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Prince Alexander I Square

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“Knyaz Alexander Batenberg,” commonly known as “Batenberg,” is a square situated in the central part of Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital. Its name honors Alexander I of Battenberg.

The square features the former royal palace, now housing the National Art Gallery and the National Ethnographic Museum. From 1949 to 1999, the mausoleum of Georgi Dimitrov was also located here.

In June 2007, the square underwent a renaming to “Alexander I.” Its history traces back to before the Liberation, initially positioned 200 meters south of its present location. The square has shifted at least twice in its history. Prior to the late 19th-century urban plan for the capital, it was situated beyond the City Garden, occupying the area of the current fountain in front of the National Theatre.

During Tsarist Bulgaria, the square was west of the palace, in the space now occupied by the parking lot between the gallery and the Party House. Today’s square area was then part of the palace gardens.

In the communist era, the square was relocated to its current position, south of the gallery, and was named “September 9th Square,” featuring the mausoleum of Georgi Dimitrov on its southern side.

Presently, the square is approximately 100 meters long and 30 meters wide, with some maps indicating an extension of an additional 50 meters to the northwest, along Tsar Osvoboditel Blvd., between the Party House and the Bulgarian National Bank.

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