Abandoned 1910 Mineral Baths Building in Bankya Suburb of Bulgaria's Capital Sofia to Be Restored by 2019

Abandoned 1910 Mineral Baths Building in Bankya Suburb of Bulgaria’s Capital Sofia to Be Restored by 2019

The building of the Mineral Baths (built in 1907 – 1910) in Sofia’s suburb Bankya seen here in the fall. Photo: Bankya Municipality

The presently abandoned building of the Mineral Baths in Bankya, a suburb of Bulgaria’s capital Sofia, which dates back to 1910, is going to be restored in order to become a large spa center, the local mayor has announced.

The beautiful building of the Mineral Baths in Bankya was constructed between 1907 and 1910 at the initiative of the then Bulgarian monarch, Tsar Ferdinand I (r. 1887 – 1918).

Because of management issues in Bulgaria’s early post-communist period, the most famous landmark of the Sofia suburb of Bankya has been locked and abandoned since 2001. Bankya has been part of Sofia Municipality since 1979.

The Mineral Baths building in Bankya is going to be restored and reopened by the end of 2019, Bankya’s district Mayor, Rangel Markov, has announced, as cited by BNT.

Markov has signed a contract with a construction company which is to carry out the restoration.

The huge building of the Mineral Baths in Bankya is supposed to become the largest spa center in the Balkans.

In the recent years, the local authorities wanted to have the historical building restored by a private investor in exchange for the right to construct a spa hotel nearby. However, this idea has now been modified.

Bankya Municipality has instead leased a spa hotel construction right to the private investor, and is now using the money paid by it to restore the 1910 building.

Architect Chavdar Georgiev, who has examined the building of the Mineral Baths in Bankya ahead of the restoration project, has declared that the building is not in a very good condition.

In his words, parts of the façade and the interior are damaged, and so are part of the decorative and artistic elements. The roof also is not in a good condition.

The actual conservation and restoration of Bankya’s most popular landmark is going to start in February 2018.

The building will be made accessible for people with disabilities with the construction of two elevators.

The Bankya Mineral Baths spa center is supposed to be opened at the end of 2019. After that, Bankya Municipality is going to look for a private company to take over its operation and management.

The inside of the Bankya Mineral Baths after the building had been abandoned and vandalized for almost 17 years. Photo: Bankya Municipality


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