International Day for Tolerance is Today

The International Day for Tolerance is an annual observance declared by UNESCO in 1995 to generate public awareness of the dangers of intolerance. It is observed on November 16.

As a historic and architectural example of religious tolerance, I would point out to the capital of one of the oldest countries in Europe -- Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, which I visited in 2007. In the very center of Sofia, there are large-scale temples of 3 major religions within 200 meters of each other: a church, one of the largest synagogues in Europe, and one of the oldest mosques in Europe (the majority of the population is associated with the Bulgarian Orthodox Church). See the pictures below:


St Nedelya Church is a cathedral of the Sofia office of the Bulgarian Patriarchate. The initial structure was built in the 10th century.


Sofia Synagogue is one of the largest in Europe.


Banya Bashi Mosque, completed in 1576, is one of the oldest mosques in Europe. It was built over natural thermal spas used since Roman times.


Google maps shows the proximity of the temples. Click to enlarge the screenshot or see the map.

References:
International Day for Tolerance. United Nations.
International Day for Tolerance from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Image source: USaid.gov.

Updated: 11/16/2009

1 comment:

  1. Great post--beautiful examples of architecture AND tolerance!

    ReplyDelete

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