Bulgaria is a pretty small country in Southeastern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsular. Standing on the crossroad between Europe and Asia, the Bulgarian land has been populated since ancient times. Thracians, Ancient Greek, Romans, Byzantines, Slavs, Bulgarians – they have all left their imprints. The hundreds of Thracian tombs are unique artifacts of the material and spiritual culture. There are many Greek, Roman and Byzantine monuments of Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages.
The oldest processed gold in the world, 6 000 years’ old, was found on this land.
An important stop in a journey round Bulgaria would be the unique monuments of Bulgarian culture under the aegis of UNESCO, among them the Boyana church with its magnificent frescos and the Madara Horse Rider, which is the largest bas-relief in Europe.
The beautiful Renaissance houses of Etara, Koprivshtitsa, Tryavna, Shiroka luka or Old Plovdiv will strike you with their original architecture, unique Balkan look and lots of romantics. The Bulgarian folk customs and traditions are an incredible mixture of colours and sounds, pagan and Christian symbolism – fire-dancers, Kukers, Koledari, Lazaritsa etc. will stay in your mind as an unforgettable memory of your Bulgarian adventure.
Spread in the folds of the Rila, Pirin and Balkan mountains are around 400 highland lakes. The Pirin National Park and the Srebarna National Natural Reserve are included in the UNESCO list. Bansko, Borovets and Pamporovo are Bulgaria’s winter resorts offering modern and contemporary infrastructure, excellent snow tracks, lifts and drags, cozy tearooms and restaurants and experienced ski instructors. The ski tracks of Bulgaria’s winter resorts have hosted competitions of European and world championships in various disciplines.
The Bulgarian Black Sea coast is a magical place! The warm sea, caressing sun and ancient culture meet and merge here. The beaches have the finest sand, smoothly sinking into the embrace of the sea. To this you can add the luxury of the new hotel complexes or the coziness of the small marine towns and villages. The ancient town of Nessebar is one of the culture monuments of world significance, protected by UNESCO.
Bulgaria is the country with the greatest number of mineral springs in the world after Iceland. So far nearly 600 mineral water springs have been discovered and explored, of which more than 80% have healing qualities and water temperature of between 20 and 100 degrees Celsius. A large part of the mineral waters in the country spring up from great depths, which is a warrantee of their purity.
Official name: Republic of Bulgaria
Capital and largest city: Sofia
Form of governance: parliamentary republic
Official language: Bulgarian
National holidays: 3 March – Day of Bulgaria’s liberation from the Ottoman domination; 24 May – Day of the Bulgarian education and culture and of the Slavic alphabet; 6 September – Day of Unification; 22 September – Bulgaria’s Independence Day
Currency: 1 BGN = 1.95 EURO
International phone code: +359
Religions: Orthodox Christians – 60%; Muslims – 7.8%; Protestants – 0.9%; Roman Catholics – 0.7%; atheists – 31%
Ethnic groups: Bulgarian – 84.8%; Turks – 8.8%; Roma – 4.9%. Remaining 1.5% - Jews, Armenian, Russians, Ukrainian etc.
Elections: the last parliamentary elections were held on 26 Match 2017, the presidential elections of the Republic of Bulgaria were on 6 November 2016, the local elections on 25 October 2015. Forthcoming elections – for members of the European Parliament and local elections in 2019
Organisations: Bulgaria is one of the founders of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe; the country is also a member of the UN, the Council of Europe, the European Union and NATO.
Location: a country in Southeastern Europe, in the eastern part of the Balkan peninsular
Size: 110 993.6 sq. km
Population: 7 364 570 inhabitants (according to the 2011 official census)
Climate: moderate continental
Neighbouring countries: Romania to the North; Serbia and the Republic of Macedonia to the west; Greece to the south and Turkey to the southeast