A few words
Total area: 110 994 sq. km.
Situation: south-eastern part of Europe, the Balkan peninsula.
Capital: Sofia (population:
more then 1 350 000), another big Cities: Plovdiv , Varna, Bourgas , Rousse .
Population: 7,54 mil.
Bulgarian (2003). Ethnic groups
Bulgarian Turks (8%) and others (about 5%).
Orthodox (88%), Muslim (8-9%), Catholics and Jewish ( 2-4%)
Government type: parliamentary
Currency: bulgarian lev, 1
lev=100 stotinki, 1 EUR=1,95 Lev( BGN)
681-1018: Foundation of the
first Bulgarian State. Its capital was Pliska. It was ruled by a khan.
1393: Ottomans attacked
Bulgaria and destroyed Tarnovo. In the next five centuries Bulgaria was
converted into a region of the Ottoman Empire. 1876: The April Rebellion was a
sign for a bloody revenge to the Ottomans. More than 20 000 Bulgarian people
1878: On March 3 with the
San Stefano annex Bulgaria became an independent country but the southern part
was under Ottoman control still 1912.
1946: Monarchy turned to
popular democracy with referendum. The Fatherland Front assumed power, began
the time of communism.
1948/54: Stalinn period of
1962/89: Government of
10/11/1989: Todor Zhivkov
resigned. Beginning of democracy processes with the Union of democratic forces
2000: Negotiating an
agreement for joining EU.
2004: April Bulgaria became
a member of NATO
2007: Bulgaria is set to
Culture and customs
Bulgaria has an impressive
common heritage. More than 10 000 Thracian mounds have been found. They
represent various examples of the ancient culture- ordinary tombs, funeral
cameras, complexes with one entrance (dromos), narthex and real funeral
cameras. Thracian and Greek mythology influence mutually. After 7 century B.C.
arose the first Greek settlements in the territory of Bulgaria. The Greek
colonies have been conserved up to the present day on the Black Sea. Roman and
Turkish yoke are connected with impressive constructions. Places of interest
are the Plovdiv theatre and Rilla Monastery.
Literature: It is pity that the country with the most
ancient Slavs literature remained in the background.
Music: traditional - During the 500 years of the
Ottoman slavery, songs represented hopes, fears and everyday life of ordinary
people; modern- pop music, other
new-come is pop-folk „chalga"-influence between traditional-balkan-oriental.
In 1996/97 Bulgaria was in
critical economic and bank crisis. Today Bulgaria is one of the most stable
countries in the region, which is a fact of importance for the increasing trust
of the European countries.
of Bulgaria is Georgy Parvanov, elected on 18/11/2001. Since 16/08/2005 Prime
Minister is Sergey Stanishev, leader of the Coalition for Bulgaria. It is a
coalition government. Partners in it are the three biggest parties in the
present Parliament - Coalition for Bulgaria, National movement of Simeon II and
Movement for rights and freedoms.
Bulgaria is situated in the
eastern part of Europe. Its maximum length from west to east is 520 km, and
from north to south - 330 km. Bulgaria shares borders with Romania to north,
with Macedonia and Serbia to west, with Greece and Turkey to south, and with
Black Sea to east. The coastline is 354 km long.
Sea and lakes: The Black
Sea is semi-closed sea with low salt content of about 18. More than 50% of the
coastline is beaches-wide and long, covered with fine sands. There are a few
lakes in Bulgaria. Very impressive and fascinating are the small karst lakes in
the Pirin and Rilla mountains.
Rivers: Bulgaria has
limited water sources. More of the rivers are short, the only one navigable is
the Danube river. Another big rivers are
Iskar , Maritsa.
Mountains:1/3 part of the
territory is mountain ranges. The Balkan
Mountains divides the country into two parts. The highest point here is the
peak of Botev (2376 m). To north is the Danube valley. Between the Balkan range
and Sredna gora (1604 m) in south, lay the Zadbalkanski valleys. In north of
Sredna gora and in south of Sofia is located the Vitosha mountain (2290
m). South of Vitosha there are two
mountain ranges - Pirin and Rilla, which could be called the Bulgarian Alps.
The highest point in the whole Balkan peninsula is Musala (2925 m), situated in
the Rilla mountains. The highest point of Pirin is the peak of Vihren (2915 m).
Near to Rilla and Pirin are the Rhodope Mountains. It is the largest one in
whole southeast Europe, with a highest point called Goliam Perelik - 2191 m.
Mineral and termal
water: Bulgaria has plenty of mineral
springs (over 500) and in reference to that it takes one of the leading
positions in Europe.
Climate: Continental climate,
the southest part of Bulgaria has mediterrane vegetation. The average
temperature in summer is 23 degrees. Extremely high temperatures are rare.
Duration of sun shining is about 2500 hours per year. In summer there are brief
scattered showers. In winter there is snow about 150 days, from December to May
and winter resorts offer great places for nice holiday. In North Bulgaria there
is snow about 50/60 days.
In comparison with the most
European countries, Bulgaria has а great variety of animal and plant species
(over 3500). Over 1/4 of the country is covered with forests and 2/3 from them
are natural. The oldest tree is the oak of the village of Granit(near to the
town of Stara Zagora), which is about 1650 years old. Predominate in the country
broadleaved forests from central European type-oak, beech-tree, ash-tree,
sycamore and limes. From the coniferous there are pines, spruces and fir-trees.
There are also many species of bushes as hawthorn, brier, sumac, lilac-shrub,
etc. In the highest parts of the mountains grow alpine rose, edelweiss and
juniper. There are a lot of herbs all over the country, and they could be
Animal world of Bulgaria is
as various as Bulgarian relieve. Typical species for the Danube valley are
coast swallows, wild geese and even hooded capes. Partridges, quails, larks and
field mice can be found, too. In the forests of the Fore Balkan there are roes,
stags and badgers. It is rare to find jackals, pheasants and martens. In
broadleaved forests often could be seen squirrels. In alpine zone there are
mainly reptiles, alpine crows, ossifrages and Imperial eagle. In the mountains
there are also bears, foxes, wild goats, wolves and wild cats. On the coastline
live sea-gulls, wild geese and kingfishers. In the Black Sea live dolphins,
little sharks and seals. From freshwater fish you can see trout, carps and
barbells. Cave fauna excites with its 350 various species of invertebrates.
With the typical domestic animals there are also buffaloes, donkeys and
Food & Drinks
Food: Bulgarian meal is more than excellent and traditionally starts with cold
entrees, a soup or a salad with rakia (Bulgarian traditional drink). Backed
potatoes became traditional garnish. As a dessert there is a great choice of sweets and Bulgarian cakes with cream. Typical Bulgarian dishes are:
cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, pepper, seasoning and cheese.
baking with cheese staffing.
soup made of yoghurt and cucumbers.
meat rolls with a lot of spice
-Gjuvetch: it is
made of meat, vegetables and potatoes.
potatoes, mushrooms,vegetabels and onion baked.
-Cabbage and vine leaves sarmi: leaves with stuffing of chopped meat, onion and rice.
Unique for Bulgarian cuisine honey, yoghurt, white cheese and kashkaval (cheese
made of yoghurt).
Almost every region has its
own recipes and preparation ways.
Drinks: There is a
traditional drink called rakia which is served before dining. It is made of
grapes, plums, apricots or other fruits. Bulgarian alcohol drinks (rakia,
cognac and anise flavored brandy- mastika) are famous all over the world.
Almost every region has its own wine. In the surroundings of Sliven There is
Cabernet sauvignon and Merlot., and near to Assenovgrad-red Mavrud. "Wines
of Melnik" are famous and refined and come from the southwest Bulgaria.
The most refined Bulgarian white wine are: Misket from Straldza, Traminer from
Khan Krum, Dimiat and Sauvignon Blanc from Targovishte, etc. The most preferred
beers are Zagorka, Kamenitsa, Astika and others. There are also imported beers
or beers which are producing under licence.
Holidays and traditions
New Year's morning - Survakane: little children tap their parents' back with decorated
Holly Eve 24 December:
traditionally uneven numbers (7,9,11)
vegetarian dishes are served on the table, symbolizing people`s hope
that next year will be as rich as the previous. Very important is a small loaf
of bread with a coin in it. The person who takes the coin will have great luck
Easter: it is famous for
the eggs, painted in various colours and is beloved by children. Everybody has
an Easter egg and there is a "fight" with them. It is believed that
the owner of the not broken egg will be healthy all the year.
January 6 a man throws a wooden cross into the frozen waters of a river. Men
must take it out.
Ivanovden: it is
celebrated on January 7. That day newly-married couples visit their best men
and bring them wine, rakia, roasted duck and banitsa.
14 February: a
feast of vine-growers and wine. Then everybody starts cutting the vineyard.
1 March: it is
unique with special gifts called "Baba Marta-martenitsi" - twisted
red and white crewels.
They symbolize happiness
and health and originate in ancient pagan traditions.
Tsvetnitsa: that feast is
dedicated to all the people bringing names of flowers: Rose, Daisy, Lilly etc
and it is on the Sunday before Eastern
national holiday of Bulgaria.
Gergiovden, the feast of Bulgarian Military and for people wich name is Georgy.
The main dish is a roasted lamb.
Nikulden: the feast of the Fisherman, the main dish is a carp or another fish.