Bulgaria, is a country in the Balkans, west of the Black Sea. Bulgaria has a variety of landscapes and combines many points of interest for the visitor, with beaches, Byzantine churches and winter sports in its mountains, as well as a mix of architectural styles in its cities.
As it is located near the Bosphorus Strait, the main land routes from Europe to the Middle East and Asia pass through Bulgaria. Thanks to this location, remnants of various cultures and eras are scattered throughout the country and are distinguishable to this day. From the tombs of the powerful Thracian kings, from the theaters of the ancient Greeks and the stadiums of the Roman Empire, to the medieval castles of the kings of the Bulgarian Empire and the mosques of the Turkish Empire.
Excavations have revealed findings dating back to 5000 BC. The country’s territory has been continuously inhabited since then, and various peoples and communities have lived in the lands of present-day Bulgaria. The majority of Bulgaria, together with parts of Greece and European Turkey, constituted what was anciently Thrace. In later centuries the area of modern Bulgaria was part of the Roman Empire. In the early Middle Ages Slavic tribes settled in the Balkans to form the first Bulgarian state.
After the bloody Balkan wars and the devastation of the two World Wars, Bulgaria ended up in the Soviet sphere of influence during the Cold War, with the Communist Party in the lead. During the communist years, the Black Sea was a favorite destination for Eastern Bloc travelers and many of the resorts in the country were built at that time. In 1989 communist rule ended. Hyperinflation and economic collapse caused senior citizens to beg on the streets to supplement their meager pensions, young people to engage in illegal activities, and power to seek help from mafia leaders, which installed itself at all levels of government. .
Today, the reforms and democratization have achieved the country’s accession to the European Union, but not to the Euro zone in which is on standby, still maintaining its national currency, the leva. Although it has relatively low debt, it is the poorest member of the European Union.
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