Bulgaria is without a doubt very beautiful. Bulgarians are very proud with the mountain ranges which embrace little picturesque villages and towns; the golden beaches of the Black Sea; the ancient and interesting culture.

The rich history is fascinating to both those who have never heard of it and to local Bulgarians as well.

Here are 20 less known facts about Bulgaria

Even the most knowledgeable between us can be surprised by an interesting fact.

  1. Bulgaria is the only European country which has never changed its name since the country’s establishment in 681 AD.
  2. The world’s oldest golden treasure was found in Bulgaria – in an excavation of 294 graves workers found 3000 pieces of gold objects, dating back 6000 years.
  3. Bulgarians shake their heads to say “yes” and nod to say “no”, which foreigners find confusing.
  4. The Voyager I spaceship was launched into outer space, carrying on board examples of the best cultural artefacts from planet Earth and humankind. Part of this collection is the Bulgarian folklore song “Izlel e Delio Haidutin”, sung by Valia Balkanska.
  5. Lactobacillus Bulgaricus is the name of the bacteria that is used to produce the unique taste and consistency of Bulgarian yoghurt. The bacteria can only be found in Bulgaria.
  6. The Bulgarian army has never surrendered its flag in battle.
  7. John Atanasov was a physicist and innovator with Bulgarian ancestry. His most famous invention is the first electronic digital computer.
  8. As much as 1/3 of the country’s territory is covered in woods. 
  9. The roses, grown in Bulgaria’s Rose Valley, produce 70-85% of the world’s supply of rose oil, highly used in the perfume industry.
  10. The Bulgarian Orthodox Church is the oldest Slavic orthodox church.
  11. When Bulgaria entered the EU in 2007, the Cyrillic became the third official alphabet of the Union. 
  12. During the 1st Balkan war, the first military flight was performed by the Bulgarian air force lieutenants Radul Milkov and Pordan Tarakchiev.
  13. The Rila crucifix is a wooden cross covered with 140 miniature biblical scenes and more than 1500 figures. The bigger ones are smaller than a grain of rice.
  14. The Bulgarian athlete Stefka Kostadinova broke the world record and took the Gold medal in high jump with the sensational 2.09 m at the 1987 Olympic Games. 32 years on, still no woman has been able to break Kostadinova’s record.
  15. Another world record was held by a Bulgarian athlete for a long time – Yordanka Donkova was the record holder in hurdles for 27 years.
  16. The Bulgarian actor Yavor Baharov played the role Loboda, a tribe leader, in the 5th season of HBO’s Game of Thrones.
  17. In 1976 UNESCO declared the ancient Bulgarian calendar the most accurate in the world.
  18. Rayna Kasabova, a pilot in the Bulgarian air force, was the first woman to ever participate in a military flight.
  19. Vanga was a famous Bulgarian oracle. Most of her predictions have come true.
  20. The Cyrillic alphabet was created during the First Bulgarian Kingdom in the 9th century AD. It was created by the students of St. Ciryl and St. Metodious of the Preslav Literary School. Another Bulgarian saint – St. Kliment of Ohrid – is often associated with the invention of the Cyrillic alphabet.