July 5, 2022

Bulgaria (Bulgarian България [bɤɫg'arijɐ]; official name since 1990 Republic of Bulgaria, Bulgarian Република България) is a republic in Southeast Europe with about 6.5 million inhabitants. The country occupies the entire eastern part of the Balkan Peninsula and is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia and North Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, and the Black Sea to the east. Bulgaria covers an area of ​​110,994 square kilometers and is located in the temperate climate zone. Sofia is the capital and at the same time the largest city in the country; other larger cities are Plovdiv, Varna and Burgas. The earliest evidence of the presence of humans (Homo sapiens) in Europe and with the Neolithic Karanovo culture, which dates back to 6,500 BC, is found in what is now Bulgaria. dating back to one of the earliest settlements on the continent. In the 6th to 3rd centuries B.C. the region was caught between the Thracians, Persians, Celts and Greeks. Stability came when the Roman Empire managed to conquer the region in AD 45. With the decline and division of the empire, invasions by different groups began again in the region. The Goths immigrated in the 4th century and created the only written source of their language here. Around the 6th century the areas were settled by the early Slavs. The Ur-Bulgars, led by the brothers Asparuch and Kuwer, left the territory of (old) (Greater) Bulgaria and settled permanently on the Balkan Peninsula in the late 7th century. They founded two kingdoms called Bulgaria, one between the Danube and the Balkan Mountains and one in the area around present-day Bitola in the western part of the peninsula. The Danube Empire, which was recognized by treaty from the Eastern Roman Empire in 681, eventually merged with the Empire of Kuwer. This First Bulgarian Empire ruled most of the southern Balkan Peninsula and significantly influenced Slavic cultures through the development of the Cyrillic script at the court of the Bulgarian tsars and the establishment of the Bulgarian Patriarchate. The empire existed until the early 11th century when the Byzantine Emperor Basil II conquered and subjugated it. A successful Bulgarian uprising in 1185 established a Second Bulgarian Empire, which culminated under Ivan Asen II (1218–1241). After numerous exhausting wars and feudal struggles, the empire disintegrated in 1396 and the region fell under Ottoman rule for almost five centuries. Today's Bulgaria came into being in 1878 in the course of the Russo-Ottoman War (1877-1878) and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, initially as an autonomous principality and after independence was proclaimed (1908) as the Tsardom of Bulgaria. During World War II, Bulgaria was occupied by the Soviets, the monarchy was abolished and a communist people's republic was proclaimed, which was dissolved when communism collapsed in 1991. Today Bulgaria is a parliamentary republic made up of 28 provinces with a high degree of political, administrative and economic centralization. With an upper-middle-income economy, the United Nations Development Program ranks Bulgaria among the very high human development countries. Its market economy is part of the European internal market and is largely based on services, followed by industry - particularly engineering and mining - and agriculture. Bulgaria is the world's largest producer of lavender oil and has a long tradition of rose cultivation and rose oil production. The country is facing a demographic crisis as its population has been shrinking annually since around 1990. Compared to a peak of almost nine million inhabitants in 1988 e.g