Immediately after 1878, when Bulgaria gained its independence, plans began for an imposing cathedral to be built in Sofia. The foundation stone was placed in 1882, but the cathedral was only finished by the middle of the 20th century. It was dedicated to Saint Alexander Nevsky, in memory of the Russian soldiers. Around the cathedral, one of the first modern squares in the Balkans began to take shape. It is a space with great symbolic significance, for it also holds the more modestly sized church of Saint Sofia (4th-6th centuries), which is delightful in its age and proportions, and which has given the city its name.