hristo Botev Blvd. in the direction to Slivnitsa Blvd. Here, if you already feel hungry or want to try a typical and tasty Bulgarian pastry, you can buy a pie (banitsa) from the numerous shops on the boulevard. From Slivnitsa Blvd. take bus line No 86 to to Sofia Mel AD stop. Go backward to 4 Pavlina Unufrieva St. and you'll see the next art project.
5. SOCIAL AND YOUTH CENTRE OF ST KONSTANTIN
4 Pavlina Unufrieva St. – authors Chrome, 140 Ideas, Tika, 1010 and Jens Besser, 2012
For the sixth step of the route it is necessary to target along Gradinarska St., to Bdin St., continue ahead along Rezbarska St., turn right at Vidini Kuli St. The latter street goes slightly left and meges into General Liprandi St. When you go left at McGahan St., you will see the targeted site – block of flats No 54.
Duration: 12 min
Distance: 1 km
6. BLCOK NO 54, HADZHI DIMITAR QUARTER
Authors – Etam Cru, 2013
The next location is very close, turn right at the ostrova St., and to the right you will see the Winged Diver – Block of flats No 57A
7. BLOCK NO 57А, HADZHI DIMITAR QUARTER
Author - Bozko, 2013
For the 8th location you should continue on the Ostorov St. Turn right and the graffiti will be ahead: Santa Dobri, on the wall of Bock 57 B.
98-year-old Santa Dobri, whose face is depicted on the wall, is known with the fact that everyday he walks 10 km from his home to the downtown to beg before some of the major tourist sites such as the St Alexander Nevsky cathedral Church or St Sedmochislenitsi Church. Thecollected money he donates to churches and orphanages. He is dubbed the ‘living saint’ by the foreign media; social networks and blogs around the world tell his story. In the past 12 years, he has managed to collect thousands of Leva in the street, which he donated to good causes.
The graffiti on the 25-foot wall depicting the santa are intertwined with words. There is a list the 26 qualities needed to be good, as believes santa himself. These include humility, honesty, purity, gentleness, self-control and modesty.
8. BLOCK NO 57B, HADZHI DIMITAR QUARTER
Author - Nasimo, 2013
The next stop on this route is 95th Prof Ivan Shishmanov Secondary School. Head along Panayot Hitov St. in the direction of ostrovo St., go along Zlatitza St., and turn right at Angel Voyvoda St. The site will remain on the right.
Duration: 11 min
Distance: 900 m.
9. 95TH PROF IVAN SHISHMANOV SECONDARY SCHOOL
66 Angel Voyvoda St., authors – Sten, Bozko, 2013
To get to the next stop of route, head along Breznik St. to Rusalski Lak St., turn left to Vasil kanchev St., go right at Vladimir Vazov Blvd., turn left to Cherkovna St. and go straight ahead. At Madrid Blvd. turn left, turn right on Sitnyakovo Blvd. and the site will be on the left.
Behind this image there is another cause standing: Love the brown bear! of the Balkans Wildlife Society.
Duration: 26 min
Distance: 2 km
10. 23RD FREDERIC JOLIOT-CURIE SCHOOL
21 Sitnyakovo Blvd.; authors – 140 Ideas, 2013
To move to the next location of the route, take bus line No 305 from bus station Poduyane Station at Sitnyakovo Blvd., get off the bus at the stop Block No 43 Mladost 1, turn right on Andrei Sakharov Blvd. , and the site will be in the right, next to Mladost 1 subway station.
11. BABY KITCHEN AND SOCIAL CENTRE
Mladost 1 Quarter; authors - Bozko and Dmitriy Yagodin, 2009
From here take the metro from the Mladost 1subway station , get off the subway at Tsarigradsko Shose Road, take bus line No 114 from Mladost 1 subway station to Block No 255 Druzhba 2 station, and the site will be on the left.
12. 68TH ACADEMICIAN NIKOLA OBRESHKOV SECONDARY SCHOOL
Prof. Tsvetan lazarov Blvd.; authors - Transformers, 140 Ideas and More, 2012
To return to the starting point at Sofia University:
Take trolleybus line No 11 at Prof Tsvetan Lazarov stop and step off the trolley at the St Kliment Ohridski Sofia University.
In order to walk this route you will need about 4-5 hours. So prepare comfortable shoes and choose a sunny day.