Bankya, with Sofia and Vitosha Mountain in the background
|• Mayor||Rangel Markov|
|Elevation||695 m (2,280 ft)|
|• Total||11 667|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+3)|
The district is famous for the mineral springs and baths that have been used for medicinal purposes for hundreds of years. In 1969 the village of Bankya was proclaimed a town, and in 1979 it became part of Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.
Bankya is 7 km west of the city of Sofia. It is situated at the foot of Lyulin mountain at an average elevation of around 630–750 meters. The first people to populate the region of Bankya were Thracian tribes, over 2500 years ago. Archaeological excavations near the quarter of Ivanyane have unearthed remains of Ancient Roman buildings, walls and sewers, and bronze bracelets from the 4th–5th century. Bankya's economy depends mainly on tourism and balneological treatment.
Bankya was first mentioned as Banka in the 15th century. The former villages of Verdikal, Gradoman and Mihaylovo are part of the town itself, while Ivanyane and Klisura are part of the municipality. Bankya's name stems from the common noun bankya, "hot spring", a diminutive of banya ("baths").
Places of interest
- "Vazov's Oak", Ivan Vazov's favourite resting place.
- Church of Martyrs Quiricus and Julietta, built in 1932 and inaugurated by bishop Stephen from Sofia.
- The former presidential residence which was later turned into a country golf club.
- Bankya Palace, a spa hotel.
- Mineral Baths in Bankya, built in 1907–1910 to the design of Munich architect Carl Hocheder