The Monument to Vasil Levski commemorates the hanging of Bulgarian national hero and major revolutionary figure Vasil Levski. He was hanged by the Turks on February 18th 1873 on the same place where the obelisk now stands. At this time that was outside the city of Sofia.
The monument was planned and worked on ever since the Liberation of Bulgaria in 1878 but it was inaugurated on 22 October 1895. That was the first monument to be built in the then newly-liberated Principality of Bulgaria. The monument is obelisk shaped, 13 m high, made of grey Balkan granite with a bronze bas-relief of the head of Levski, Although Levski is the greatest Bulgarian hero, the monument is rather small as the construction being hindered by a chronic lack of funds.
A draft for the monument featured a large Christian cross over a crescent, but it was rejected as religiously intolerant and incompatible with Levski’s proper beliefs in equality and tolerance. Other plans included a full-length bronze statue of Levski, which however was turned down as too expensive.
The monument alone is not worth a trip, but having in mind that Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, St. Sophia Church, The Unknown Soldier Monument, The National Library, the Doctor’s garden and the Doctors Monument are near by makes the monument of Vasil Levski a must see place when going trough the area. A good day to go to the monument alone is February 19th every year, that is when Bulgaria mourns the hanging of its greates hero – Vassil Levski. Hundreds of people queue in the cold to lay flowers of respect.
Now there is a project for a 133 meters high monument of Levski to be built near the Turkish border which might be a fact in the upcoming few years.