Republic of Bulgaria
MottoСъединението прави силата(Bulgarian)
"Saedinenieto pravi silata"(transliteration)
"Unity makes strength"1

Мила Родино(Bulgarian)
Mila Rodino(transliteration)
Dear Homeland

Location of  Bulgaria(dark green)

– on the European continent(green & dark grey)
– in the European Union(green)  —  [Legend]

(and largest city)
42°41′N 23°19′E / 42.683°N 23.317°E / 42.683; 23.317
Official language(s) Bulgarian
Ethnic groups  85% Bulgarians, 9% Turkish, 5% Roma, 1% other groups[1]
Demonym Bulgarian
Government Parliamentary democracy
 -  President Georgi Parvanov
 -  Prime Minister Boyko Borisov
 -  Old Great Bulgaria 632–680 
 -  Medieval Balkan state 681[2] 
 -  First Bulgarian Empire 681–1018 
 -  Second Bulgarian Empire 1185–1396 
 -  Independence lost 1396 
 -  Self-government re-established (under nominal Ottoman suzerainty) 3 March 1878 
 -  Bulgarian unification 6 September 1885 
 -  Independence 22 September 1908 from Ottoman Empire 
 -  Recognized 06 April 1909 
EU accession 1 January 2007
 -  Total 110,993.6 km2 (104th)
42823 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 0.3
 -  2009 estimate 7,576,751[3] (95th)
 -  2001 census 7,932,984 
 -  Density 68.5/km2 (124th)
168.2/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2010 estimate
 -  Total $90.869 billion[4] (66rd)
 -  Per capita $12,067[4] (68th)
GDP (nominal) 2010 estimate
 -  Total $50.620 billion[4] (71th)
 -  Per capita $6,722[4] (72th)
Gini (2008) 29.8[5] (low
HDI (2010) 0.743[6] (high) (58th)
Currency Lev2 (BGN)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 -  Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Drives on the right
Internet TLD .bg3
Calling code 359
1 . Bulgarian Government. 3 October 2005. http://www.government.bg/cgi-bin/e-cms/vis/vis.pl?s=001&p=0159&n=000006&g=. Retrieved 2007-01-01. 
2 plural Leva.
3 In common with other European Union member-states, the .eu domain is also in use.
4 Cell phone system GSM and NMT 450i
5 Domestic power supply 220 V/50 Hz, Schuko (CEE 7/4) sockets

Bulgaria ( Bulgarian: България, officially the Republic of Bulgaria (Република България, Republika Bulgaria,[7] ), is a country in Southern Europe. Bulgaria borders five other countries: Romania to the north (mostly along the 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.

With a territory of , Bulgaria ranks as the 16th-largest country in Europe. Several mountainous areas define the landscape, most notably the Stara Planina (Balkan) and Rodopi mountain ranges, as well as the Rila range, which includes the highest peak in the Balkan region, Musala. In contrast, the Danubian plain in the north and the Upper Thracian Plain in the south represent Bulgaria's lowest and most fertile regions. The Black Sea coastline covers the entire eastern bound of the country. Bulgaria's capital city and largest settlement is Sofia, with a permanent population of 1,378,000 people.[8]

The emergence of a unified Bulgarian ethnicity and state dates back to the 7th century AD. All Bulgarian political entities that subsequently emerged preserved the traditions (in ethnic name, language and alphabet) of the First Bulgarian Empire (681–1018), which at times covered most of the Balkans and eventually became a cultural hub for the Slavs in the Middle Ages.[9] With the decline of the Second Bulgarian Empire (1185–1396/1422), Bulgarian territories came under Ottoman rule for nearly five centuries. The Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878 led to the establishment of a Third Bulgarian state as a principality in 1878, which gained its full sovereignty in 1908.[10] In 1945, after World War II, it became a communist state and was a part of the Eastern Bloc until the political changes in Eastern Europe in 1989/1990, when the Communist Party allowed multi-party elections and Bulgaria undertook a transition to parliamentary democracy and free-market capitalism with mixed results.

Bulgaria functions as a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic. A member of the European Union, NATO, the United Nations, the World Trade Organization and a founding state of the OSCE, it has a high Human Development Index of 0.743, ranking 58th in the world in 2010.[11]


Prehistory and antiquity

Prehistoric cultures in the Bulgarian lands include the Neolithic Hamangia culture and Vinča culture (6th to 3rd millennia BC), the eneolithic Varna culture (5th millennium BC; see also Varna Necropolis), and the Bronze Age Ezero culture. The Karanovo chronology serves as a gauge for the prehistory of the wider Balkans region.

The Thracians, one of the three primary ancestral groups of modern Bulgarians, lived separated in various tribes until King Teres united most of them around 500 BC in the Odrysian kingdom. They were eventually subjugated by Alexander the Great and later by the Roman Empire. After migrating from their original homeland, the easternmost South Slavs settled on the territory of modern Bulgaria during the 6th century and assimilated the Hellenized or Romanised Thracians. Eventually the Bulgar élite incorporated all of them into the First Bulgarian Empire.[12] By the 9th century, Bulgars and Slavs were mutually assimilated.[13]

First Bulgarian Empire

Asparukh, heir of Old Great Bulgaria's khan Kubrat, migrated with several Bulgar tribes to the lower courses of the rivers Danube, Dniester and Dniepr (known as Ongal) after his father's state was subjugated by the Khazars. He conquered Moesia and Scythia Minor (Dobrudzha) from the Byzantine Empire, expanding his new kingdom further into the Balkan Peninsula.[14] A peace treaty with Byzantium in 681 and the establishment of the Bulgarian capital of Pliska south of the Danube mark the beginning of the First Bulgarian Empire.

Succeeding rulers strengthened the Bulgarian state – Tervel (700/701–718/721), stabilized the borders and established Bulgaria as a major military power by defeating a 26,000-strong Arab army in 717, thereby eliminating the threat of a full-scale Arab invasion of Eastern and Central Europe.[15]

Krum (802–814),[16] doubled the country's territory, killed emperor Nicephorus I in the Battle of Pliska,[17] and introduced the first written code of law, valid for both Slavs and Bulgars. Boris I the Baptist (852–889) abolished Tengriism, replacing it with Eastern Orthodox Christianity in 864,[18] and introduced the Cyrillic alphabet, developed at the literary schools of Preslav and Ohrid.[19] The Cyrillic alphabet, along with Old Bulgarian language, fostered the intellectual written language (lingua franca) for Eastern Europe, known as Church Slavonic. Emperor Simeon I the Great's rule (893–927) saw the largest territorial expansion of Bulgaria in its history.[20] Simeon managed to gain a military supremacy over the Byzantine Empire, demonstrated by the Battle of Anchialos (917), one of the bloodiest battles in the Middle ages[21] as well as one of his most decisive victories. His reign also saw Bulgaria develop a rich, unique Christian Slavonic culture, which became an example for other Slavonic peoples in Eastern Europe and also fostered the continued existence of the Bulgarian nation despite forces that threatened to tear it apart.

After Simeon's death, Bulgaria declined during the mid-10th century, weakened by wars with Croatians, Magyars, Pechenegs and Serbs, and the spread of the Bogomil heresy.[22][23] This resulted in consecutive Rus' and Byzantine invasions, which ended with the seizure of the capital Preslav by the Byzantine army.[24] Under Samuil, Bulgaria somewhat recovered from these attacks and even managed to conquer Serbia, Bosnia[25] and Duklja,[26] but this ended in 1014, when Byzantine Emperor Basil II ("the Bulgar-Slayer") defeated its armies at Klyuch.[27] Samuil died shortly after the battle, on 15 October 1014,[27] and by 1018 the Byzantine Empire fully conquered the First Bulgarian Empire, putting it to an end.