Bulgaria is one of the oldest countries in Eastern Europe. The first to have been introduced to the Cyrillic alphabet in the 9th Century, the Bulgaria was also an early adopter of Christianity. These historical markers are significant turning points in Bulgarian history, and their remnants can be seen in the many Byzantine monasteries in Bulgaria.
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More Bulgaria Facts:
- Borders shared with Greece, Macedonia, Turkey, Romania, and Serbia and Montenegro have given Bulgaria a history that straddles that of the Balkan region as well as of Eastern Europe.
- Summers that are hot and dry make Bulgaria's Black Sea Coast great for resort-goers.
- Bulgarian is the language spoken by most of the population, however, travelers with a background in Russian may be able to get by with little trouble.
Bulgarian Folk Art:
Bulgaria has a rich folk art tradition and showcases it for natives and tourists alike. Gabrovo, Bulgaria hosts an ethnographic and architectural complex. Near Troyan, Bulgaria, visitors can visit a permanent exhibit of folk art. And in Veliko Turnovo, there is the Samovodene Market. At these various places, visitors can find their special mementos of Bulgaria, from rugs, to pottery, to jewelry.
The Black Sea is one of Bulgaria’s biggest draws. Bulgaria’s moderate temperatures are perfect for sun-bathing and swimming. Resort complexes offer a variety of water sports like scuba diving, and the spas can administer treatments ranging from aromatherapy to laser therapy. The beach itself (all 378 kilometers of it) has been awarded a merit of “environmental excellence” by the EU.
Bulgaria is a treasure trove of early church architecture, ranging from typical examples of Byzantine style to the rare and out-of-the ordinary, as in Alajda Rock Monastery near Varna and the Black Sea, which is one of the few existing accessible rock monasteries. The monasteries contain frescoes, house important manuscripts, and preserve the rich Bulgarian history that straddles Eastern Europe and the Constantinople-centered Byzantium.