The colonnaded building of the National Library was inaugurated in 1953 after Allied bombing during World War II destroyed the two buildings that hosted Bulgaria’s largest book archive.
The building is surrounded by a well-kept park. The monument of the library’s patron saints, Cyril and Methodius—the two brothers who gave the Bulgarians their beloved alphabet—sits in front. Each year on Alphabet, Culture, and Education Day (May 24), one of the most celebrated holidays in the country, an official ceremony takes place in front of the library, and the monument ends up covered with flowers.
The National Library is located next to Sofia University. Immediately behind the library, is the Doctors Garden, one of the best-kept parks in the city and the centerpiece of one of its most exclusive neighborhoods.