Facts

15+ Interesting Historical Facts About Bulgaria

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There are many interesting historical facts about Bulgaria, and here we’ll focus on some of them. Bulgaria is a wonderful country with a rich historical and cultural heritage, that has become quite an attractive place for travelers in recent years. The country has a long summer season with lovely seaside resorts, where holidaymakers can enjoy fine golden sand and crystal blue sea water, yet it also offers busy winter resorts with fantastic snow coverage and many ski runs.

The artistic town of Plovdiv, the old capital Veliko Tarnovo with its Tsarevets castle, the old capital town of Vidin near Danube River, and of course the cultural, financial and educational center of the country – Sofia city, are among the other travel destinations that catch the attention of the travelers are.

Bulgaria further has delicious food, very hospitable people and picturesque villages. Below are collected several amazing facts about this affordable travel destination – some are funny, some are interesting and others are truly amazing. Enjoy them all and pack your bags!

1. Established in 681 AD, Bulgaria is the oldest country in Europe and the only country in Europe that hasn’t changed the name after its establishment. Bulgaria was home to the Thracians tribe, unbeatable hero Spartacus and the mystical and talented Orpheus.

2. Bulgaria features more than six thousand caves, caverns and grotto, and forests cover one-third of the country.
In 1976 the ancient Bulgarian calendar was named as the most accurate in the world by UNESCO.

3. At a burial site to the west of Varna city, on the territory of Bulgaria, close to the Black sea shore,  has been found the oldest gold treasure in the world. Many of the gold treasures found in Bulgaria are exhibited for the public and for tours around the globe. More than 3000 golden artifacts were found during diggings estimated to be more than 6000 years old, dated to around 4560-4450 BC.being more than 6000 years old, as the necropolis was dated to around 4560-4450 BC.

4. Bulgarians took part in many wars in Europe since 19th century and Bulgarians are very proud of the fact that the Bulgarian Army has never ever lost a flag in a battle. The Bulgarian Air Forces were the first to start using the air-dropped bombs during the first Balkan War in 1912.
During World War II, Bulgaria protects more than 50 000 Jewish citizens people.  Bulgaria is one of two countries in Europe who managed to save its Jewish people. Another interesting fact is that the first woman air force pilot Rayna Kasabova in the world was a Bulgarian as well.

5. The Cyrillic alphabet originates from Bulgaria. The Cyrillic alphabet was created in the 9th century at the Preslav Literary School, during the First Bulgarian Empire, by the Christian missionaries brothers Cyril and Methodius who later were announced saints, who wanted to improve the literacy of the Slavic pagans. The two brothers are celebrated on 24th May, on the day of the Bulgarian literature and culture.
Bulgaria is the first country that entered the European Union using the Cyrillic alphabet and Cyrillic became the third official alphabet of the European Union.

6. The Bulgarian Orthodox Church is the oldest Slavic Orthodox Church. One of the most popular religious places in the country and the Balkan peninsular is Rila Monastery. Here you can find the Rila Cross – a wooden cross with 140 microscopic scenes from the Bible and more than 1.500 figures.

7. Bulgaria along with the other nations Scotland and Ireland are the only nations in the world that uses bagpipes. The music instrument is known as gaida in Bulgarian and is usually made of goat or sheep hide, connected to a pipe with three sections, a blow pipe and a shorter pipe.

8. The Bulgarian roses are an item of major export and the symbol of the country as well. Bulgaria produces approximately 85 % of the rose oil quantities in the world. The rose oil produced in the region of Kazanlak known as the Rose Valley, is very important since it is an important ingredient in the perfume production and industry. The Roses harvest is done in May and June and the work is hard.

9. The Bulgarian yogurt is known to be the best in the world thanks to its fantastic taste. It is due to the bacteria Lactobacillus bulgaricus, found only in the Bulgarian air. This bacteria gives the yogurt its unique consistency and flavor. Especially good for the health is the sheep yogurt, which is thick and goes well with jam and honey.

10. The national dish is Shopska salad, made of diced cucumbers, tomatoes, raw or roasted peppers and sprinkled with Bulgarian white brine cheese. The dressing of the salad is made of sunflower oil and red wine vinegar. The salad goes perfectly well with the national alcoholic beverage rakia, made from various fruits.

11. Although not so large country, Bulgaria produces around 200.000 tonnes of wine of delightful quality each year. This put the country among the biggest winemakers in the world. Each year the country.

12. Bulgaria has many world-famous sports celebrities. This includes some but not limited to like the tennis players Tsvetana Pironkova and Grigor Dimitrov, the chess grandmaster Veselin Topalov, the sumo wrestler Kaloyan Mahlyanov. The high jump athlete Stefka Kostadinova with her still unbroken record jump of 2.09 meters. Other sports celebrities include the national football team of Bulgaria with its fourth place in the 1994 World Cup in the United States. The highest scorer at the 1994 World Cup and the most famous football player in the country is Hristo Stoichkov.

13. Bulgarians nod their heads in a different way than the rest of the world. This often leads to hilarious situations and is a theme of many conversations between Bulgarians and foreign people that visit the country. The locals nod their head up and down to say ‘no’ and shake their heads horizontally to say ‘yes’. This tradition in nodding goes back to the days when the country was under Ottoman rule. Thus when in doubt, travelers should better ask to avoid confusion.

14. On the 1st March, Bulgarians celebrate Baba Marta. On that day Bulgarians give each other bracelets of white and red yarn, called martenitsa – and the tradition is to be worn until one sees a stork or a blossom tree.  This holiday is way of welcoming the upcoming spring

15. Most people don’t know but John Vincent Atanasoff, who invented the first electronic digital computer is a physicist and inventor of Bulgarian descent. Assen Jordanoff has invented the car air bag and Peter Petroff invented the first digital watch.

16. Of course, let’s don’t forget the actors. There are talented actors who have Bulgarian origins. A few examples here are the Vampire Diaries’ star, Nina Dobrev. The actor Zahary Bacharov, you can watch in the fifth season of HBO’s hit television series Game of Thrones, in the role of the tribal leader Loboda. The Hollywood actor Tom Hanks’s wife has Bulgarian origin as well.
Also, Bulgaria has the largest IMAX 3D cinema in the world!

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