St Sofia Monument stands in the same spot that for many years had been featuring a statue of Lenin.
Soon after the fall of Communism, a famous local artist was commissioned to create a new statue that would fill the iconic spot and serve as a symbol of the city.
A portrait of St Sofia, an early Christian saint long viewed as the patron of city, was chosen.
The monument was unveiled in 2001 to mixed reception. Many felt that the statue strayed away from Orthodox Christian symbolism, and showed, what some considered, disturbing pagan influences.
Regardless, St Sofia monument quickly turned into a recognizable and much-loved part of the city skyline.