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Sofia Central Mineral Baths

The Central Mineral Baths is a landmark in the centre of Sofia, Bulgaria. It was built in the early 20th century near the former Turkish bath (then destroyed) and was used as the city’s public baths until 1986.

The old Turkish bath.
The old Turkish bath demolition.

The building plan was created by the architects Petko Momchilov, one of Bulgaria’s most recognised architects of that era, and Friedrich Grünanger and was approved in January 1906. Central Mineral Baths building was designed in the Vienna Secession style, but integrating typically Bulgarian, Byzantine and Eastern Orthodox ornamental elements. The base construction was completed in 1908 and the bath was opened to the public in 1911 as a public bath with separate facilities for men and women, but the official opening took place two years later on 13 May 1913. Then it took them another two years before the building was completely finished and a garden installed in front of the Baths.

“Banski” square with the Central Mineral Baths, 1920s.
The same place nowadays.
Central Mineral Baths, 1926.
Central Mineral Baths and the garden in front, 1930s.

During the bombing of Sofia in World War II the north wing was damaged but was restored several years later. The baths continued to work as public baths until 1986, when the building was closed due to its bad condition and the possible collapse of the roof. It was subsequently partially reconstructed and thoroughly cleaned and accommodates the Sofia Regional Historical Museum since September 2015.