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. Equity

    This Startup Helps You Buy a House (If You Hand Over Your Airbnb Income)

    For buyers in hot real-estate markets, a new kind of mortgage offered by a company called Loftium might offer a way to purchase a home.

  2. Smoke is released into the sky at an oil refinery in Wilmington, California
    Environment

    What Will Happen to the Gulf Coast If the Oil Industry Retreats?

    Hurricane Harvey pummeled the country’s energy infrastructure, and there are few incentives in place to promote renewables.

  3. Design

    Octopuses Are Urbanists, Too

    Scientists were surprised to find that this smart and solitary species had built a cephalopod city. Why?

  4. Transportation

    Portland Prepares for the Freeway Fight of the Century

    A grass-capped highway expansion in a gentrifying neighborhood? Sounds familiar.

  5. Transportation

    The Commuter Parking Benefit Is Seriously Hurting Cities

    The federal government spends $7.6 billion a year paying people to drive to work, and it’s making traffic and pollution worse. Here’s how some cities are fighting back.