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Hellooo to everybody here! As I see nobady know Bulgaria! So I am here to give you some information about my country...and when you wont to see something interesting just come here!My country have very big history and no matter from a small area.here everything is history and nature. We have sea, mountains with ski resorts, spa resorts so try it! If someone need more information just writte to me what you need and I will give you an answer[i] The state of Bulgaria [bʌlˈgɛriə] (help·info) (Bulgarian: България, transliterated: Balgariya, pronounced IPA: [bəlˈgarija]), international transliteration Bălgarija, officially the Republic of Bulgaria (Република България, Republika Balgariya, pronounced IPA: [rɛˈpubliˌka bəlˈgarija]) has formed a significant part of the Balkans in south-eastern Europe for many centuries. It borders five other countries: Romania to the north (mostly along the River Danube), Serbia and the Republic of Macedonia to the west, and Greece and Turkey to the south. The Black Sea defines the extent of the country to the east.
Bulgaria includes parts of the Roman provinces of Moesia, Thrace and Macedonia. Old European culture within the territory of present-day[update] Bulgaria started to produce golden artifacts by the fifth millennium BC.
The first Bulgarian kingdoms on European soil date back to the early Middle Ages (VIIth century). All Bulgarian political entities that subsequently emerged preserved the traditions (in ethnic name, language and alphabet) of the First Bulgarian Empire (632/681 – 1018), which at times covered most of the Balkans and spread its alphabet, literature and culture among the Slavic and other peoples of Eastern Europe. Centuries later, with the decline of the Second Bulgarian Empire (1185 – 1396/1422), Bulgarian kingdoms came under Ottoman rule for nearly five centuries. The Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878 led to the re-establishment of a Bulgarian state as a constitutional monarchy in 1878, with the Treaty of San Stefano marking the birth of the Third Bulgarian State. Following the Young Turk Revolution Bulgaria declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1908. After World War II, in 1945 Bulgaria became a communist state and part of the Eastern Bloc. Todor Zhivkov dominated Bulgaria politically for 33 years (from 1956 to 1989). In 1990, after the Revolutions of 1989, the Communist party gave up its monopoly on power and Bulgaria transitioned to democracy and free-market capitalism.
Currently[update] Bulgaria functions as a parliamentary democracy under a unitary constitutional republic. A member of the European Union since 2007 and of NATO since 2004, it has a population of approximately 7.6 million.
Mall of Sofia, one of the largest[weasel words] shopping-malls in EuropeBulgaria became a member of the European Union in 2007. The World Bank classifies it as an "upper-middle-income economy". Bulgaria has experienced rapid economic growth in recent years[update]. The country continues to rank as the second-poorest member state of the EU, but standards of living have allegedly[update] risen.
Due to high-profile allegations of corruption, and an apparent lack of willingness to tackle high-level corruption, the European Union has partly frozen EU funds of about €450 million and may freeze more if Bulgarian authorities do not show solid progress in fighting corruption and in speeding up reforms.
Bulgaria has tamed its inflation since the deep economic crisis in 1996-1997, but latest[update] figures show an increase in the inflation-rate to 12.5% for 2007. Unemployment declined from more than 17% in the mid 1990s to nearly 7% in 2007, but the unemployment-rate in some rural areas continues in high double-digits. Bulgaria's inflation means that the country's adoption of the Euro might not take place until the year 2013-2014.
PlovdivBulgaria's economy contracted dramatically after 1987 with the dissolution of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON), with which the Bulgarian economy had integrated closely.
CultureBulgaria functioned as the hub of Slavic Europe during much of the Middle Ages, exerting considerable literary and cultural influence over the Eastern Orthodox Slavic world by means of the Preslav and Ohrid Literary Schools. Bulgaria also gave the world the Cyrillic alphabet, the second most-widely used alphabet in the world, which originated in these two schools in the tenth century AD.
A number of ancient civilizations, most notably the Thracians, Greeks, Romans, Slavs, and Bulgars, have left their mark on the culture, history and heritage of Bulgaria. The country has nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites:
The early medieval large rock relief Madara Rider
two Thracian tombs (one in Sveshtari and one in Kazanlak)
three monuments of medieval Bulgarian culture (the Boyana Church, the Rila Monastery and the Rock-hewn Churches of Ivanovo)
two examples of natural beauty: the Pirin National Park and the Srebarna Nature Reserve
the ancient city of Nesebar, a unique combination of European cultural interaction, as well as, historically, one of the most important centres of seaborne trade in the Black Sea
Note also the Varna Necropolis, a 3500-3200BC burial-site, purportedly containing the oldest examples of worked gold in the world.
Bulgaria's contribution to humanity continued throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with individuals such as John Atanasoff — a United States citizen of Bulgarian descent, regarded as the father of the digital computer. A number of noted opera-singers (Nicolai Ghiaurov, Boris Christoff, Raina Kabaivanska, Ghena Dimitrova, Anna Tomowa-Sintow, Vesselina Kasarova), pianist Alexis Weissenberg, harpist Anna-Maria Ravnopolska-Dean and successful artists (Christo Yavashev, Pascin, Vladimir Dimitrov) popularized the culture of Bulgaria abroad.
One of the best internationally-known artists, Valya Balkanska sang the song Izlel e Delyu Haydutin, part of the Voyager Golden Record selection of music included in the two Voyager spacecraft launched in 1977. The Bulgarian State Television Female Vocal Choir also known as Mystery of Bulgarian voices has also attained a considerable degree of fame.
A characteristic custom called nestinarstvo distinguishes the Strandzha region. The custom involves dancing into fire or over live embers.
Deep Zone ProjectRegional musical styles abound in Bulgaria. Dobrudzha, Sofia, Rodopi, Macedonia, Thrace and the Danube shore all have distinctive sounds. Folk music revolved around holidays like Christmas, New Year's Day, midsummer, and the Feast of St. Lazarus, as well as the Strandzha region's unusual Nestinarstvo rites, in which villagers fell into a trance and danced on hot coals as part of the joint feast of Saints Konstantin and Elena on May 21. Music also formed a part of more personal celebrations such as weddings. Singing has a long tradition for both men and women. Women often sang songs at work parties such as the sedenka (often attended by young men and women in search of partners to court), betrothal ceremonies, and just for fun. Women had an extensive repertoire of songs that they sang while working in the fields. Young women eligible for marriage played a particularly important role at the dancing in the village square (which not too long ago[update] represented the major form of "entertainment" in the village and formed a very important social scene). The dancing — every Sunday and for three days on major holidays like Easter — began not with instrumental music, but with two groups of young women singing, one leading each end of the dance line. Later on, instrumental musicians might arrive and the singers would no longer act as the dance leaders. Singers performed laments not only at funerals but also upon the departure of young men for military service.
The Sofia-based State Ensemble for Folk Songs and Dances, led by Philip Koutev (1903-1982), became the most important state-supported orchestra of this era[which?]. Koutev became perhaps
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the most influential musician of 20th-century Bulgaria, and updated rural music with more accessible harmonies to great domestic acclaim. In 1951, Koutev founded the group known today[update] as the Bulgarian State Television Female Vocal Choir, which became famous worldwide after the release of a series of recordings entitled Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares.
The distinctive sounds of women's choirs in Bulgarian folk music come partly from their unique rhythms, harmony and polyphony, such as the use of close intervals like the major second and the singing of a drone accompaniment underneath the melody, especially common in songs from the Shope region around the Bulgarian capital Sofia and the Pirin region. In addition to Koutev, who pioneered many of the harmonies, and composed several songs which other groups (especially Tedora) covered, various women's vocal groups gained popularity, including Trio Bulgarka, consisting of Yanka Roupkina, Eva Georgieva, and Stoyanka Boneva, some of whom appeared in the "Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices" tours.
Owing to the relatively warm climate and diverse geography affording excellent growth conditions for a variety of vegetables, herbs and fruits, Bulgarian cuisine (Bulgarian: българска кухня, bulgarska kuhnya) offers great diversity.
Famous for its rich salads required at every meal, Bulgarian cuisine also features diverse quality dairy products and a variety of wines and local alcoholic drinks such as rakia, mastika and menta. Bulgarian cuisine features also a variety of hot and cold soups, for example tarator. Many different Bulgarian pastries exist as well, such as banitsa, a traditional pastry prepared by layering a mixture of whisked eggs and pieces of sirene (Bulgarian Feta cheese) between filo pastry and then baking it in an oven.
BanitsaTraditionally, Bulgarian cooks put lucky charms into their pastry on certain occasions, particularly on Christmas Eve, the first day of Christmas, or New Year's Eve. Such charms may include coins or small symbolic objects (such as a small piece of a dogwood branch with a bud, symbolizing health or longevity). More recently[update], people have started writing happy wishes on small pieces of paper and wrapping them in tin foil. Wishes may include happiness, health, or success throughout the new year.
Bulgarians eat banitsa — hot or cold — for breakfast with plain yogurt, ayran, or boza. Some varieties include banitsa with spinach (spanachena banitsa) or the sweet version, banitsa with milk (mlechna banitsa) or pumpkin (tikvenik). Certain entries, salads, soups and dishes go well with alcoholic beverages, especially Bulgarian wine.
The châteauesque summer palace Euxinograd near VarnaIn the northern-hemisphere winter, Samokov, Borovets, Bansko and Pamporovo become well-attended ski-resorts. Summer resorts exist on the Black Sea at Sozopol, Nessebur, Golden Sands, Sunny Beach, Sveti Vlas, Albena, Saints Constantine and Helena and many others. Spa resorts such as Bankya, Hisarya, Sandanski, Velingrad, Varshets and many others attract visitors throughout the year. Bulgaria has started[update] to become an attractive tourist destination because of the quality of the resorts and prices below those found in Western Europe.
Bulgaria has enjoyed a substantial growth in income from international tourism over the past decade[update]. Beach-resorts attract tourists from Germany, Romania, Russia, Scandinavia, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The ski-resorts have become a favourite destination for British and Irish tourists.
Alpine landscape of the Rila mountainsAs a country with a historical and cultural heritage, and attractive natural landscapes, Bulgaria has become one of the most visited tourist destinations in Europe. Tourism, as an industry, has proved an important source of economic growth. In 2007 5.2 million tourists visited, measured as outlined by the World Tourism Organization. Tourists from the top three countries of origin — Greece, Romania and Germany — account for[when?] 40% of all visitors. In 2008 the Bulgarian Tourism Agency expected to welcome an estimated 6 million visitors.
The country has historical cities and towns, summer beaches, and mountain ski resorts. New types of tourism, including cultural, architectural and historic tours, eco-tourism, and adventure tours, expand the range of services available to visitors. Winter tourist centres, such as Borovetz, Bansko, Pamporovo and Vitosha provide picturesque and popular ski resorts. The Bulgarian summer resorts along the Black Sea coast include destinations such as the summer resorts: Sozopol, Nessebur, Golden Sands, Sunny Beach, Sveti Vlas, Albena and St. St. Constantine & Helena. Some guests, such as the Germans, Russians or Scandinavians, favour the summer beach resorts, while winter tourism, and the ski resorts, have become the favorites of the British.
The Bay of BurgasEmerging types of tourist activities, such as "ethno-tourism" and "architectural-cultural" tourism, increasingly gain ground[when?], catering to specialized tastes. These new types of tours involve interaction with and living amongst the local people in small mountain villages.
For the more adventurous, active recreation, involving mountain hiking and bike tourism, provides a close connection with nature. Climbers scale the granite mountains of Rila, Pirin and the Balkan. Hikers enjoy the mountains of Vitosha and the Rhodopes - the latter the mythical birthplace of Orpheus. Mountain biking and bicycle racing also feature. Bulgaria , like only six other countries, annually hosts the official 1,200 km Randonnees — ultra-marathon bicycle rides patterned after Paris-Brest-Paris.
Situated at the crossroads of the East and West, Bulgarian territory has hosted many civilizations - Thracians, Romans, Byzantines, Slavs, Proto-Bulgarians, and Ottomans. Although Bulgaria has many historical artifacts, many of the museums and monasteries still lack proper advertising and maintenance, and tourists may find some of the most interesting heritage sites somewhat inaccessible, due to poor infrastructure. Yet some visitors regard such "underdevelopment" as desirable - those who prefer to experience history first-hand rather than look at artefacts behind glass.
Bulgaria now[update] attracts close to 7 million visitors yearly. Tourism in Bulgaria makes a major contribution towards the country's annual economic growth of 6% to 6.5%.
The Vasil Levski National Stadium
UEFA Football has become by far the most popular sport in Bulgaria. Many Bulgarian fans closely follow the top Bulgarian league, the Bulgarian "A" Professional Football Group; as well as the leagues of other European countries. The Bulgaria national football team achieved its greatest success with a fourth-place finish at the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the United States.
Dimitar Berbatov currently[update] ranks as the most popular Bulgarian footballer. Georgi Asparuhov-Gundi (1943-1971), also became extremely popular at home and abroad, having had offers from clubs in Italy and Portugal, and having won the Bulgarian football player №1 award for the twentieth century. Hristo Stoichkov has arguably become the best-known Bulgarian footballer of all time. His career peaked between 1992 and 1995, while he played for FC Barcelona, winning the Ballon d'Or in 1994. Additionally, he featured in the FIFA 100 rankings. Three Bulgarians have won the European top scorers' Golden Boot award: Stoichkov,Georgi Slavkov and Petar Jekov.
PFC CSKA Sofia (champion of Bulgaria 31 times (As of 2008[update]), National cup holder 13 times, European Cup semi-finalist 2 times, Cup Winners' Cup semi-finalist), PFC Levski Sofia (25 times champion of Bulgaria and 26 times National Cup holder), PFC Slavia Sofia (officially the oldest football- and sports-club in Bulgaria, 8 times football champion of Bulgaria and 12 times holder of the National Cup, Cup Winners' Cup semi-finalist) have become the most successful Bulgarian football-clubs. Other popular clubs include PFC Lokomotiv Sofia, PFC Litex Lovech, PFC Cherno More Varna and PFC Lokomotiv Plovdiv. PFC Levski Sofia became the first Bulgarian team to participate in the modern UEFA Champions League group stage, having achieved this by qualifying for the 2006/2007 competition.
Dimitar BerbatovApart from football, Bulgaria boasts great achievements in a great variety of other sports. Maria Gigova and Maria Petrova have each held a record of three world-titles in rhythmic gymnastics. Other famous gymnasts include Simona Peycheva and Neshka Robeva (a highly successful coach as well). Yordan Yovtchev ranks as the most famous Bulgarian competitor in Artistic Gymnastics. Bulgarians also dominate in weightlifting, with around 1,000 gold medals in different competitions, although cases of doping have occurred among Bulgarian weightlifters, which led to the expulsion of the entire Bulgarian team from the 2000 Summer Olympics, and their voluntary withdrawal from the 1988 Summer Olympics. Stefan Botev, Nickolai Peshalov, Demir Demirev and Yoto Yotov figure among the most distinguished weightlifters. In wrestling, Boyan Radev, Serafim Barzakov, Armen Nazarian, Plamen Slavov, Kiril Sirakov and Sergey Moreyko rank as world-class wrestlers. Dan Kolov became a wrestling legend in the early 20th century after leaving for United States.
Bulgarians have made many significant achievements in athletics. Stefka Kostadinova, who still holds the women's high jump world record, jumped 209 centimetres at the 1987 World Championships in Athletics in Rome to clinch the coveted title. Presently[update], Bulgaria takes pride in its sprinters, especially Ivet Lalova and Tezdzhan Naimova.
Volleyball recently[update] experienced a big resurgence. The Bulgarian national volleyball team, one of the strongest teams in Europe, currently[update] ranks fourth in the FIVB ranklist. At the 2006 Volleyball World Championship this team won the bronze medal.
Chess has achieved great popularity. One of the top chess-masters and a former world champion, Veselin Topalov, plays for Bulgaria. At the end of 2005, both men's and women's world chess-champions came from Bulgaria, as well as the junior world champion.
Albena Denkova and Maxim Staviski have won the ISU world figure skating championships twice in a row (2006 and 2007) for ice-dance.
Bulgarians have also achieved major successes in tennis. The Maleeva sisters: Katerina, Manuela and Magdalena, have each reached the top ten in world rankings, and became the only set of three sisters ranked in the top ten at the same time. Bulgaria has other well-known tennis players such as Tsvetana Pironkova, Sesil Karatancheva and Grigor Dimitrov, who in 2008 became the Wimbledon junior champion and US Open junior chamion.
Bulgaria also has strengths in shooting sports. Maria Grozdeva and Tanyu Kiriakov have won Olympic gold medals, and Ekaterina Dafovska won the Olympic gold in biathlon in the 1998 Winter Olympic Games.
Petar Stoychev set a new swimming world record for crossing the English Channel in 2007.
The country has strong traditions in amateur boxing and in martial-arts competitions. Bulgaria has achieved major success with its judo and karate teams in European and World championships. Kaloyan Stefanov Mahlyanov, best known as Kotoōshū Katsunori, has become well-known worldwide for his sumo prowess.
The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia, one of the largest[weasel words] Orthodox cathedrals in the worldMost citizens of Bulgaria have associations — at least nominally — with the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. Founded in 870 AD under the Patriarchate of Constantinople (from which it obtained its first primate, its clergy and theological texts), the Bulgarian Orthodox Church has had autocephalous status since 927. The Orthodox Church re-established the Bulgarian Patriarchate in Sofia in the 1950s after the promulgation of the Bulgarian Exarchate in 1870. The Bulgarian Orthodox Church, as the independent national church of Bulgaria (like the other national branches of Eastern Orthodoxy in their respective countries) plays a role as an inseparable element of Bulgarian national consciousness. The Church became subordinate within the Patriarchate of Constantinople, twice during the periods of Byzantine (1018 – 1185) and Ottoman (1396 – 1878) domination but has been revived every time as a symbol of Bulgarian statehood without breaking away from the Orthodox dogma. In 2001, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church had 6,552,000 members in Bulgaria (82.6% of the population). However, many people raised during the 45 years of communist rule are not religious, even though they may formally be members of the Church.
14th-century Church of Christ Pantocrator, NesebarDespite the dominant position of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in Bulgarian cultural life, a number of Bulgarian citizens belong to other religious denominations, most notably Islam, Roman Catholicism and Protestantism.
Roman Catholic Cathedral of St Louis, PlovdivIslam came to Bulgaria at the end of the fourteenth century after the conquest of the country by the Ottomans. It gradually gained ground throughout the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries through the introduction of Turkish colonists and the conversion of native Bulgarians. One Islamic sect, Ahmadiyya, faces problems in Bulgaria. Some officials have moved against Ahmadis on the grounds that other countries - such as Pakistan - also attack the religious rights of Ahmadis, whom many Muslims regard as heretical.
In the sixteenth and the seventeenth centuries, missionaries from Rome converted Bulgarian Paulicians in the districts of Plovdiv and Svishtov to Roman Catholicism. Today[update] their descendants form the bulk of Bulgarian Catholics, whose number stood at 44,000 in 2001.
Missionaries from the United States introduced Protestantism into Bulgarian territory in 1857. Missionary work continued throughout the second half of the nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth century. In 2001 Bulgaria had some 42,000 Protestants.
According to the most recent Eurostat "Eurobarometer" poll, in 2005, 40% of Bulgarian citizens responded that "they believe there is a God", whereas 40% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force", 13% that "they do not believe there is a God, spirit, nor life force", and 6% did not answer.