Triangle of Religious Tolerance (1903)
A Church, a Mosque and a Synagogue – in religious harmony
The Capital of Bulgaria, Sofia, is widely recognized for the so-called ‘Triangle of Religious Tolerance’. Sveta Nedelya Church, Banya Bashi Mosque and Sofia Synagogue are placed just metres from each other. Banya Bashi Mosque was opened in 1576 and is the only working mosque in Sofia. On Fridays the service is broadcast on a loudspeaker for those who are unable to fit into the 700 person capacity building. The mosque is a reminder of the Ottoman rule of Bulgaria. Sveta Nedelya Church was previously known as Holly King (Sveti kral) because the remains of the Serbian King Stephan Urosh II. The beautiful wood carvings in the church date back to 1865. Sofia Synagogue has symbolized the Jewish community of Bulgaria for almost a century. It is the second largest Sephardic (Spanish-Jewish) synagogue in Europe. The synagogue completed the Triangle of Religious Tolerance when it was declared open in 1909. The placing of these three religious buildings is significant as they stress an understanding and acceptance of each religion. Bulgaria has stressed that children from different religions should grow up together and study each other’s religion in order to ensure that nobody can make them religious enemies in their adult life.