National Palace of Culture

Top sights in Sofia


The National Palace of Culture (NDK), known also as Congress Centre Sofia, is the hugest multi-functional complex of its kind in South-eastern Europe.

Erected in the 1970s, its official opening was in 1981, marking 1.300 years since the establishment of the First Bulgarian State. The gargantuan building was concocted to host a broad array of events, including conferences and symposia, international conventions, exhibitions, official meetings, various concerts, discussion panels, as well as colourful festivals.

Architect Alexander Barov and his team of gifted architects designed the Palace’s main building, while architect Atanas Agura and his squad were responsible for the design of NDK’s surroundings. The landscape architect Valentina Atanassova was the person standing behind the park area’s design.

Peculiar Facts and History

The Convention Centre was initiated following the suggestion of Lyudmila Zhivkova, the daughter of the communist leader of Bulgaria at the time – Todor Zhivkov.

The ’90s, after the political model’s amendments, saw the Palace lose a substantial part of its property, including car parks, commercial areas, and infrastructure.

Despite it’s still a state property, since 2011, NDK receives no subsidies and is self-sustaining. A significant portion of NDK’s revenues are annually invested in new-fangled projects or in its own cultural occasions and events.

Figures and Facts

  • The National Palace of Culture is an eight-storey building that possesses three underground levels and four panoramic terraces, which offer some of the most stupendous city views.
  • The complex’s area is 123,000 sq. metres (1,323,961 sq feet).
  • More than 300 events with around 1 million visitors occur in the Palace annually.
  • NDK houses the National Book Centre, Azaryan Theatre, and the Literary Club “The Feather” (Peroto).
  • 80 monumental artworks are exhibited in NDK’s foyers and halls.
  • The Palace is the most prominent concert venue for international artists in Bulgaria.


NDK finds its location in the very heart of Sofia where it is encircled by a gorgeous park area.

The views to Vitosha mountain are stunning!


United Kingdom

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