Officially known as the Republic of Bulgaria, this is the 3rd largest country in the Balkan region and shares borders with the nations of Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, along with the Black Sea, and finally, Romania to the north. In all, Bulgaria covers 42,823 square miles and is home to a little over 7.5 million people. The primary language spoken here is Bulgarian and most of the people descend from those ethnic roots. The capital is Sofia and is the largest city, as well. 

There is a rich history to Bulgaria which extends far back into the past since this area of land has played host to several Neolithic cultures such as the Hamangia and Vinca tribes. It continued to be a home for humans throughout the Bronze Age and it would not be until about 7th Century AD that the first true Bulgarian culture, close to how it is recognized today, would arise. After this, many other cultures would pass through and leave traces of their people behind, creating a rich and vast tapestry of influences that has infused Bulgarian history with much lore from other lands. Along with empires from Rome, Greece and Turkey, there were also two distinct Bulgarian Empires that ruled the land. 

Due to its size, there is quite a variety of both geography and climates in Bulgaria. There are the Balkan, Rila and Pirin Mountain ranges which feature alpine climates that hold snow most of the year, but in stark contrast is the warm, mild Black Sea coastal areas. The Danubian Plain has a continental climate that has snowy winters and warm summers. Many lakes, rivers and forests draw significant interest from eco tourists due to their picturesque appearance and biodiversity. The mountains themselves provide vast deposits of mineral wealth such as gold and silver, thus fueling a thriving trade in traditional jewelry and explaining many ancient treasures housed in the museums of this country.

The economy of Bulgaria has been booming in recent times and even throughout the global economic downturn, the nation managed to keep itself in good shape despite what was happening in the world around it. The tremendous amount of manufacturing, production and service business here have seen it through what could have been very tough times. The nation has managed to put itself into the top 40 countries around the globe most popular for tourists and has a regular flow of over 5 million visitors each year.

Filed Under: The Balkans

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