All About Bulgaria

A Very Unique Country

The History

Back in 400 BCE, the Thracians lived in areas that now make up Bulgaria. In 100 CE, the Bulgarian land was conquered by Romans and it became part of the Eastern Roman Empire, or the Byzantine Empire when the Romans split. It remained that way for around 400 years, but then the Slavs came in and took over the Bulgarian land. The area was officially recognized as a state by the Byzantine Empire in 716 CE, but then Emperor Constantine V attempted to obliterate Bulgaria in the late 8th century and thankfully, it was unsuccessful. However, later on in the early 9th century, Bulgaria attacked the Byzantine Emperor and they were able to kill the Byzantine leader.

In the late 10th century, Bulgaria started to decline and the Byzantines took the opportunity to invade and take over the land. In 1018, Bulgaria was conquered and a large part of it became a portion of the Byzantine Empire. For 167 years, Bulgaria remained under Byzantine rule, but when the taxes started getting heavier, they started rebelling and Bulgaria became its own once again in 1202.

In 1393, the Turkish Empire started to incline in power and they eventually captured Bulgaria's capital. For around 500 years, Bulgaria remained in the hands of the Turks, but when Russia declared a war and defeated the Turkish Empire, Bulgaria became independent once again. During the 19th century, Bulgaria split into north and south and they acted like two completely different countries. In 1908 though, Prince Ferdinand announced that Bulgaria was completely indepenedent and the two parts came together once again.

At the time of World War 1, Germany convinced the Bulgarians to join their side and had promised to give them land in exchange. Whatever land the Germans were planning to give was probably not worth the loss that Bulgaria had to face. The countries against Germany had became allies and they created a blockade, cutting off trade and causing a shortage of food in Bulgaria. The Bulgarians had all nearly starved to death. In 1919, they had to take the consequences of losing with Germany and were forced to sign a treaty, losing parts of their land and putting restrictions on their army. A year later, Bulgaria was allowed to join the League of Nations and obviously, they obliged, being the first of the losing nations to join.

From then on, Bulgaria faced a variety of situations. They had to fight the Communists that were attempting to take over and they faced a time of extremely high unemployment rates. Many incomes were cut short as well. Through all of this extra trouble, though, Bulgaria still thrived and is a standing European country today. (Joined the European Union in 2007 and was not a founder)

The Flag of Bulgaria

The only reason that Bulgaria made a flag was for identification in battle. The Bulgarians had no way of knowing if the people fighting were friends or foes, so they created this design and put it on shields and banners. It would also put the symbol on animals and religious devices.


The Bulgarians live with a Parliamentary Democracy style government. Instead of a president being a leader like in America, Bulgaria has a prime minister- currently Boyko Borisov. Some other countries such as Japan and Canada have this type of government as well.


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The currency in Bulgaria is the Bulgarian lev. 1.59 lev is equal to one dollar in America.

Location, Features, and Tourism

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Bulgaria is located in south-eastern Europe. The land is bordered by the Black Sea to the east, Greece to the south, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, and Romania to the north. It covers 42,823 square miles. Some physical features in Bulgaria include the Balkan Mountains, the Danube River, and the Danubian Plain. The Danube River acts as the border between Romania and Bulgaria. The Balkan Mountains, with its high elevation, can prevent cold winds from the north from coming down to the south, giving southern Bulgaria more of a warm and beach-like climate. The highest point of elevation in Bulgaria is the Musala Peak on the Rhodope Mountains, which is located in the southern portion of Bulgaria.

The 5 most major, populated, and important cities in Bulgaria are Sofia- the capital- Plovdiv, Varna, Burgas, and Rousse. Each of these cities, especially Sofia, make a great place to visit when on vacation. In Bulgaria, some of the greatest attractions are the Sunny Beach, the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the Seven Rila Lakes, and the Rila Monastery. The Sunny Beach is located on the coast between Bulgaria and the Black Sea, and within the Sunny Beach area, there are many activities to do. You could visit a village, a waterpark, and so much more! The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is located in Sofia and is still functioning as a church today. This place for Orthodox Christians welcomes visitors with open arms and often provides a great experience for tourists.

Fun Facts!

Bulgaria has the world's best yogurt because it's the only country that contains a bacteria called Lactobacillus Bulgaricus Bacteria, which strongly enhances the yogurt flavor.

Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook, has Bulgarian origin.

It's common for Americans to shake their head to symbolize "no", but in Bulgaria, shaking your head symbolizes "yes".


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"Balkan Holidays Blog: 10 Interesting Facts You Probably Didn't Know about Bulgaria..." Balkan Holidays Blog: 10 Interesting Facts You Probably Didn't Know about Bulgaria... N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Dec. 2014.

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