Lions Bridge, Sofia

Sofia, Bulgaria



Lions Bridge is a bridge over the Vladaya River in the centre of Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, built 1889-1891 by Czech architect Václav Prošek, his brother Jozef and his cousins Bohdan and Jiří. It gives the name to the important and busy junction of Marie Louise Boulevard and Slivnitsa Boulevard, at which it is located, connecting the Central Railway Station with the city centre and marking its northern border.OverviewThe bridge was built from stone at the place of an older bridge called Sharen Most because it was decorated with red and yellow stripes. The name of Lions Bridge comes from the four bronze sculptures of lions, its most recognizable feature. All metal elements of the bridge were produced by the Austrian company of Rudolph Philipp Waagner, and electric lights were installed in the early 1900s. The entire construction of the bridge cost 260,000 golden lev.The Prošek family also designed and built the similar but eagle-themed Eagles Bridge marking the city centre s eastern border in 1891.One of the bronze lions is depicted on the reverse of the Bulgarian 20 lev banknote, issued in 1999 and 2007.