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Bulgaria ( ; , Bălgariya, ), officially the Republic of Bulgaria ( , , ), is a country in the Balkans in south-eastern Europe. Bulgaria borders five other countries: Romaniamarker to the north (mostly along the River Danube), Serbiamarker and the Republic of Macedoniamarker to the west, and Greecemarker and Turkeymarker to the south. The Black Seamarker 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 Bulgaria started to produce golden artefactsmarker by the fifth millennium BC.

The emergence of a unified Bulgarian national identity and state date 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 (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. In 1908, with social strife brewing at the core of the Ottoman Empire, the Alexander Malinov government and Prince Ferdinand of Bulgaria formally proclaimed the full sovereignty of the Bulgarian state at the ancient capital of Veliko Turnovo. 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 undertook a transition to democracy and free-market capitalism.

Bulgaria functions as a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic. A member of the European Union, NATOmarker, UN and the World Trade Organization, it has a high Human Development Index of 0.840, ranking 61st in the world in 2009.Freedom House in 2008 listed Bulgaria as "free", giving it scores of 1 (highest) for political rights and 2 for civil liberties.

Geography

Plains in the northwest


Geographically and in terms of climate, Bulgaria features notable diversity with the landscape ranging from the Alpine snow-capped peaks in Rilamarker, Pirin and the Balkan Mountainsmarker to the mild and sunny Black Sea coast; from the typically continental Danubian Plainmarker (ancient Moesia) in the north to the strong Mediterranean climatic influence in the valleys of Macedonia and in the lowlands in the southernmost parts of Thrace.

Bulgaria overall has a temperate climate, with cold winters and hot summers. The barrier effect of the Balkan Mountainsmarker has some influence on climate throughout the country: northern Bulgaria experiences lower temperatures and receives more rain than the southern lowlands.

Bulgaria comprises portions of the regions known in classical times as Moesia, Thrace, and Macedonia. The mountainous southwest of the country has two alpine ranges — Rilamarker and Pirin — and further east stand the lower but more extensive Rhodope Mountains. The Rilamarker range includes the highest peak of the Balkan Peninsula, Musalamarker, at ; the long range of the Balkan mountainsmarker runs west-east through the middle of the country, north of the famous Rose Valleymarker. Hilly country and plains lie to the southeast, along the Black Sea coast, and along Bulgaria's main river, the Danube, to the north. Strandzhamarker is the tallest mountain in the southeast. Few mountains and hills exist in the northeast region of Dobrudzha. The Balkan Peninsula derives its name from the Balkan or Stara planinamarker mountain range running through the centre of Bulgaria and extends into eastern Serbiamarker.

Bulgaria has large deposits of manganese ore in the north-east and of uranium in the south-west, as well as vast coal reserves and copper, lead, zinc and gold ore. Smaller deposits exist of iron, silver, chromite, nickel, bismuth and others. Bulgaria has abundant non-metalliferous minerals such as rock-salt, gypsum, kaolin and marble.

The country has a dense network of about 540 rivers, most of them—with the notable exception of the Danube—short and with low water-levels. Most rivers flow through mountainous areas. The longest river located solely in Bulgarian territory, the Iskar, has a length of . Other major rivers include the Strumamarker and the Maritsa Rivermarker in the south.

The Rila and Pirin mountain ranges feature around 260 glacial lakes; the country also has several large lakes on the Black Sea coast and more than 2,200 dam lakes. Many mineral springs exist, located mainly in the south-western and central parts of the country along the faults between the mountains.

Precipitation in Bulgaria averages about per year. In the lowlands rainfall varies between , and in the mountain areas between of rain falls per year. Drier areas include Dobrudja and the northern coastal strip, while the higher parts of the Rilamarker, Pirin, Rhodope Mountains, Stara Planinamarker, Osogovskamarker Mountain and Vitoshamarker receive the highest levels of precipitation.

History

Prehistory and antiquity

250


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 Necropolismarker), 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 ancestors of modern Bulgarians, left lasting traces throughout the Balkan region despite the tumultuous subsequent millennia. The Thracians lived in separate tribes until King Teres united most of them around 500 BC in the Odrysian kingdom, which later peaked under the leadership of King Sitalces (reigned 431-424 BC) and of King Cotys I (383–359 BC). Thereafter the Macedonian Empire incorporated the Odrysian kingdom and Thracians became an inalienable component in the extra-continental expeditions of both Philip II and Alexander III . In 188 BC the Romans invaded Thrace, and warfare continued until 45 AD when Rome finally conquered the region. Thracian and Roman cultures merged to an extent, although the core traditions of the former remained untouched. Thus by the 4th century the Thracians had a composite indigenous identity, as Christian "Romans" who preserved some of their ancient pagan rituals.

The Slavs emerged from their original homeland in the early 6th century and spread to most of Eastern Central Europe, Eastern Europe and the Balkans, dividing in the process into three main branches: the West Slavs, the East Slavs and the South Slavs. A portion of the eastern South Slavs assimilated the Thracians before the Bulgar elite incorporated them into the First Bulgarian Empire.

The First Bulgarian Empire

In 632 the Bulgars, originally from Central Asia, formed under the leadership of Khan Kubrat an independent state that became known as Great Bulgaria. Its territory extended from the lower course of the Danube to the west, the Black Seamarker and the Azov Seamarker to the south, the Kuban River to the east, and the Donets Rivermarker to the north.Pressure from the Khazars led to the subjugation of Great Bulgaria in the second half of the 7th century. Kubrat’s successor, Khan Asparuh, migrated with some of the Bulgar tribes to the lower courses of the rivers Danube, Dniestermarker and Dniepr (known as Ongal), and conquered Moesia and Scythia Minor (Dobrudzha) from the Byzantine Empire, expanding his new khanate further into the Balkan Peninsula. A peace treaty with Byzantium in 681 and the establishment of the Bulgar capital of Pliska south of the Danube mark the beginning of the First Bulgarian Empire. At the same time one of Asparuh's brothers, Kuber, settled with another Bulgar group in Macedonia.

Ruins of Pliska, capital of the First Bulgarian Empire from 680 to ca. 890


During the siege of Constantinople in 717–718 the Bulgarian ruler Khan Tervel honoured his treaty with the Byzantines by sending troops to help the populace of the imperial city. According to the Byzantine chronicler Theophanes, in the decisive battle the Bulgarians killed 22,000 Arabs, thereby eliminating the threat of a full-scale Arab invasion into Eastern and Central Europe.

The influence and territorial expansion of Bulgaria increased further during the rule of Khan Krum, who in 811 won a decisive victory against the Byzantine army led by Nicephorus I in the Battle of Pliska. The 8th and 9th centuries saw the gradual assimilation of the Turkic-speaking Bulgars (or Proto-Bulgarians) by the Slavic majority.

In 864, Bulgaria under Boris I The Baptist accepted Eastern Orthodox Christianity.

Bulgaria became a major European power in the ninth and the tenth centuries, while fighting with the Byzantine Empire for the control of the Balkans. This happened under the rule (852–889) of Boris I. During his reign, the Cyrillic alphabet developed in Preslavmarker and Ohridmarker,adapted from the Glagolitic alphabet invented by the monks Saints Cyril and Methodius.



The Cyrillic alphabet became the basis for further cultural development. Centuries later, this alphabet, along with the Old Bulgarian language, fostered the intellectual written language (lingua franca) for Eastern Europe, known as Church Slavonic. The greatest territorial extension of the Bulgarian Empire—covering most of the Balkans—occurred under Emperor Simeon I the Great, the first Bulgarian Tsar (Emperor), who ruled from 893 to 927. The Battle of Anchialosmarker (917), one of the bloodiest battles in the Middle ages.marked one of Bulgaria's most decisive victories against the Byzantines.

However, Simeon's greatest achievement consisted of Bulgaria developing a rich, unique Christian Slavonic culture, which became an example for the other Slavonic peoples in Eastern Europe and also ensured the continued existence of the Bulgarian nation despite forces that threatened to tear it into pieces throughout its long and war-ridden history.

Bulgaria declined in the mid-tenth century, worn out by wars with Croatiamarker, by frequent Serbian rebellions sponsored by Byzantine gold, and by disastrous Magyar and Pecheneg invasions. Because of this, Bulgaria collapsed in the face of an assault of the Rus' in 969–971.

The Bulgarian Empire ca. 893 in dark green, with territorial gains up to 927 in light green


The Byzantines then began campaigns to conquer Bulgaria. In 971, they seized the capital Preslavmarker and captured Emperor Boris II. Resistance continued under Tsar Samuil in the western Bulgarian lands for nearly half a century. The country managed to recover and defeated the Byzantines in several major battles, taking the control of the most of the Balkans and in 991 invaded the Serbian state. But the Byzantines led by Basil II ("the Bulgar-Slayer") destroyed the Bulgarian state in 1018 after their victory at Kleidionmarker. Having crushed the Bulgarians, Basil II blinded as many as 15,000 prisoners taken in the battle, before releasing them.

Byzantine rule and rise of the Second Empire

No evidence remains of major resistance or any uprising of the Bulgarian population or nobility in the first decade after the establishment of Byzantine rule. Given the existence of such irreconcilable opponents to Byzantium as Krakra, Nikulitsa, Dragash and others, such apparent passivity seems difficult to explain. Some historiansexplain this as a consequence of the concessions that Basil II granted the Bulgarian nobility to gain their allegiance. In the first place, Basil II guaranteed the indivisibility of Bulgaria in its former geographic borders and did not officially abolish the local rule of the Bulgarian nobility, who became part of Byzantine aristocracy as archons or strategoi. Secondly, special charters (royal decrees) of Basil II recognised the autocephaly of the Bulgarian Archbishopric of Ohrid and set up its boundaries, securing the continuation of the dioceses already existing under Samuel, their property and other privileges.



The people of Bulgaria challenged Byzantine rule several times in the 11th century and again in the early 12th century. The biggest uprising occurred under the leadership of Peter II Delyan (proclaimed Emperor of Bulgaria in Belgrademarker in 1040). From the mid 11th century to the 1150s, both Normans and Hungarians attempted to invade Byzantine Bulgaria, but without success. Bulgarian nobles ruled the province in the name of the Byzantine Empire until Ivan Asen I and Peter IV of Bulgaria started a rebellion in 1185 that led to the establishment of a second empire, which re-established Bulgaria as an important power in the Balkans for two more centuries.

The Asen dynasty set up its capital in Veliko Tarnovomarker. Kaloyan, the third of the Asen monarchs, extended his dominions to Belgrademarker, Nishmarker and Skopiemarker (Uskub); he acknowledged the spiritual supremacy of the pope, and received the royal crown from a papal legate. In the Battle of Adrianople in 1205, Kaloyan defeated the forces of the Latin Empire and thus limited its power from the very first year of its establishment.

A golden seal of Kaloyan


Ivan Asen II (1218–1241) extended his rule over Albaniamarker, Epirus, Macedonia and Thrace. During his reign, the state saw a period of cultural growth, with important artistic achievements of the Tarnovo artistic school. The Asen dynasty ended in 1257, and due to Tatar invasions (beginning in the later 13th century), internal conflicts, and constant attacks from the Byzantines and the Hungarians, the power of the country declined. Emperor Theodore Svetoslav (reigned 1300–1322) restored Bulgarian prestige from 1300 onwards, but only temporarily. Political instability continued to grow, and Bulgaria gradually began to lose territory. This led to a peasant rebellion led by swineherd, Ivaylo, who eventually managed to defeat the Emperor's forces and sit on the throne.

By the end of the 14th century, factional divisions between Bulgarian feudal landlords (boyars) had gravely weakened the cohesion of the Second Bulgarian Empire. It split into three small Tsardoms and several semi-independent principalities that fought among themselves, and also with Byzantines, Hungarians, Serbs, Venetians, and Genoese. In these battles, Bulgarians often allied themselves with Ottoman Turks. Similar situations of internecine quarrel and infighting existed also in Byzantium and Serbia. In the period 1365–1370, the Ottomans conquered most Bulgarian towns and fortresses south of the Balkan Mountains.

Fall of the Second Empire and Ottoman rule

In 1393, the Ottomans captured Tarnovo, the capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire, after a three-month siege. In 1396, the Vidin Tsardom fell after the defeat of a Christian crusade at the Battle of Nicopolismarker. With this, the Ottomans finally subjugated and occupied Bulgaria.A PolishmarkerHungarianmarker crusade commanded by Władysław III of Poland set out to free the Balkans in 1444, but the Turks defeated it in the battle of Varnamarker.



The Ottomans decimated the Bulgarian population, which lost most of its cultural relics. Turkish authorities destroyed most of the medieval Bulgarian fortresses to prevent rebellions. Large towns and the areas where Ottoman power predominated remained severely depopulated until the 19th century. The Bulgarian nobility was destroyed and the peasantry was enserfed to Turkish masters. Bulgarians had to pay much higher taxes than the Muslim population, and completely lacked judicial equality with them. One response among the Bulgarians was a strengthening of the hajduk ('outlaw') tradition. Bulgarians who converted to Islam, the Pomaks, retained Bulgarian language, dress and some customs compatible with Islam. . The origins of the Pomaks are a subject of disagreement.

During the last two decades of the 18th and first decades of the 19th centuries the Balkan Peninsula dissolved into virtual anarchy. Bulgarians refer to this period as the kurdjaliistvo: armed bands of Turks called kurdjalii plagued the area. In many regions, thousands of peasants fled from the countryside either to local towns or (more commonly) to the hills or forests; some even fled beyond the Danube to Moldovamarker, Wallachia or southern Russiamarker.

Throughout the five centuries of Ottoman rule, the Bulgarian people organized many attempts to re-establish their own state. The National awakening of Bulgaria became one of the key factors in the struggle for liberation. The 19th century saw the creation of the Bulgarian Revolutionary Central Committee and the Internal Revolutionary Organisation led by liberal revolutionaries such as Vasil Levski, Hristo Botev, Lyuben Karavelov and many others.



In 1876 the April uprising broke out: the largest and best-organized Bulgarian rebellion against the Ottoman Empire. Though crushed by the Ottoman authorities — in reprisal, the Turks massacred some 15,000 Bulgarians — the uprising (together with the 1875 rebellion in Bosnia) prompted the Great Powers to convene the 1876 Conference of Constantinople, which delimited the ethnic Bulgarian territories as of the late 19th century, and elaborated the legal and political arrangements for establishing two autonomous Bulgarian provinces. The Ottoman Government declined to comply with the Great Powers’ decisions. This allowed Russiamarker to seek a solution by force without risking military confrontation with other Great Powers as in the Crimean War of 1854 to 1856.

Liberation and formation of a Third Bulgarian State

In the Russo-Turkish War, 1877-1878, Russian soldiers together with a Romanianmarker expeditionary force and volunteer Bulgarian troops defeated the Ottoman armies. The Treaty of San Stefano (3 March 1878), set up an autonomous Bulgarian principality. But the Western Great Powers immediately rejected the treaty, fearing that a large Slavic country in the Balkans might serve Russian interests. This led to the Treaty of Berlin , which provided for an autonomous Bulgarian principality comprising Moesia and the region of Sofiamarker. Alexander, Prince of Battenberg, became Bulgaria's first Prince. Most of Thrace became part of the autonomous region of Eastern Rumelia, whereas the rest of Thrace and all of Macedonia returned to the sovereignty of the Ottomans. After the Serbo-Bulgarian War and unification with Eastern Rumelia in 1885, the Bulgarian principality proclaimed itself a fully independent kingdom on 5 October (22 September O.S.), 1908, during the reign of Ferdinand I of Bulgaria.

Ferdinand, of the ducal family of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, became the Bulgarian Prince after Alexander von Battenberg abdicated in 1886 following a coup d'état staged by pro-Russian army-officers. (Although the counter-coup coordinated by Stefan Stambolov succeeded, Prince Alexander decided not to remain the Bulgarian ruler without the approval of Alexander III of Russia.) The struggle for liberation of the Bulgarians in the Adrianoplemarker Vilayet and in Macedonia continued throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, culminating with the Ilinden-Preobrazhenie Uprising organised by the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization in 1903.



Regional and World wars

In the years following the achievement of complete independence Bulgaria became increasingly militarised: Dillon in 1920 called Bulgaria "the Prussia of the Balkans"In 1912 and 1913, Bulgaria became involved in the Balkan Wars, first entering into conflict alongside Greece, Serbia and Montenegro against the Ottoman Empire. The First Balkan War (1912–1913) proved a success for the Bulgarian army, but a conflict over the division of Macedonia arose between the victorious allies. The Second Balkan War (1913) pitted Bulgaria against Greece and Serbia, joined by Romania and Turkey. After its defeat in the Second Balkan War Bulgaria lost considerable territory conquered in the first war, as well as Southern Dobrudzha and parts of the region of Macedonia.

During World War I, Bulgaria found itself fighting again on the losing side as a result of its alliance with the Central Powers. The Bulgarian army suffered 300,000 casualties, including 100,000 killed. Defeat in 1918 led to new territorial losses (the Western Outlands to Serbiamarker, Western Thrace to Greecemarker and the re-conquered Southern Dobrudzha to Romaniamarker). The Balkan Wars and World War I led to the influx of over 250,000 Bulgarian refugees from Macedonia, Eastern and Western Thrace and Southern Dobrudzha.



Following the loss in World War I, in the 1920s and 1930s the country suffered political unrest, which led to the establishment of military rule, eventually transforming into a royal authoritarian rule by King Boris III (reigned 1918–1943). After regaining control of Southern Dobrudzha in 1940, Bulgaria became allied with the Axis Powers, although it declined to participate in Operation Barbarossa (1941) and never declared war on the USSRmarker. During World War II Nazi Germany allowed Bulgaria to occupy parts of Greecemarker and of Yugoslaviamarker, although control over their population and territories remained in German hands. Bulgaria became one of only three countries (along with Finlandmarker and Denmarkmarker) that saved its entire Jewish population (around 50,000 people) from the Nazi camps through different rationales and the continued postponement of compliance with German demands. However, the Nazis deported almost the entire Jewish population of the Bulgarian-occupied Yugoslav and Greek territories to the Treblinka death campmarker in occupied Poland.

In the summer of 1943, Boris III died suddenly, and the country fell into political turmoil as the war turned against Nazi Germany and the communist movement gained more power. In early September 1944, the Soviet Union declared war on Bulgaria and invaded it, meeting no resistance. This enabled the Communists (the Bulgarian Workers' Party) to seize power and establish a communist state. The new régime turned Bulgaria's forces against Germany.

The People's Republic of Bulgaria

The Fatherland Front, a Communist-dominated political coalition, took over the government in 1944 and the Communist party increased its membership from 15,000 to 250,000 during the following six months. It established its rule with the coup d'état of September 9 that year. However, Bulgaria did not become a people's republic until 1946. It fell under the Soviet sphere of influence, with Georgi Dimitrov (Prime Minister 1946 to 1949) as the foremost Bulgarian political leader. The country installed a Soviet-type planned economy, although some market-oriented policies emerged on an experimental level under Todor Zhivkov (First Secretary, 1954 to 1989). By the mid 1950s standards of living rose significantly, and in 1957 collective farm workers benefited from the first agricultural pension and welfare system in Eastern Europe. Todor Zhivkov dominated the country from 1956 to 1989, thus becoming one of the most estalished Eastern Bloc leaders. Zhivkov asserted Bulgaria's position as the most reliable Soviet ally, and increased its overall importance in the Comecon. His daughter Lyudmila Zhivkova became very popular in the country by promoting national heritage, culture and arts on a global scale. On the other hand, a forced assimilation campaign of the late 1980s directed against ethnic Turks resulted in the emigration of some 300,000 Bulgarian Turks to Turkey.

The People's Republic ended in 1989 as many Communist regimes in Eastern Europe, as well as the Soviet Union itself, began to collapse. Opposition forced Zhivkov and his right-hand man Milko Balev to give up their power on 10 November 1989.

The Republic of Bulgaria



In February 1990 the Communist Party voluntarily gave up its monopoly on power, and in June 1990 free elections took place, won by the moderate wing of the Communist Party (renamed the Bulgarian Socialist Party — BSP). In July 1991, the country adopted a new constitution that provided for a relatively weak elected President and for a Prime Minister accountable to the legislature. The 1990s featured high unemployment, unstable (and often high) inflation rates and discontent.

Since 1989, Bulgaria has held multi-party elections and privatized its economy, but economic difficulties and a tide of corruption have led over 800,000 Bulgarians, most of them qualified professionals, to emigrate in a "brain drain". The reform package introduced in 1997 restored positive economic growth, but led to rising social inequality. Bulgaria became a member of NATOmarker in 2004 and of the European Union in 2007, and the US Library of Congress Federal Research Division reported it in 2006 as having generally good freedom of speech and human rights records.In 2007 the A.T. Kearney/Foreign Policy Magazine globalization index ranked Bulgaria 36th (between the PRCmarker and Icelandmarker) out of 122 countries.

Politics

Guardsmen in front of the Presidency


Since 1991 Bulgaria has a democratic, unitary parliamentary republican constitution.

The National Assembly or Narodno Sabranie (Народно събрание) consists of 240 deputies, each elected for four-year terms by popular vote. A party or coalition must win a minimum of 4% of the vote to enter parliament. The National Assembly has the power to enact laws, approve the budget, schedule presidential elections, select and dismiss the Prime Minister and other ministers, declare war, deploy troops abroad, and ratify international treaties and agreements. The current prime minister is Boyko Borisov, de facto leader of the centre-right party Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria.

The president serves as the head of state and commander-in-chief of the armed forces. He also chairs the Consultative Council for National Security. While unable to initiate legislation other than Constitutional amendments, the President can return a bill for further debate, although the parliament can override the President's veto by vote of a majority of all MPs.

Bulgaria became a member of the United Nations in 1955, and a founding member of OSCE in 1995. As a Consultative Party to the Antarctic Treaty, the country takes part in the administration of the territories situated south of 60° south latitude. The country joined NATOmarker on 29 March 2004 and signed the European Union Treaty of Accession on 25 April 2005. It became a full member of the European Union on 1 January 2007, and elects 17 members to the European Parliamentmarker.

Military



The military of Bulgaria is an all-volunteer military and consists of three services – land forces, navy and air force.

Following a series of reductions beginning in 1989, the active troops number fewer than 45,000 , down from nearly 200,000 in 1988. Reserve forces include 303,000 soldiers and officers. A number of paramilitary branches, such as border-guard and railroad-construction troops exist and number about 34,000 men. The armed forces have an inventory including highly capable Soviet equipment, such as MiG-29 fighters, SA-6 Gainful and SA-10 Grumble SAMs and SS-21 Scarab short-range ballistic missiles. Military spending in 2009 was $ 1.19 bln.



Bulgarian military personnel have participated in international missions in Cambodiamarker, Bosnia and Herzegovinamarker, Kosovomarker, Afghanistanmarker and Iraqmarker. Currently there are more than 700 military personnel deployed abroad, mostly in Afghanistan (about 500 men), in Bosnia and Herzegovina (about 100 men) and in Kosovo (47 men).

In April 2006 Bulgaria and the United States of Americamarker signed a defence cooperation agreement providing for the usage of the air bases at Bezmermarker (near Yambolmarker) and Graf Ignatievomarker (near Plovdivmarker), the Novo Selomarker training range (near Slivenmarker), and a logistics centre in Aytos as joint military facilities. Foreign Policy magazine lists Bezmer Air Base as one of the six most important overseas facilities used by the USAF.

Provinces and municipalities

Between 1987 and 1999 Bulgaria consisted of nine provinces (oblasti, singular oblast); since 1999, it has consisted of twenty-eight. All take their names from their respective capital cities:


The provinces subdivide into 264 municipalities.

Economy

Bulgaria has an industrialised, open free market economy, with a large, moderately advanced private sector and a number of strategic state-owned enterprises.The World Bank classifies it as an "upper-middle-income economy".Bulgaria has experienced rapid economic growth , even though it continues to rank as the lowest-income member state of the EU. According to Eurostat data, Bulgarian PPS GDP per capita stood at 40 per cent of the EU average in 2008. The United States Central Intelligence Agency estimated Bulgarians' GDP per capita at $12,900 in 2008, or about a third that of Belgium. The economy relies primarily on industry and agriculture, although the services sector increasingly contributes to GDP growth. Bulgaria produces a significant amount of manufactures and raw materials such as iron, copper, gold, bismuth, coal, electronics, refined petroleum fuels, vehicle components, weapons and construction materials.

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.

Bulgaria has tamed its inflation since the deep economic crisis in 1996–1997, but 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 in some rural areas it still 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.

Amidst the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, unemployment remained relatively low at 6.3% for 2008, but increased to almost 8% in 2009. GDP growth in 2008 remained high (6%), but it has largely been negative in 2009. The crisis excerted a negative impact mostly on industry, marking a 10% decline in the national industrial production index, 31% drop in mining, and 60% drop in ferrous and metal production. The government predicts a decline of 2.2% of GDP in 2010, with a budget deficit of 0.7%.



Agriculture

Agricultural output has decreased overall since 1989, but production has grown in , and together with related industries like food processing it still plays a key role in the economy. Arable farming predominates over stock breeding. Agricultural equipment amounts to over 150,000 tractors and 10,000 combine harvesters, as well as a large fleet of light aircraft.

Bulgaria ranks as one of the top world producers of agricultural commodities such as anise (6th in the world), sunflower seed (11th), raspberries (13th), tobacco (15th), chili peppers (18th) and flax fibre (19th).

Energy

Although Bulgaria has relatively few reserves of natural fuels such as oil and gas, its well-developed energy sector plays a crucial role throughout the Balkans. The country's strategic geographical location makes it a major hub for transit and distribution of oil and natural gas from Russia to Western Europe and to other Balkan states. In terms of electricity production per capita, it ranks fourth in Eastern Europe. In addition, Bulgaria has an active nuclear industry for peaceful purposes. The only Bulgarian nuclear power plantmarker operates in the vicinity of Kozloduymarker, and has a total capacity of . Construction of a secondmarker nuclear power plant has near Belenemarker with a projected capacity of . Thermal power plants (TPPs) provide a significant amount of energy, with most of the capacity concentrated in the Maritsa Iztok Complex.

 have seen a steady increase in electricity production from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power, although it still relies mostly on coal and nuclear powerplants. Due to the abundance of forests and agricultural land, biomass can provide a viable source of electricity. Wind energy has large-scale prospects, with up to 3,400 MW of installed capacity potential. Bulgaria operates more than 70 wind turbines with a total capacity of 112.6 MW, and plans to increase their number nearly threefold to reach a total capacity of 300 MW in 2010.


Industry and mining



Industry plays a key role in the economy. Although Bulgaria lacks large reserves of oil and gas, it produces significant quantities of minerals, metals and electricity.

Bulgaria ranks as a minor oil producer (97th in the world) with a total production of 3,520 bbl/day.Prospectors discovered Bulgaria's first oil field near Tyulenovomarker in 1951. Proved reserves amount to 15,000,000 bbl.Natural gas production halted in the late 1990s. Proved reserves of natural gas amount to 5.663 bln. cu m.

Mining is an important source of export earnings, and has become pivotal to the Bulgarian economy. The country ranks as the 19th largest coal producer in the world, 9th largest bismuth producer, 19th largest copper producer, and the 26th largest zinc producer. Ferrous metallurgy also has major importance. Much of the production of steel and pig iron takes place in Kremikovtsimarker and Pernikmarker, with a third metallurgical base in Debeltmarker. In production of steel and steel products per capita the country heads the Balkans. The largest refineries for lead and zinc operate in Plovdivmarker (the biggest refinery between Italy and the Ural mountains), Kardzhalimarker and Novi Iskarmarker; for copper in Pirdopmarker and Eliseinamarker (defunct ); for aluminium in Shumenmarker. In production of many metals per capita, such as zinc and iron, Bulgaria ranks first in Eastern Europe.

About 14% of the total industrial production relates to machine building, and 20% of the people work in this field. Its importance has decreased since 1989.

Tourism



In 2007 a total of 5,200,000 tourists visited Bulgaria, making it the 39th most popular destination in the world. Tourists from Greece, Romania and Germany account for 40% of visitors. Significant numbers of British (+300,000), Russian (+200,000), Serbian (+150,000), Polish (+130,000) and Danish (+100,000) tourists also visit Bulgaria. Most of them are attracted by the varying and beautiful landscapes, well-preserved historical and cultural heritage, and the tranquility of rural and mountain areas.

Main destinations include the capital Sofiamarker, coastal resorts like Albenamarker, Sozopolmarker, Golden Sandsmarker and Sunny Beachmarker; and winter resorts such as Pamporovomarker, Chepelaremarker, Borovetzmarker and Banskomarker. The rural tourist destinations of Arbanasi and Bozhentsimarker offer well-preserved ethnographic traditions. Other popular attractions include the 10th century Rila Monasterymarker and the 19th century Euxinogradmarker château.

Science and technology



Bulgaria spends only 0.4% of its GDP on scientific research, or roughly $ 376 million on a 2008 basis. The country has a strong tradition in mathematics, astronomy, physics, nuclear technology and sciences-oriented education, and has significant experience in medical and pharmaceutical research. The Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS), the leading scientific institution in the country, employs most of Bulgaria's researchers working in its numerous branches.

Bulgarian scientists have made several important discoveries and inventions that have revolutionized global society: the world's first electronic digital computer, designed by Bulgarian-American scientist John Vincent Atanasoff; the first electronic digital watch (Peter Petroff), the first purpose-built aircraft bombs (capt. Simeon Petrov); the molecular-kinetic theory of crystal formation and crystal growth (formulated by Ivan Stranski) and photoelectrets (Georgi Nadjakov), the last forming an important step in the development of the first photocopier machine. Bulgaria was also the 6th country in the world to have an astronaut in space: major-general Georgi Ivanov on Soyuz 33 (1979), followed by lieutenant-colonel Alexander Alexandrov on Soyuz TM-5 (1988).

Among Bulgaria's most advanced scientific branches computer technology features highly , and in the 1980s the country became known as the Silicon Valleymarker of the Eastern Bloc. According to the Brainbench Global IT IQ report, Bulgaria ranks first in Europe in terms of IT-certified specialists per capitaand 8th in the world in total ICT specialists, out-performing countries with far larger populations. In addition, Bulgaria operates one of the most powerful supercomputers in Eastern Europe, an IBM Blue Gene/P, which entered service in September 2008.

Education and healthcare



Education in Bulgaria is overseen by the Ministry of Education and Science. Full-time education is mandatory for all children aged between 7 and 16. Six-year olds can be enrolled at school at their parents' discretion. Education at state schools is free of charge, except for higher education establishments, colleges and universities. The curriculum focuses on eight main subjects: Bulgarian language and literature, foreign languages, mathematics, information technologies, social sciences and civics, natural sciences and ecology, music and art, physical education and sports. In 2003, the literacy rate was estimated to be 98.6 percent, being approximately the same for both sexes. Traditionally Bulgarian educational standards have been high.

Overall reform in the healthcare system did not begin until 1999. The subsequent health reform program has introduced mandatory employee health insurance through the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), which since 2000 has paid a gradually increasing portion of primary health-care costs. Employees and employers pay an increasing, mandatory percentage of salaries, with the goal of gradually reducing state support of health care. Between 2002 and 2003, the number of hospital beds was reduced by 56 percent to 24,300. However, the pace of reduction slowed in the early 2000s; in 2004 some 258 hospitals were in operation, compared with the estimated optimal number of 140. Between 2002 and 2004, health-care expenditures in the national budget increased from 3.8 percent to 4.3 percent, with the NHIF accounting for more than 60 percent of annual expenditures. Bulgaria has several major hospitals and medical complexes, such as Pirogov Hospitalmarker, Saint Marina Hospital and the Military Medical Academy of Sofiamarker.

Infrastructure

Trakiya motorway


Bulgaria occupies a unique and strategically important geographic location. Since ancient times, the country has served as a major crossroads between Europe, Asia and Africa. Five of the ten Trans-European corridors run through its territory.



The national road network a total length of , of them paved and of them motorways. Several motorways are in planning, under construction, or partially built: Trakiya motorway, Hemus motorway, Cherno More motorway, Struma motorway, Maritza motorway and Lyulin motorwaymarker. Bulgaria also has of railway track, more than 60% electrified. A €360,000,000 project exists for the modernisation and electrification of the PlovdivmarkerKapitan Andreevo railway. The only high-speed railway in the region, between Sofia and Vidin, will operate by 2017, at a cost of €3,000,000,000.

Air travel has developed relatively comprehensively. There are six official international airports  — at Sofiamarker, Burgasmarker, Varnamarker, Plovdivmarker, Roussemarker and Gorna Oryahovitsamarker. After the fall of Communism in 1989, most of the smaller domestic airports stood unused as the importance of domestic flights declined. The country has many military airports and agricultural airfields. 128 of the 213 airports in Bulgaria are paved.

The most important ports by far, Varnamarker and Burgasmarker, have the largest turnover. Like Burgas, Sozopolmarker, Nesebarmarker and Pomorie support large fishing fleets. Large ports on the Danube River include Roussemarker and Lommarker (which serves the capital).

Bulgaria has a well-developed communications network, although the fixed-line telephone system is somewhat antiquated. Internet and cellular communications are extensive. The years after 2000 have seen a rapid increase in the number of Internet users: in 2000, they numbered 430,000, in 2004 – 1,545,100, and in 2006 – 2.2 million. With a population of 7,6 million people, there are some 11 million cellphones in use.

Demographics

According to the 2001 census,Bulgaria's population consists mainly of ethnic Bulgarian (83.9%), with two sizable minorities, Turks (9.4%) and Roma (4.7%).Of the remaining 2.0%, 0.9% comprises some 40 smaller minorities, most prominently in numbers the Russians, Armenians, Arabs, Vlachs, Jews, Crimean Tatars and Sarakatsani (historically known also as Karakachans). 1.1% of the population did not declare their ethnicity in the latest census in 2001.

The 2001 census defines an ethnic group as a "community of people, related to each other by origin and language, and close to each other by mode of life and culture"; and one's mother tongue as "the language a person speaks best and usually uses for communication in the family (household)".

Native Language By ethnic group Percentage By first language Percentage
Bulgarian 6,655,000 83.93% 6,697,000 84.46%
Turkish 747,000 9.42% 763,000 9.62%
Gypsies (roma) 371,000 4.67% 328,000 4.13%
Others 69,000 0.87% 71,000 0.89%
Total 7,929,000 100% 7,929,000 100%


In years Bulgaria has had one of the lowest population growth rates in the world. Negative population growth has occurred since the early 1990s,due to economic collapse and high emigration. In 1989 the population comprised 9,009,018 people, gradually falling to 7,950,000 in 2001 and 7,606,000 in 2009. The population had a fertility-rate of 1.48 children per woman in 2008. The fertility rate will need to reach 2.2 to restore natural growth in population.



Most Bulgarians (82.6%) belong, at least nominally, to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. Founded in 870 AD under the Patriarchate of Constantinoplemarker (from which it obtained its first primate, its clergy and theological texts), the Orthodox Church had autocephalous status from 927 AD. Other religious denominations include Islam (12.2%), various Protestant denominations (0.8%) and Roman Catholicism (0.5%); with other denominations, atheists and undeclared totalling approximately 4.1%. Bulgaria is officially a secular state and the Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion but appoints Orthodoxy as an official religion. In the 2001 census, 82.6% of the people declared themselves Orthodox Christians, 12,2% Muslim, 1.2% other Christian denominations, 4% other religions (Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Judaism).

Islam came to the country at the end of the fourteenth century after the conquest of the country by the Ottomans. In the sixteenth and the seventeenth centuries, missionaries from Rome converted Paulicians from the districts of Plovdivmarker and Svishtovmarker to Roman Catholicism. Bulgaria's Jewish community, once one of the largest in Europe, numbers less than 2,000 people.

Bulgaria's 20 largest cities have a population as follows:

Culture

A decorated horse, prepared for a race.
Horseraces take place each year to mark Todorovden (St. Theodore's day).


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. Thracian artifacts include numerous tombs and golden treasures, while ancient Bulgars have left traces of their heritage in music and early architecture. Both the First and the Second Bulgarian empires 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 Schoolsmarker. The Cyrillic alphabet, used in many languages in Eastern Europe and Asia, originated in these two schools in the tenth century AD.

Today Bulgaria has nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the early medieval rock relief Madara Ridermarker, two Thracian tombs (in Sveshtarimarker and Kazanlakmarker), the Boyana Churchmarker, the Rila Monasterymarker and the Rock-hewn Churches of Ivanovomarker, Pirin National Parkmarker and Sreburna Nature Reservemarker, as well as the ancient city of Nesebarmarker. Another important historical artifact is the oldest treasure of worked gold in the world, dating back to the 5th millennium BC, coming from the site of the Varna Necropolismarker.

The country has a long-standing musical tradition, traceable back to the early Middle Ages. One of the earliest known composers of Medieval Europe was Yoan Kukuzel (ca. 12801360). National folk music has a distinctive sound and uses a wide range of traditional instruments, such as gudulka (гъдулка), gaida (гайда) – bagpipe, kaval (кавал) and tupan (тъпан). Bulgaria also has a rich visual arts heritage, especially in frescoes, murals and icons, many of them produced by the medieval Tarnovo Artistic School.

Exports of Bulgarian wine go worldwide, and until 1990 the country exported the world's second-largest total of bottled wine. As of 2007, the country produced 200,000 tonnes of wine annually, ranking 20th in the world. Bulgaria also produces large amounts of beer and rakia (mostly home-brewed). Lukanka, banitsa, shopska salad, lyutenitsa, sirene and kozunak are distinctive for Bulgaria's cuisine.

Sports



Bulgaria performs high in sports such as volleyball, wrestling, weight-lifting, shooting sports, gymnastics, chess, and recently, sumo wrestling and tennis. The country fields one of the leading men's volleyball teams in Europe and the world, ranked 4th in the world according to the 2009 FIVB rankings.

Football has become by far the most popular sport in the country. Dimitar Berbatov (Димитър Бербатов) is one of the most famous Bulgarian football players of the 21st century. The most prominent domestic football clubs include PFC CSKA Sofia (ranked as the best-performing Bulgarian football club) and PFC Levski Sofia, which became the first Bulgarian team to participate in the modern UEFA Champions League in 2006/2007. Bulgaria's best performance at World Cup finals came in 1994, with a 4th place.

Bulgaria participates both in the Summer and Winter Olympics, and its first appearance dates back to the first modern Olympic games in 1896, when the Swiss gymnast Charles Champaud represented the country. Since then Bulgaria has appeared in most Summer Olympiads, and by 2008 had won a total of 212 medals: 51 gold, 84 silver, and 77 bronze.

See also



Notes

  1. Crampton, R.J., Bulgaria, 2007, pp.174, Oxford University Press
  2. Human development index trends, Human development indices by the United Nations. Retrieved on October 5, 2009
  3. Bulgaria country report for 2008, freedomhouse.org
  4. s:1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Bulgaria/History
  5. " Bulgar (people)". Encyclopædia Britannica.
  6. Zlatarski, pp. 146–153
  7. Runciman, p. 26
  8. Иван Микулчиќ, "Средновековни градови и тврдини во Македониjа", Скопjе, "Македонска цивилизациjа", 1996, стр. 29–33.
  9. C. de Boor (ed), Theophanis chronographia, vol. 1. Leipzig: Teubner, 1883 (repr. Hildesheim: Olms, 1963), 397, 25–30 (AM 6209)"φασί δε τινές ότι και ανθρώπους τεθνεώτας και την εαυτών κόπρον εις τα κλίβανα βάλλοντες και ζυμούντες ήσθιον. ενέσκηψε δε εις αυτούς και λοιμική νόσος και αναρίθμητα πλήθη εξ αυτών ώλεσεν. συνήψε δε προς αυτούς πόλεμον και τον των Βουλγάρων έθνος, και, ως φασίν οι ακριβώς επιστάμενοι, [ότι] 'κβ χιλάδας Αράβων κατέσφαξαν."
  10. Runciman, p. 52
  11. s:Chronographia/Chapter 61
  12. Georgius Monachus Continuatus, loc. cit. [work not previously referenced], Logomete
  13. Vita S. démentis
  14. Barford, P. M. (2001). The Early Slavs. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press
  15. Fine, The Early Medieval Balkans, pp. 144–148.
  16. Bojidar Dimitrov: Bulgaria Illustrated History. BORIANA Publishing House 2002, ISBN 9545000449
  17. Theophanes Continuatus, pp. 462—3, 480
  18. Cedrenus: II, p. 383
  19. Leo Diaconus, pp. 158–9
  20. Шишић [Šišić], p. 331
  21. Skylitzes, p. 457
  22. Zlatarski, vol. II, pp. 1–41
  23. Averil Cameron, The Byzantines, Blackwell Publishing (2006), p. 170
  24. Jiriček, p.295
  25. Jiriček, p. 382
  26. Lord Kinross, The Ottoman Centuries, Morrow QuillPaperback Edition, 1979
  27. R.J. Crampton, A Concise History of Bulgaria, 1997, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-567-19-X
  28. D. Hupchick, The Balkans, 2002
  29. " Bulgaria". Encyclopædia Britannica.
  30. Crampton, R.J. Bulgaria 1878-1918, p.2. East European Monographs, 1983. ISBN 0880330295.
  31. Hunter, Shireen: "Islam, Europe's second religion: the new social, cultural, and political landscape" 2002, pp.177
  32. Poulton, Hugh: "Muslim identity and the Balkan State" 1997, pp.33
  33. Dennis P. Hupchick: The Balkans: from Constantinople to Communism, 2002
  34. Bulgaria in World War II : The Passive Alliance, Library of Congress
  35. Bulgaria: Wartime Crisis, Library of Congress
  36. William Marsteller. "The Economy". Bulgaria country study (Glenn E. Curtis, editor). Library of Congress Federal Research Division (June 1992)
  37. Domestic policy and its results, Library of Congress
  38. The Political Atmosphere in the 1970s, Library of Congress
  39. Cracks show in Bulgaria's Muslim ethnic model. Reuters. May 31, 2009.
  40. See Globalization Index
  41. The Antarctic Treaty system: An introduction. Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR).
  42. Signatories to the Antarctic Treaty. Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR).
  43. ]
  44. Official Military Expenditures List
  45. The List: The Six Most Important U.S. Military Bases, FP, May 2006
  46. CIA, Bulgaria entry
  47. CIA, Belgium entry
  48. Economist: financial crisis brewed by U.S. market fundamentalism , Xinhua, March 12, 2009
  49. Бюджет 2010 влиза на първо четене в НС, news.expert.bg
  50. FAO - Bulgaria country rank
  51. EU Energy factsheet about Bulgaria
  52. Bulgaria Renewable Energy Fact Sheet (EU)
  53. 2010 г.: 300 мегавата мощности от вятърни централи, profit.bg, June 28, 2009
  54. Елаците-Мед АД, Geotechmin group
  55. Oil producing countries rank table, CIA
  56. Natural gas producing countries rank table, CIA
  57. See List of countries by coal production.
  58. See List of countries by bismuth production
  59. See List of countries by copper mine production
  60. See List of countries by zinc production
  61. Geography of machine building in Bulgaria Factsheet
  62. See World Tourism rankings
  63. Statistics from the Bulgarian Tourism Agency
  64. Кабинетът одобри бюджета за 2008 г., Вести.бг
  65. See Timeline of space travel by nationality
  66. IT Services: Rila Establishes Bulgarian Beachhead in UK, findarticles.com, June 24, 1999
  67. http://www.sharedxpertise.org/file/2251/forget-india-lets-go-to-bulgaria.html
  68. http://www.outsourcingmonitor.eu/articles/outsourcing-to-bulgaria.html
  69. Вече си имаме и суперкомпютър, Dir.bg, 9 September 2008
  70. "Country Profile: Bulgaria." Library of Congress Country Studies Program. October 2006. p6. http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/profiles/Bulgaria.pdf
  71. Bulgaria country profile. Library of Congress Federal Research Division (October 2006). This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  72. Влак-стрела ще минава през Ботевград до 2017 г.
  73. Bulgaria Internet Usage Stats and Market Report
  74. Cellphone number ranks
  75. National Statistical Institute of Bulgaria. Retrieved 31 July 2006
  76. The Ministry of Interior estimates various numbers (between 600,000 and 750,000) of Roma in Bulgaria; nearly half of Roma traditionally self-identify ethnically as Turkish or Bulgarian.
  77. information source - NSI population table as of 31.12.2008
  78. Head Direction of Residential Registration and Administrative Service. Population table by permanent and present address as of 15 March 2008.
  79. New perspectives on the Varna cemetery (Bulgaria), By: Higham, Tom; Chapman, John; Slavchev, Vladimir; Gaydarska, Bisserka; Honch, Noah; Yordanov, Yordan; Dimitrova, Branimira; September 1, 2007
  80. Graba, A. La peinture religiouse en Bulgarie, Paris, 1928, p. 95
  81. [1]
  82. See List of wine-producing countries
  83. FIVB official rankings as per January 15, 2009
  84. Rankings of A Group
  85. Best club of 20th century ranking at the official site of the International Federation of Football History and Statistics


Further reading

  • Crampton, R. J. A Concise History of Bulgaria (2005) Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press ISBN 9780521616379
  • Detrez, Raymond Historical Dictionary of Bulgaria (2006) Second Edition lxiv + 638 pp. Maps, bibliography, appendix, chronology ISBN 978-0-8108-4901-3
  • Lampe, John R., and Marvin R. Jackson Balkan Economic History, 1550-1950: From Imperial Borderlands to Developing Nations (1982)
  • Lampe, John R. The Bulgarian Economy in the Twentieth Century (1986) London: Croom Helm ISBN 0709916442


  • Monroe, W. S. " Bulgaria and her people, with an account of the Balkan wars, Macedonia, and the Macedonian Bulgars (1914)"
  • Fox, Frank, Sir Bulgaria (1915) London: A. and C. Black, Ltd., book scanned by Project Gutenberg
  • Hall, Richard C. Bulgaria's Road to the First World War (1996) New York: Columbia University Press ISBN 088033357X
  • Perry, Duncan M. Stefan Stambolov and the Emergence of Modern Bulgaria, 1870-1895 (1993) Durham: Duke University Press ISBN 0822313138
  • (Васил Н. Златарски, История на българската държава през средните векове, Част II, II изд., Наука и изкуство, София 1970)


  • Bar-Zohar, Michael Beyond Hitler's Grasp: The Heroic Rescue of Bulgaria's Jews
  • Groueff, Stephane Crown of Thorns: The Reign of King Boris III of Bulgaria, 1918–1943
  • Todorov, Tzvetan The fragility of goodness: why Bulgaria’s Jews survived the Holocaust: a collection of texts with commentary (2001) Princeton: Princeton University Press ISBN 0691088322


  • Todorov, Tzvetan Voices from the Gulag: Life and Death in Communist Bulgaria
  • Dimitrova, Alexenia The Iron Fist — Inside the Bulgarian secret archives


  • Bell, John D., ed. (1998). Bulgaria in Transition: Politics, Economics, Society, and Culture after Communism. Westview. ISBN 978-0813390109


Guide-books

  • Annie Kay Bradt Guide: Bulgaria
  • Paul Greenway Lonely Planet World Guide: Bulgaria
  • Pettifer, James Blue Guide: Bulgaria
  • Timothy Rice Music of Bulgaria
  • Jonathan Bousfield The Rough Guide To Bulgaria


External links

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