Nikolay Nikolov

One photographer's "alternative photo guide" to the city of Sofia.

History, thousands of years worth of it, can be found in Sofia. Surrounded by examples of architecture that represent the Bulgarian capital's past, Nikolay Nikolov is fixated on the buildings that might seem to say the least.

In a project the photographer calls "Minimalistic Sofia," Nikolov documents his long walks around the city. The project, he says, is "provoked by the loneliness and the monotonous lifestyles in the city."

On his site, Nikolov describes his work as "an alternative photo guide of the city." Looking for scenes where geometric urban design elements dominate the frame as a stray person or dog walks by, his photographs capture the ways everyday Sofians interact with their surroundings. 

Some photos on Minimalistic Sofia show the city's post-Communist rebuilding efforts. But Nikolov often ends up in Sofia's suburbs on his walks, many of which were built under Communist rule. In these communities, you can still find plenty of panelki (what Bulgarians call their concrete-paneled apartment towers), built as the city grew outward and its population more than doubled between 1944 and 1989

These buildings appear plain on the surface, but Nikolov's photos coax out the important stories they tell about Sofia's past. 

(Nikolay Nikolov)
(Nikolay Nikolov)
(Nikolay Nikolov)
(Nikolay Nikolov)
(Nikolay Nikolov)
(Nikolay Nikolov)
(Nikolay Nikolov)
(Nikolay Nikolov)
(Nikolay Nikolov)
(Nikolay Nikolov)

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Pittsburgh's skyline

    Can a 'New Localism' Help Cities Transcend Gridlock?

    Bruce Katz and Jeremy Nowak talk about the model of collaborative urban leadership in their book The New Localism.

  2. Design

    Paris: 'Please Do Not Give Us This Free Jeff Koons Sculpture'

    Wrong art, wrong location, say critics.

  3. Transportation

    The Automotive Liberation of Paris

    The city has waged a remarkably successful effort to get cars off its streets and reclaim walkable space. But it didn’t happen overnight.

  4. Equity

    Where Amazon HQ2 Could Worsen Affordability the Most

    Some of the cities dubbed finalists in Amazon’s headquarters search are likely to see a greater strain on their housing market, a new analysis finds.

  5. Orange traffic cones save parking spaces on a neighborhood street in South Boston.

    The Psychology of Boston's Snow Parking Wars

    In Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia, an informal code allows residents to claim a parking space after shoveling it out. But the practice is often at odds both with the law and with the mores of changing neighborhoods.