Bulgaria has developed culture in 2 alphabets – the Cyrillic /9th century/ and the Glagolitic /862/. Cyrillic is the basis of most languages, spoken in Eastern Europe today.
an important product of the ancient Bulgarian knowledge is the cyclical solar calendar, perfect from an astronomical point of view, in which the constellations have the names of animals. UNESCO has recognized the calendar of the ancient Bulgarians as one of the most exact from among the calendars known up to the modern age.
the oldest handcrafted gold in the world (3000 golden artifacts with total weight over 6 kilograms), created by the oldest civilization in Europe – the Varna gold treasure /6-5 Millenia B.C./ ….was found on the territory of Bulgaria along with many other exquisite gold and silver Thracian treasures.
according to Herodotus, the Thracian tribe who lived in the territory of Bulgaria was the second biggest and most developed nation only after the Indians.
Old Greek and Romans mythology not only borrowed some gods and heroes from Thracians but also some of their mysteries, cults and part of the holiday calendar of the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions.
under the capital city of Sofia have been excavated about 150 000 square meters of ruins from the ancient city Serdika.
Bulgaria is the first Slavic nation that adopted Christianity.
after invasion of Ottoman Turks Christian Orthodox churches was officially banned. Later it was permitted again but only if they were built under the ground so they would not be taller than a Turkish soldier on horseback.
Bulgaria was one of the three biggest empires in Europe together with the Frankish and the Byzantine.
Bulgaria preserved its ethnic identity, religion, and culture after 200 years Byzantine and 500 years Turkish yokes!
Bulgaria in its modern history saved the lives of its 50,000-strong Jewish population, despite ill-fated and ill-judged alliance with Nazi Germany!
Bulgaria became the country to introduce the Cyrillic alphabet in the European.
Union when it acceded to that organization on 1 January 2007?
the Bulgarian rose-oil (Bulgaria produces half of the rose oil in the world), is a component of the world-famous perfumes. 2 000 flowers are needed for just one single gram of the precious attar of roses whose price equals that of gold!
Lactobacillus Bulgaricus, the bacterium responsible for giving Bulgarian yoghurt its unique flavour and consistency, can be found only in Bulgarian air.
the ancient ritual of barefooted dancing on smouldering embers, “nestinarstvo”, emerged in several remote villages in the Strandzha Mountains?
Bulgarians shake their heads to the opposite from the other world? Be careful weather they want to say “Yes or No”.
there is a wooden cross guarded in Rila Monastery, named the Rafail’s cross with 140 microscopic scenes from the Bible featuring more than 1,500 figurines, the largest of them no bigger than a grain of rice, was carved by a monk over a period of 12 years.
“The Voyager” spacecraft, launched in the 1970s on a voyage to meet and communicate with other planets, carried a laser disc of ten songs believed to be representative of Earth. One of these songs was the Bulgarian tune “Izlel e Deliu Haidutin” from the Rhodopes region.
the Nobel Laureate in Literature from 1981 Elias Canetti was born in Rousse, Bulgaria.
that standing out among the medieval titans of the Bulgarian spirit is Ivan Rilski – the saint John of Rila, the patron saint of the Bulgarians. From an early age this zealous Christian secluded himself in a cave not far from the place where the Rila Monastery, a Bulgarian sanctuary, is rising. He dedicated himself to meditation and thinking. His holy example became an intransigent emblem of Eastern Orthodox Christianity.
the oldest tree is an oak growing in the village of Granit in the vicinity of Stara Zagora. Its age is estimated at about 1,650 years. The crown of this oak tree covers 1,017 square metres; the circumference of its trunk is 7.45m and its height 23.40m.The tallest tree is the 62-metre Baikusheva Mura (white fir) in the Pirin Mountains. Its age is about 1300 years.
the longest mountain range is Stara Planina, known also as the Balkan Mountain (530km). The whole peninsula is named after it. The highest are the Rila mountains; the peak Moussala rises to an altitude of 2,925 m above sea level. This is the highest point in the Balkans. The first written evidence of the peak being climbed refers to King Philip II, the father of Alexander the Great.
the longest cave is close to the village of Bosnek, in the Vitosha Mountains near Sofia (over 18km). Six underground rivers have cut labyrinths in its galleries. As many as 4,000 caves have been investigated and mapped in Bulgaria.
the lowest temperature, measured in an inhabited locality, was registered in the winter of 1947 in the town of Tran, west of Sofia (minus 38.3 degrees centigrade). The highest temperature was measured in the summer of 1916 in Sadovo, near by Plovdiv (45.2 degrees centigrade).
the longest lasting fog occurred in December 1948 in Sofia (29 days and nights). At that same time, the fogs in Plovdiv and Lom stayed for 28 days. The capital of Bulgaria is also its foggiest city (33 days annually on average).
the hottest mineral water is found in the village of Separeva Banya, near the town of Dupnitza – its temperature is 101.6 degrees centigrade. According to some sources, this is the hottest spring in Europe.
the rarest animal species is the Black Sea seal, of which only 5 or 6 specimens are left now. They inhabit the caves along the shoreline around the Black Sea capes of Kaliakra and Masslen.
“Nazdrave” is the toast for “Cheers” in Bulgaria which means “Good health to you!”
Baba Marta (meaning Grandma Marta in English) is a holiday unique to Bulgaria celebrated by everyone in the country on March 1 every year. This day is a celebration of the end of winter and the beginning of springtime. Bulgarians give each other “Martenitsi” (singular “Martenitsa”) made of simply twisted red and white threads. The Martenitsa is a sign of health and good luck.
Bulgarian Yogurt – One thing that Bulgarians insist upon owning as their exclusive invention is yogurt–known in Bulgaria as “kiselo mlyako”. The country’s long and affectionate relationship with yogurt dates back to the Thracians, ancient: inhabitants of the Bulgarian lands, when stock-breeders placed sheep’s milk in lambskin bags around their waists and fermented yogurt using their own body heat. Even the word ‘yogurt’ is said to derive from the words for ‘thick’ and ‘milk’ in ancient Thracian.
Bulgarian Wine – Bulgaria has been in the wine business for over 1200 years. The taste and quality of the Bulgarian wine is world class. Wine has been known in the land of Bulgaria since ancient times. Archaeology, folklore, and literature provide ample evidence that wine grapes have thrived in these lands ever since the late Stone Age: grape growing and wine making were vital to the way of life of the Thracians, Romans, Greeks, Slavs and Bulgarians.
Bulgarian Name Days – “Name Days” are celebrated in addition to birthdays in Bulgaria. As a matter of fact, most Bulgarians value their ‘Name Day’ more than their birthday. A Name Day, or “Saints Day” is celebrated by people named after a particular Saint (eg. everyone named Peter celebrates Saint Peter’s day). We could accurately say that “the Name Day is the feast day of the saint after whom one is named.”
Hristo Stoichkov is the most successful Bulgarian soccer player of all time. He debuted in professional football with CSKA Sofia and was later spotted by European giant FC Barcelona. Stoitchkov earned global acclaim after winning the Spanish Primera Division four consecutive times and taking his club to Champions League glory in 1992. At World Cup 1994, Hristo Stoichkov was awarded the Golden boot as the top goal scorer of the tournament as he miraculously led his country to the semi-finals.
that the inventor of the first electronic computer John Vincent Atanassoff is of Bulgarian origin.
that world’s first digital wristwatch was developed by the Bulgarian Peter Petroff