BULGARIA

General information the capital and largest city of Bulgaria is Sofia. Other major cities are:

  • Plovdiv
  • Varna
  • Burgas

Furthermore, Bulgaria is the 16th largest country in Europe.

Around 94% of the Bulgarian population is an ethnic Slav and 82.6% of them belongs to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. It is the country’s traditional religion. The largest religion is Islam, of which most are ethnic Turks.

Bulgaria has existed since the 7th century. It came under Ottoman rule for approximately 500 years. It became independent and embraced communism. This happened after the Second World War. Nowadays, Bulgaria is a democracy.

Bulgarian souvenirs include: wood carving, pottery, and natural beauty products.

Bulgaria has always been a crossroad between Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Because of this, Bulgaria’s traditional foods have been influenced by different countries. A traditional dish would be then sirene -Bulgarian feta cheese; meat (especially grilled lamb, pork or veal); fresh vegetables and yoghurt. On this website, there is a recipe in Bulgarian and English. The dish is called Shkembe.

 

Historical facts

  • Bulgaria is the only country in Europe that hasn’t changed its name since it was made up. The name Bulgaria was created in 681 AD.
  • The UNESCO declared the ancient Bulgarian calendar the most accurate calendar in the world.
  • Bulgaria is almost the oldest country in Europe. It is even older than the Roman Empire.
  • Bulgaria was Germans ally in both world wars. Bulgaria has territorial losses in World War 1 but signed with the Axis powers in World War 2. However, Bulgaria refused to send the Jewish people to concentration camps and saved them instead.
  • Bulgaria failed to get peace with the Allies. They didn’t want to expel the German forces and as a consequent of this, they were invaded by the USSR. After that, Bulgaria became a socialist state.
  • Bulgarian became a democracy in the late 80s/begin 90s.
  • Bulgaria is the oldest written Slavic language. It is for most Bulgarians the first or second language.
  • The ancient Roman influence is still found in many of the cities. You can still enjoy viewing the Roman bath and Roman theatres.

 

General facts

 

Bulgarians shake their head to say yes and they nod to say no.

  • The oldest gold treasure was found in Bulgaria. It was over 6000 years old. There were 294 graves and 3000 gold objects were found.
  • Almost one third of Bulgaria is covered in forests.
  • Roses that grows in Bulgaria’s Rose Valley produces 70-85% of the world’s rose oil. Rose oil is a component in most perfumes.
  • The national instrument is the bagpipes called the gaida in Bulgaria.
  • In Bulgaria there is a negative population growth for two decades now. A lot of children are born to unmarried mothers.
  • Bulgarians are the second internationally in IQ scores, according to Mensa. The cleverest woman in the world is a Bulgarian. Her name is Daniela Simidchieva and she has an IQ of 200.
  • The prime minister is Boyko Borisov and the president is Rumen Radev