Varna.info : Facts :

About Bulgaria

Bulgaria, officially known as the Republic of Bulgaria, is a south-east European country that lies in the Balkans. It is bordered by Romania, Serbia, the Republic of Macedonia, Greece and Turkey. The Black Sea lies along the country’s eastern border. Its capital is Sofia, Bulgaria’s largest city with a population of 1.4 million. Bulgaria joined the European Union in the year 2007. It is considered to be an “upper-middle-income economy” by the World Bank and has experienced rapid economic growth in recent years. Bulgaria is mainly populated by ethnic Bulgarians, whereas a little over a tenth of the population consists of Turks and the Roma. About 2% of the population comprises of Russians, Armenians, Vlachs, Jews, Crimean Tatars and Sarakatsani.

History of Bulgaria
The neolithic Hamangia culture and the Vinča culture existed between the 6th to the 3rd millennia BC. The Varna Necropolis came about in the 5th millennium BC during the Bronze Age. The Thracians who were an Indo-European tribe lived in the territory of modern Bulgaria before the Slavic invasion. The Slavs who hailed from Eastern Europe emerged in the early 6th century. Some of them settled in the territory of modern Bulgaria during the 6th Century. The Bulgars who were originally from Central Asia gave rise to the First Bulgarian Empire. The first Bulgarian kingdoms emerged on European soil during the early Middle Ages. The Bulgarian kingdoms came under Ottoman rule with the decline of the Second Bulgarian Empire. The re-establishment of a Bulgarian state was facilitated by the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878. In 1945, after World War II, Bulgaria became a communist state and remained part of the Eastern Bloc for about three decades. After the Revolutions of 1989, Bulgaria transitioned to democracy and adopted free-market capitalism.

Geography
Bulgaria is extremely diverse geographically having snow-capped peaks as well as sunny coasts near the Black Sea, with the climate ranging from continental in the north to Mediterranean in the valleys and lowlands in the south.

Mineral resources
The country possesses huge reserves of lignite and anthracite coal, copper, lead, zinc and gold. It also has abundant mineral deposits of rock-salt, gypsum, kaolin and marble.

Bulgarian Landmarks

Kazanluk Tomb
This is a Thracian tomb located in the Tyulbeto Hillnear the town of Kazanluk and dates back to the late 4th and early 3rd century B.C. The artistic value of the murals in the burial chamber and corridors attract a lot of visitors.

Ivanovo Rock Churches
The murals in the Church of the Holy Virgin have been described as some of the most significant achievements of 14th century Bulgarian medieval art. The Boyana Church has unique murals from 1259 which are considered to be masterpieces of medieval European painting.

Madara Horseman
This is a rock relief cut into the Madara rocks of the Provadiisko Plateau which is a significant monumental piece of art from the early Middle Ages.

Rila Monastery
This monastery is a spiritual centre for the Bulgarian people, and is one of the most impressive monastery compounds in Bulgaria of exceptional architectural and artistic value.

Nessebur
Situated at the Black Sea coast it is an architectural, historical and archaeological reserve with valuable archaeological relics from different periods from the 5th to the 17th century.

Sveshtari Tomb
This is a Thracian tomb from the first half of the 3rd century B.C. and has a central burial chamber with exceptionally lavish decoration and impressive caryatides in high relief.

Sreburna Reserve
A biosphere reserve in the valley of the Danube, it has been established for the preservation of rare plant and animal species.

Pirin National Park
Located in the high parts of the Northern Mount Pirin, it is characterized by a specific relief and an inimitable plant and animal world. It also incorporates the Bayuvi Doupki-Dzhindzhiritsa Biosphere Reserve and the Yulen Reserve.