A GLIMPSE OF BULGARIA
Bulgaria is in the North-East of the Balkan peninsula and has a territory of 111 000 sq. km. One third of its territory is covered with woods. The Danubean Plane is in the North, the Thracian Valley - in the South of the country.
What lies between, sheltered by the Balkan Range is the Valley of roses. The unforgettable sight of the plants in full blossom and the odour of the roses attract visitors from all over the world in the beginning of June. The "stone forest", the "Lions head", the Belogratchik rocks - that is only a part of the UNESCO heritage list which also features the Pirin mountains and the Srebarna lake close to the Danube - the only pink-pelican-nestling area on the Balkan Peninsula.
Sofia - one of Europes ancient cities.
About 8 million (including Bulgarians, Turks, Gypsies, Armenians, Jews, Russians, etc.)
Majority of people are east orthodox. Christianity was adopted as early as the IX century A.D. There are also Roman Catholics, Muslims, Protestants, Jews etc.
First religious centers - the monasteries - were established as soon as Christianity was adopted. Their role and importance grew during the 13-th and 14-th centuries and especially during the Ottoman domination.
One of the oldest, largest and most beautiful monasteries is the world famous Rila Monastery, known as the "Bulgarian" Jerusalem. The orthodox churches possess the charm of art galleries with their unique mural paintings and woodcarvings. The Tombul mosque in Shumen is an exquisite example of the architecture of the Orient and the Synagogue in Sofia is considered to be one of the biggest in Europe.
Bulgaria is a parliamentary republic. The Parliament has the legislative power whereas the executive power belongs to the Council of Ministers and local communities.
Bulgarian - which is a Slavic language belonging to the Indo-European language group. Bulgarians are good at foreign languages, Russian in particular which is quite similar to Bulgarian.
Temperate-continental. Average annual temperature - 10,5C.
Average July temperature on the Black sea coast is 22,6 C - average August temperature - 22 C. Winter is mild. Snow lasts more than 4 months offering excellent skiing conditions in the mountains.
GMT + 2
Lev - available in a variety of coins (called stotinki) and notes.
Do you know that...
- 67,8% of the Bulgarian population lives in towns
- 51% of the population are women
- average life-span - 70,9 years (74,8 years for women; 67,2 years for men)
- Bulgarian girls marry at the average age of 22,6; men - at 25,6.
- Population growth rate - 3,8%.