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Sofia is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria based in the west-central part of the country. It was originally a Thracian settlement then was under the rule of the Roman Empire. Subsequently, Byzantium rule and then two Bulgarian kingdoms. More recetnly the Ottoman rule (Turkey) for over 500 years and finally Russia. It was only in 1879 that Sofia became the capital of a now independent Bulgaria. Sofia suffered during the Second World War with the city occupied by German forces. It was eventually liberated in 1944 by the Soviets, who then installed a Communist government. Sofia now is the leading commercial, industrial, and transportation centre of Bulgaria with a population of over 1 million.