A Brief Introduction to Bulgaria


Bulgaria is a country in Eastern Europe with a long Mediterranean coastline. It has a predominantly Slavonic population and is the birthplace of the Cyrillic alphabet. It was formerly a Soviet satellite and is now an EU and NATO member state. The capital city is Sofia, which is a major economic and cultural centre. Other major cities include Plovdiv, Varna, and Burgas. Bulgarians enjoy the benefits of a well-developed infrastructure in both urban and rural areas. Roads are well-maintained, and public transport is frequent and efficient. The country also has a modern banking system and an active stock exchange.

The Bulgarian language is part of the South Slavic group. It is closely related to Serbian and Macedonian. According to Ethnologue, there are 5.4 million speakers in Bulgaria. Outside of Bulgaria, it is also spoken in Albania, Canada, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United States. It is the second most widely spoken language in the Balkans after Serbian.

It is a member of the Council of Europe and has been a NATO ally since 2007. The constitution of Bulgaria guarantees fundamental rights and freedoms to all citizens, including free and equal access to education, health care, and employment. The country is known for its rich natural resources, especially coal and petroleum. It is also home to the Rila National Park, which contains a large variety of plant and animal species, including suslik, rock partridges, chamois, capercaillie, accentor, wall creeper, and owls.

The country has a highly developed agricultural sector, producing wheat, cotton, tobacco, grapes, and vegetables. The government is committed to sustainable development and has made substantial progress in reducing poverty. The economy is heavily reliant on agriculture and tourism, but it has made good progress in industrializing and promoting services.

The national currency is the leva, which is pegged to the euro. Bulgaria has a well-developed social safety net and provides free university tuition for qualified students. The standard of living has improved substantially for the majority of the country’s citizens since the end of communist rule.

There are many cultural and historical sites to see in the country. Some of the most famous are the Roman remains at Serdica, the medieval Thracian fortress at Veliko Tarnovo, and the Golden Horn (Zlatni Pyassutsi) in the Black Sea resort of Varna. The capital, Sofia, is home to the Bulgarian Philharmonic Society and the Bozhii Theatre.

Bulgarians are overwhelmingly Orthodox Christians, but full religious freedom is guaranteed. Other religious groups include Muslims, Protestants (including Great Commission and Pentecostals), and Catholics. There is also a sizable community of Roma (Gypsies) and Gregorian Armenians. There are also some 2,000 Jews and several thousand Tatars in the country.