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"Knyaz Alexander I" Square

"Knyaz Alexander I" Square

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"Knyaz Alexander I" Square is a prominent landmark regularly used for various major events – large-scale live events, concerts, demonstrations, parades, shows, car races, etc. It is situated in the very heart of the capital – on “Tsar Osvoboditel” Blvd, right in front of the former royal palace, now the National Ethnographic Museum and National Art Gallery, and the Bulgarian National Bank. In recent years, the square known simply as "Battenberg" has hosted spectacular Christmas concerts.

At least twice relocated over the years, currently the square’s the most suitable place in Sofia for major open-air events. Initially it was situated in front of the National Theater in the City Park, in place of the present-day fountain. During the monarchy period it was situated between the National Gallery and the former Party House (former headquarters of the now defunct Bulgarian Communist Party; now used as administrative offices by the National Assembly).The place is now being used as a parking lot. During the totalitarianism, "Knyaz Alexander I" was the site of Georgi Dimitrov Mausoleum. After the overthrow of the Communist regime, the mausoleum was demolished and the square was named after Alexander of Battenberg, the first prince of modern Bulgaria.

In 2007 the square was officially renamed "Knyaz Alexander I" in accordance with etiquette and royal protocol from the past. The monarchs of Bulgaria have traditionally used their first baptismal name as their regnal name.

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