The Republic of Bulgaria is situated in the South-Eastern part of Europe, in the Eastern part of the Balkan Peninsula. The country covers 22 % of its territory. It is bordered on the North by the Republic of Romania, on the East - by the Black Sea, on the South - by the Republic of Turkey and the Republic of Greece and on the West - by the Republic of Macedonia and the Republic of Serbia. The total area of the country is 110.9 sq. km.
Geography: The landscape of Bulgaria is heterogeneous. High and low areas alternate and they cross the whole country from East to West. The mountains of Stara planina, Pirin, Rila (with Musala Peak - 2925 m. which is the highest point on the Balkan Peninsula) cover great part of the country.
Climate: The country is situated in the continental and the Mediterranean climatic regions. Stara Planina Mountain - a border which divides the country into two climatic zones - continental on the North and Mediterranean on the South. In the plains the average temperature in January is between -2 and 2 degrees C, in July +25 degrees C. The average annual rainfall is from 450 mm in the plains to 1300 mm in the mountains. Because of the light breeze it is not sweltering hot in summer.
Population: 7.6 million people (2007), of which 84.5% are Bulgarians.
Capital City: The City of Sofia dates back from VII Century B.C. but back then it had different names - Serdica or Triaditza. The name of Sofia was given in the end of IV Century.
Language: The official language is Bulgarian. Almost 85% of the population communicates in Bulgarian. Turkish language (9.6%) and Roma language (4.1%) are also used.
Religion: The greatest part of the population - 82.6% - is Orthodox Christians (The Bulgarian Orthodox Church), 0.5% is Protestants, 12.2% is Muslims, 0.6% - Catolics.
Political System: Bulgaria is a Parliamentary Republic. The Constitution is the main law. The Constitution is based on the principles of division of powers - legislative, executive and judicial. The main state institutions in Bulgaria are the following : The National Assembly, the President of the Republic of Bulgaria, the Council of Ministers and the Constitutional Court. The legislative power is the supreme power in the country. It is executed by the Parliament (The National Assembly).
History: Bulgaria has ancient and rich history. In this small country situated just at the entrance of Europe and Asia almost all great cultures of the Antiquity have left its mark. Thracians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Ottoman Empire - they all had left behind them numerous monuments - tombs, fortresses, churches and mosques.
Proto-Bulgarians: The founders of modern Bulgaria were proto-Bulgarians and this name has been kept during the centuries. The writing of the Bulgarian history could be started since the Antiquity (the first millennium before Christ). The proto-Bulgarians belong to the Caucasus part of the biggest Indo-European family. They had come to the Balkan Peninsula from Central Asia. As a highly-organized public formation the proto-Bulgarians had for a long time been decisive cultural factor on the Middle-Asiatic territories. They used to have remarkable knowledge in the spheres of the philosophic perception of the world, the public administration, the social organization, the military art, the writing, the language and the construction.
Important product of the knowledge of the proto-Bulgarians is the cyclic solar calendar, good from the point of view of the astronomy, as well as the constellations named on different animals.
UNECSO acknowledges the calendar of the proto-Bulgarians as one of the best in the world.
Culture and traditions: The cultural heritage on the Bulgarian territory is rich and varied. Populated since pre-historic times they keep important traces from different eras with rich traditions. The geographic situation of Bulgaria explains the interweaving, mixing and interaction of different cultures, habits, religions, tribes and people who had been living here and cultivating the land.
Among the most precious found on the Bulgarian lands, is the cult heritage of the Thracians who had created incredible artistic and architectural masterpieces. The Thracian art which had been long developed had left remarkable treasures, tombs, temples, sanctuaries, settlements.
The Bulgarian Rose is famous all over the world. It grows in one of the most beautiful places in Bulgaria - the Valley of Roses. This flower is one of the symbols of the country. It is a base for cosmetics products, perfumes, roses' jam, rose liquor and rose honey.
What is important to know about the Bulgarians is that they are very hospitable and friendly. Besides the similarity of the language and the religion of Bulgarians and Russians helps to better understand each other.
Main priorities of Bulgarian tourism: beautiful and various nature, security, healthy climate, rich cultural and historical heritage, preserved traditions, customs and folklore, hospitable population.
The most popular seaside resorts are Albena, Golden Sands, Riviera and Sunny Beach.
1 January - New Year;
3 March - Day of the Liberation of Bulgaria from the Ottoman yoke - National Holiday of Republic of Bulgaria;
1 May - Day of Labour and of the international worker's solidarity;
6 May - Gergiovden, Day of Bravery and of the Bulgarian Army;
24 May - Day of the Bulgarian education and culture and of the Slav writing;
6 September - Day of the aggregation of Eastern Roumelia and the Principality of Bulgaria;
22 September - Day of the Independence of Bulgaria;
1 November - Day of the leaders of the Bulgarian nation;
24, 25 and 26 December - Christmas;
Easter - four days (from Friday to Monday) around the date of Resurrection.
Administrative-political system in Bulgaria