Borisova Gradina Park
One of the people of Sofia’s favourite places is Borisova Gradina (Borisova Garden). It was established in 1882-1884 to initially function as a thorn trees nursery with additional flower beds and a small lake and was surrounded by a hedge of oak trees and hawthorn. In different moments of history it got different names. First it was “The Nursery” (Razsadnika), later “Pipiniera”, then – up to 1885 – it was known as “The Tsargrad Garden” (Tsarigradskata gradina). After the birth of crown prince Boris of Turnovo, it was renamed “The Knyaz Boris’s Garden” (Knyaz-Borisovata gradina) and during Socialism it was named Freedom Park (Park na svobodata).
At the time of its creation, the park, which nowadays bears Boris’s name again, was located in the outskirts of the capital. After the expansion of the city it turned out to be in the very centre of Sofia. Year after year Borisova Gradina expanded and gradually its territory reached the 4000 decares it spans today. At the end of 19 century the popular artificial lake of Ariyana was made which now draws visitors with its water attractions during the summer and brings together ice skating lovers during the winter. Today the territory of the park also houses two stadiums – the Vasil Levski National Stadium and the Bulgarian Army Stadium – as well as tennis courts, sports grounds, smaller lakes, stages, monuments, restaurants, cafes and others. It is a pleasant walking spot away from the noise of the city streets.