Bulgaria

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Bulgaria – the Land of Roses
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BULGARIA

Bulgaria, officially the Republic of Bulgaria is located in southeastern Europe. Organized prehistoric cultures began developing on current Bulgarian lands during the Neolithic period. Its ancient history saw the presence of the Thracian's, Greeks and Romans. The emergence of a unified Bulgarian state dates back to the establishment of the First Bulgarian empire.

The country’s current political structure dates to the adoption of a democratic constitution in 1991. Bulgaria is a unitary parliamentary republic with a high degree of political, administrative, and economic centralization.

FUN FACTS

  • Bulgaria is the only country in Europe that hasn’t changed its name since it was first established.
  • The oldest gold treasure in the world was found in Bulgaria
  • Nearly one third of Bulgaria is covered in forests
  • Most of the Rose Oil component in perfumes is produced in Bulgarian “Rose Valley”
  • The Bulgarian Orthodox Church is the oldest Slavic Orthodox Church
  • The Rila Cross is a wooden cross with 140 microscopic scenes from the BibleIn 1976 UNESCO declared the ancient Bulgarian calendar as the most accurate in the world.
  • Rayna Kasabova was a Bulgarian air force pilot and the first woman in the world who participated In a military flight.
  • The Cyrillic script was developed in the First Bulgarian Empire during the 9thcentury AD.
  • Vanga is a famous Bulgarian prophetess. It’s believed that lots of her predictions came true.

WHY VISIT

1. It is beautiful and cheap

Bulgaria is every year becoming more and more popular tourist destinations. This country is beautiful and even tough there are many tourists, its still not as much as other European country so you can enjoy a not yet spoiled by tourist place. It also uses its own currency so its very cheap.

2. Bulgaria has a lot of history

Bulgaria has a very rich history. You can visit some wonderful historical sites and some of them date back to 98-117 AD such as Roman Theater in Plovdiv. You can walk down the beautiful cobbled streets and together with beautiful buildings, tasty food will create a fairy tale like memory.

3. The beaches

Bulgaria has wonderful sea side resorts and beautiful beaches. Visiting Bulgaria in summer will be a great time for swimming, especially sine the temperature is usually around 30 degrees which is perfect for swimming or sun bathing. Tough there are beaches which are packed with tourists there are some which are pretty and where you can enjoy a more romantic and peaceful break.

4. The Capital City.

The capital city of Bulgaria, Sofia is full of energy, filled with great bars and clubs therefore offering an incredible vibe.

5. The food

You will be able to enjoy great local food and local wine. There are so many different soups, of which cold cucumber soup is their specialty.

6. People

Bulgarians are incredibly friendly and eager to make sure you experience the best of their culture, of which they’re hugely proud. Expect grandmothers, shopkeepers, college students and waiters to greet you with a smile.

7. Seven Rila Lakes

The Seven Rila Lakes are a group of lakes situated in the northwestern Rila Mountains in Bulgaria. For some truly amazing holiday photos this is the place to go.

8. Skiing

Ski or Snowboard in Bansko, Borovets or Pamporovo. Bulgaria has it all. If you are not up for swimming in the beautiful sea, you can take the advantage of their mountains and head out for a ski trip.

9. The Mountains, The Parks and The Nature

Hiking, climbing, horse riding, fishing, rafting… Bulgaria has many outdoors activities to offer. While enjoying fresh air you can also enjoy have fun doing many different outdoor activities.

10. There is no such thing as commuting

Bulgaria’s chilled-out culture reflects a love for people and pleasures in the immediate proximity. When you visit, locals will recommend sights that are near to you current city or town, ensuring you’ll never have to go out of you way to see something beautiful.

SOFIA

Sofia is Bulgaria’s capital and its largest city. Founded thousands of years ago today the city continues to develop as the country’s cultural and economic center.

Sofia is located in the western part of the country, on the Sofia Plain and on the lower slopes of Mount Vitosha. The city’s average altitude is 550 meters above sea level, the climate is moderate and continental, characterized by cold winters and relatively cool summers.

Sofia preserves many valuable monuments to its long and storied past. Visitors exploring the city’s streets can see remnants of the Eastern Gate from the days hen Sofia was Serdika and Sredets, dating from the 2nd -4th centuries CE. These remains exhibited in the underpass connecting the Presidential Palace and the Ministerial Council, surrounded by shops selling traditional Bulgarian souvenirs and rosewater.

FUN FACTS

1. The city of Sofia was built on Roman ruins

Roman Empire occupied the territory of what we now know as Bulgaria. Roman ruins can still be seen nowadays under the city, around the area of Saint Sofia Church

2. The Subway of Sofia

The construction of the very first subway station in Sofia took 30 years as on every step there were too many archaeological sites from the Thracians and Romans time.

3. Bulgaria had the biggest cathedral on the Balkan

Cathedral Alexander Nevsky is one of the largest Orthodox cathedrals in the world and was built to honor the Russian soldiers who died to liberate Bulgaria from the Ottoman Rule. The design of this Cathedral is extremely sophisticated and many of it’s domes are gold plated.

4. City name

During its history, the city’s name has been changed several times. In ancient times it was known as Serdica or Sardica. The early Slavs called it Sredets, and the Byzantines called it Triaditsa. Its present name has been used since the 14th century.

5. The oldest building

The oldest building in Sofia is the tiny Church of St. George, parts of which were built by the Romans as a public bath. Just outside Sofia, in the mountain village of Boyana is another historic church, famous for its 13th century wall paintings.

TOP PLACES

1. Varna

Varna is a resort town on the edge of the Black Sea. But it is so much more than just a resort. It is a place which represents long and enthralling history, oodles of crumbling Roman bathhouse and elaborate Orthodox architecture. The city appeals to history lovers as well as to sun seekers.

2. Veliko Tarnovo

The legendary city of Veliko Tarnovo is located on the edge of the Bulgaria’s northern mountains. The whole town is breathtaking, beautifully colored roofs, cobblestone lanes and half-timbered homes. The best example of the old town is Tarnovo school. Visiting this city will allow you to experience a mixture of natural beauty, culture and history.

3. Sofia

The wonderful capital of Bulgaria is very unique thanks to its own past. Around its edges we have great brutalist monuments to Soviet rule while close to the center there are ancient remains of the Serdica Fort and the Roman-Byzantine Church of St George sitting in the shadow of Stalinist municipal buildings. You can also visit Orthodox domes and glided edifices of the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, which glisten under the now-packed tops of Vitosha Mountain in the distance.

4. Zheravna

Zheravna represents one of the country’s most iconic architectural styles of old. The town is situated at the base of the mighty Balkan Mountains. The cottages that pepper the cobbled streets are all very beautifully restored, with more than 150 examples of the typical hardwood facades on display. Yordan Yovkov House and the icon-packed St Nicholas Church draw the biggest crowds, while others will head for the August Dobromirits Rural Park nearby, where festivals celebrating Bulgarian folk costumes and music erupt throughout the year.

5. Burgas

Burgas is one of the most loved gateways in the southern part of Bulgaria. It is not an ancient and historic center, but largely modern affair of Art Deco and manicured park on the edge of the sea. It is also home to some of the most lively music festivals in Bulgaria, like the Spirit of Burgas which is held every year in summer. North Beach is the most popular stretch of sand in the town, but you can also visit beautiful trio of lakes that range from the bird-spotting paradise of Vaya to the west to the saline waters of Atanasovsko to the north.

6. Rila Monastery

Rila Monastery is probably one of the most famous Eastern Orthodox monastery in the world. It now represents a symbol of the Bulgarian nation and has an interesting intermingling of Mamluk, arabesque, Byzantine and Romanesque styles and resplendent walls, carved meticulously and inlaid with shimmering gold leaf.

7. Pirin National Park

Pirin National Park is a hinterland like no other in Europe. Top is covered in snow-spotted summits which gather caps of mist. Below this beautiful sight is alpine valley filled with avalanches of beautiful green pine and fir trees. You can also occasionally spot deer or bears walking making it a perfect paradise for nature lovers.

8. Belogradchik

Belogradchik is a place filled with geological wonders and always impress travelers who make their way to this far-flung corner of Bulgaria on the northward slopes of the Balkan Mountains. It is simply known as the Beogradchik Rocks and offer a sprawling display of hoodoos and anthropomorphic monoliths that’s inspired folk legends and local myths.

9. Koprivshtitsa

Koprivishtitsa is a protected national monument which reflects and defines the achievements of Bulgarian National Revival movement. It is reflected in beautifully painted facades, stone sculptures and shuttered homes. Koprivshtitsa is situated between the spruces and pines that cover the wonderful valleys of the Sredna Gora Mountains.

TOP PLACES

1. National Palace of Culture

National Palace of Culture was established in 1981. as a part of the state of Bulgaria’s 1300th birthday. It is located in the heart of the city center and a stunning sight to see. This sprawling hexagonal building was made primarily of grass and concrete, and was designed by eminent Bulgarian architect Alesander Georgiev Barov. National Palace of Culture is an interesting example of the socialist architecture of the past, with its sleek and minimalist aesthetic, harsh geometric lines and imposing size which are all contributing to its historical artistic significance.

2. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Once one of the largest Eastern Orthodox churches in the world, the Alexander Nevskz Cathedral is constructed in a beautiful and intricate Neo-Byzantine style, and is one of Sofia’s most visited landmarks built in honor of St Alexander Nevsky. Today it is the official Church of the Neophyte of Bulgaria, Simeon Nikolov Dimitrov, the head of the Bulgarian Orthodox church. It is a peaceful and magnificent place in which to spend a few quiet moments in the city.

3. Museum of Socialist Art

This fairly new museum aims to showcase the artwork created in Bulgaria’s socialist period, presenting pieces by some of the most notable painters and sculptors of the time. Featuring an indoor gallery and an outdoor sculpture park, The Museum of Socialist Art contains a number of engaging exhibits, including the red star that once adorned the Socialist Party headquarters in Sofia.

4. Kambanite Park

Kambanite Park is located just outside of the center of Sofia, at the foot of the stunning Vitosha mountain. It is a peaceful park compiled with interesting past. Over thirty years ago UNESCO declared 1979. to be the “International Year of the Child”, a movement initiated to highlight the suffering of children worldwide. The Kambanite Park in Sofia was thus created in response to this initiative. Containing 68 bells, each representing a separate country, the park aimed to unite children from all over the world, and it become the site for the “Banner of Peace” International children’s Assembly.

5. The National History Museum

Exhibiting a number of antique items from over 8000 years ago, visitors at The National History Museum can spend hours learning the stories of Bulgaria’s people, and discovering the relics they left behind. Separated into five halls, each of which represent a different historical era, guests can marvel at the pottery of the Middle Ages before wandering next door and observing the various ornamental burial gifts of the second Bulgarian Empire. A trip here makes for one of the most cultural and interesting days out in Sofia.

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