Situated in the heart of the Balkans, Bulgaria is known for its rich, vibrant culture that extends to its food, stunning scenery and warm, hospitable locals. Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover or foodie, this spectacular nation has something for everyone. Which is why we summarised a few facts about Bulgaria to show you just how incredible it really is.
7 Interesting Facts About Bulgaria
1. It’s home to some seriously incredible wildlife
When it comes to wolves and brown bears, Bulgaria boasts one of the healthiest populations in Europe. And it’s no wonder why – the entire country is famous for its thick woods and unspoilt mountain ranges making for the perfect place to call home. Other notable Bulgarian wildlife are foxes and wild rabbits.
2. It Has Two UNESCO World Heritage Sites
The whole of Bulgaria is full of incredible historical monuments from long-forgotten Roman villas to fairytale castles. But two, in particular, are in a league of their own and hold UNESCO status as a world heritage site. One is the 10th-century Boyana Church which boasts some of the best-preserved frescoes in all of eastern Europe. The other, Rila Monastery, is Bulgaria’s largest Eastern Orthodox centre of worship and also dates to the 10th century.
3. It has a recent history of hidden treasure
In the early 70s, a tractor worker accidentally unearthed a series of gold artefacts and burial remains that would later be classed as one of the largest ancient graveyards in the world, the Varna Necropolis. Dating back to 4560-4450BC, the remains and their origins are still being heavily researched. It’s believed that the treasure and graves belonged to the Thracians who once occupied the regions of southern Russia, Serbia and parts of Turkey.
4. The cradle of yoghurt
Yoghurt is a staple in Bulgarian cuisine and something Bulgarians are very proud of. The unique bacteria in Bulgarian yoghurt is famous for its incredible healing properties and aid in gut health. But not only that, it’s absolutely delicious. After all, they’ve been making yoghurt for some 4,000 years so they’ve had plenty of time to perfect their craft!
5. Bulgarian uses the Cyrillic alphabet
Contrary to popular belief, the Cyrillic alphabet is not limited to Russia, nor is it a “Russian alphabet.” In fact, Cyrillic is used in 50 languages around the globe from Macedonian, Ukrainian, Serbian the Persian dialect of Tajik and even Bulgarian.
6. Bulgaria is full of mineral springs
As if its natural beauty weren’t enough, the Bulgarian countryside is also chock full of healing waters in mineral springs, over 700, in fact. Since at least Roman times, the geothermal springs have been used for healing and therapeutic purposes and have drawn people from all over looking to indulge in the healing waters. Today the country is full of bath houses for tourists and locals alike to partake in the ancient tradition.
7. Folk traditions are alive and well
From traditional folk dancing to ancient folklore, the art of folk traditions are still thriving in Bulgaria. The traditional folksongs in Bulgaria are some of the most unique and beautiful on the continent. So beautiful in fact, that NASA even sent it to space, read more about that here. Other lasting folk customs include traditional folk dress and the practice of seasonal folk festivals.