"The Romanian Church," as the Holy Trinity church is known, is at 152 Knyaz Boris I St, near the Synagogue. Most of Bulgaria's Romanian minority came from Macedonia between 1850 and 1903. They established their association UNIREA in 1894, the main aim of which was to build a church and a school. This was done with the help of donations from the community, on the site of the former Austro-Hungarian consulate.
The foundation stone was laid in 1905 and the architect was the ubiquitous Friedrich Grünanger, who designed it in an 18th century Romanian style. After construction ended in 1912, it took another 11 years to paint the murals. The church was consecrated in 1923.
The building did not fare well in the Allied bombing of March 1944, whose target was the historical centre of Sofia. The cupola and the central arch were destroyed. Even worse for the community was the closing of the Romanian cultural institute and the school in 1948, on the orders of the Communist regime. Despite this, the Romanian Exarchate continued to send priests to the church, but the end of Communist rule did not bring the recovery of the cultural institute, as the Romanian authorities had hoped.
Whether in search of leverage or for another reason, in May 2009 the Romanian Exarchate put an end to church services in Bulgarian in St Iliya in Bucharest, which church had been given over for Bulgarian use in 1954. This failed to cause a diplomatic incident, however, the only reaction on the Bulgarian side being a vague "expression of concern."
70 years ago, on 10 March 1943, Bulgaria's pro-Nazi government decided to defy Berlin and halt the deportation of Bulgaria's 50.000 Jews. This was down to the actions of one man - Dimitar Peshev. Just two years later he faced Communist justice and found himself on trial for his life. His niece Kaluda Kiradjieva remembers