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Bulgaria: a varied territory in the Balkan Peninsula

Bulgaria is a state of southeastern Europe, which joined the European Union in 2007. The Bulgarian state is located on the Balkan Peninsula. Its coasts face eastwards on the Black Sea, while it borders to the north with Romania, to the west with Serbia and Macedonia, to the south-west and south with Greece, and to the south-east with Turkey.

From an administrative point of view, Bulgaria is made up of 28 provinces (oblasts, singular: oblast). The capital is the city of Sofia, other important cities are those of Plovdiv, Varna and Burgas.


Ancient land of the Thracians, it was for some centuries under Roman control. After the fall of the Roman Empire at the end of the 7th century, Bulgaria became an independent empire which reached the peak of power in the 10th century. In the 11th century the town was conquered by the Byzantine Empire, but at the end of the 12th century it regained its independence which it maintained, with ups and downs, until the end of the 14th century. At this time Bulgaria came under the control of the Ottoman Turks, whose dominion lasted until the end of the 19th century.


Bulgaria has a varied territory consisting of plains, hills, plateaus, and mountains. The plains, which represent about 30% of the country’s surface, occupy the northern area along the border with Romania, where the Danube flows.

South of the Danube valley are the mountains of the Balkan chain (Stara Planina) which run from west to east and reach heights of over two thousand meters. The highest peak of this range is Mount Botev (2,376 meters), which rises almost in the center of the village.

To the south-east of the Balkan mountains are the river valleys of the Marica and Tundža rivers, which flow in a hilly area, while to the south and south-west of the Balkan mountains rise the ranges of the Rhodopes, Rila and Pirin mountains.

The Rhodope Mountains lie to the south near the border with Greece. They are just over two thousand meters high with their highest mountain, Golyam Perelik (2,191 meters). In the south-western corner of the country is the massif of the Pirin mountains with peaks approaching three thousand meters, the maximum height of these mountains is Mount Vihren (2,914 meters). North of this mountain range are the Rila Mountains, where the highest mountain in the country is Mount Musala (2,925 meters).

When to go to Bulgaria.

Area: 110,993 km²
Population: 7,576,751 (2009)
Capital: Sofia
Official language: Bulgarian.
Currency: Bulgarian Lev (BGN)
Time Zone: UTC +2 (Summer: UTC + 3)