St. Josef Catholic Cathedral
The biggest Catholic cathedral in Bulgaria is located in the centre of Sofia City, not far from St. Nedelya Sq. In addition to an impressive size, it has a long and hard history. Its construction started in 1875. In the following years the young and developing Bulgarian capital sparked the interest of many foreigners and there were often foreign Catholics visiting Sofia. Gradually, the parish began to flourish and cultural and enlightenment activity was set forward.
Unfortunately, the former building of St. Josef Catholic Church was completely destroyed during the Sofia bombing of 1944. Only two things remained unscathed – the statue of Virgin Mary and the concert hall where the services were going to be held for the next 60 years. Thanks to financial support from Catholics from all over the world the temple was rebuilt in 2006. The construction was sanctified by Pope John Paul II during his visit in Bulgaria in 2002.
The new building of the Catholic church is impressive in size – 23 metres long, 15 metres wide and 19 metres tall. The bell tower is 33 metres tall. The cathedral has 350 seats but can accommodate up to 1000 believers.
The church is maintained by The Order of Friars Minor Capuchin.