Brief Information about Bulgaria
Bulgaria is a beautiful sunny country, small in size but rich in ancient culture, scenic splendour, friendly people and old-fashioned warmth and hospitality. In spite of its relatively small territory (110 912 sq km), the country has various landscape.
The scenery changes subsequently from white sandy beaches, to vast plains and high mountains. A continental climate with hot summers and cold winters makes the country a popular beach resort while offering good skiing in the winter.
Located in the south-east of the Balkan Peninsula, Bulgaria borders Romania to the North, the Black Sea to the East, Turkey and Greece to the South, Serbia & Montenegro and Macedonia to the West. The river Danube forms the country's northern frontier and offers quick access to Central Europe. A crossroads location between Europe and Asia facilitates transport flows through the country.
The territory of Bulgaria has been inhabited since the earliest times of history - the Stone Age and the Copper Age. The Thracians were the first to settle in this region. In the second half of the VII century the proto-Bulgars, a people of Asian origin, settled on the territory of present northeastern Bulgaria. Forming a union with the Slavs they founded the Bulgarian state which in 681 was acknowledged by the Byzantine Empire. In 864 AD, during the rule of Prince Boris I Michail (852-889 AD), the Bulgarians adopted Christianity as their official religion. This act abolished the ethnic differences between Proto-Bulgarians and Slavs, and started building a unified Bulgarian nation. The reign of King Simeon I (893-927 AD) marked the Golden Age of Bulgarian Culture, and the territory of his state reached the Black and the Aegean Seas as well as the Sea of Marmora.
The state was conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1396 and remained occupied for nearly 5 centuries. Bulgaria faced even harder times in the beginning of the 20th century when it was inevitably involved in political and military conflicts including the two world wars.
The date 10 November 1989 marks a new beginning in the history of Bulgaria. After 45 years of irrational and despotic communist rule, a new Constitution was adopted, which laid the foundations of democratic changes in the country.