Necropolis of Serdica
Basilica was situated in the middle of the main necropolis of Serdica, which begins from the east gate and continued to the today’s San Stefano street in the east; to Dondukov street in the north; to the crossroad of Gurko and Rakovski in the south. The town has got three necropolises – the main (eastern), the northern (which was near the Kozlodui street and the western (to the west of Hristo Botev Boulevard).
An Underground museum is open under the Basilica, the so – called archeological level of St. Sofia. There is one 1000 sq m of excavated, restored and conserved space from the main Necropolis with grave facilities of all types. Ordinary funerals with roughly processed stone and ceramic plates as well as dome tombs with murals are found in the region.
The tombs are from the end of the 3rd century BC to the early 5th century. This was the highest spot of the ancient town. The first Christian church was built here. 56 grave facilities with remnants of four churches are under the today’s Basilica. St. Sofia is the fourth.
But what has been discovered so far is very important and significant, even unique. We can’t search for analogy with other similar museums because every archeological core is unique in its own. There is such a core near the St. Dimitar church in Thessaloniki. The remnants of the first Basilica from the Constantine the Great’s time with an area of 150 – 160 sq. m are discovered there. Another interesting place is in the centre of Barcelona. Its Bulgarian analogue is a largo of Sofia. There are similar remnants in Vienna and Paris. All the archeological sectors are specific. And it is that variety which makes each object interesting…