42 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Bulgaria

Located south of Romania, my country, Bulgaria is a lovely European country. It is, in fact, the first one I’ve visited – I went for a short trip to Veliko Tarnovo. Today I’m inviting you to learn a thing or two about this country as Bilyana, travel blogger at Owl Over The World, shares 42 facts about Bulgaria. I have to say: many of them were new to me – so make sure you read all these interesting/fun things about this country, and don’t forget: I have more travel curiosities and quirky things for you on the blog!

Bulgaria is a beautiful country with amazing nature, lovely villages, friendly people, delicious food, and it’s extremely affordable. The country has a rich history and well-preserved traditions. However, many people haven’t even heard about Bulgaria although they should.

Here are 42 facts about Bulgaria

  1. Bulgaria is one of the oldest European countries established in 681 AD.
  2. Since then Bulgaria is the only one that hasn’t changed its name.
  3. Bulgaria ranks third in Europe for the number of its valuable archaeological monuments after Italy and Greece.
  4. Alexander Nevski is the oldest autocephalous Slavic orthodox church in the world.
  5. The Bulgarian army has never lost a single flag in battle.
  6. The Cyrillic alphabet became the third official alphabet of the EU after the accession of Bulgaria to the EU on January 1, 2007.
  7. In Bulgaria was founded the oldest golden treasure. (3000 gold objects dating back more than 6000 years)
  8. The ancient Bulgarian calendar was declared the most accurate in the world by UNESCO in 1976.
  9. Plovdiv is Europe’s oldest inhabited city.
Roman amphitheatre plovdiv

10. Bulgaria is fourth in the world in per capita university education.
11. The Bulgarian folk song “Izlel e Delyu Haydutin” was sent in space on the board of the US Space Probe Voyager I.
12. Almost one-third of Bulgaria is covered in forests.
13. The Bulgarian Air Force developed the first air-dropped bomb in military history. That was during the First Balkan War, the bomb was used on 16 October 1912.
14. The first woman in the world who participated in a military flight was the Bulgarian Rayna Kasabova.
15. The highest peak on the Balkan Peninsula is the Musala peak. It’s located in Rila Mountain, Bulgaria, rising at 2925m above sea level.
16. Bulgaria was the home of the Thracians, the certain hero called Spartacus was born in Bulgaria.
17. Bulgaria produced as much as 85% of the world’s rose oil. The roses are grown in Bulgaria’s Rose Valley (Kazanlak) are an essential ingredient in perfumes production.

18. The bagpipe (known as ‘’gaida’’ in Bulgaria)  is a traditional Bulgarian instrument. The other nations that use the bagpipe as an instrument are Ireland and Scotland.
19. Bulgarian yoghurt is the best in the world, trust me. The Lactobacillus bulgaricus, which gives the unique taste of yoghurt can be found only in Bulgaria.
20. Bulgaria is the second country in Europe with the highest number of natural mineral springs. Bulgaria is heaven for SPA.
21. Bulgarians nod for no and shake their heads for yes.
22. ‘’Name Days’’ are celebrated in addition to birthdays and even more valued by some people.
23. Bulgarian welcome the spring with Baba Marta. Every year on 1 March Bulgarian give a Martenitsa ( white and red bracelets) to each of their friends to congratulate them on the beginning of the spring and for health. The Martenitsa is wearing until you see a stork or a blossoming tree.
26. Bulgarians are spilling water in front of the door for success. When a member of the family leaves home for a special event like the first day of school, prom, before an exam, at weddings, etc. the other members of the family are spilling water in front of the door before he leaves with the word ‘’may your success flows like water’’.
27. Bulgarian celebrating Trifon Zarezan instead of Valentine’s Day. 14 February is Wine-growers Day and people celebrate the love for wine.

28. World’s first digital wristwatch was developed by the Bulgarian, Peter Petroff.
29. The first electronic computer was invented by John Vincent Atanasoff who has a Bulgarian origin.
30. The Bulgarian national football team finished fourth in the 1994 World Cup.
31. The Bulgarian Dan Kolov is the first wrestler in the world with 1500 wins and 2 lost matches.
32. For 29 years so far no woman has managed to beat the record of the Bulgarian Stefka Kostadinova for the high jump of the World Championships in Rome with sensational 2.09 meters.
33. Bulgaria is one of the biggest wine exporting countries in the world. Wine production has a long history dating back to Thracian times.
34. Bulgaria ranks third in Europe in biodiversity, with a number of rare and endemic species.
35. The Bulgarian flag consists of three colours: white, green and red, laid horizontally from top to bottom. The white is a symbol of hope, the green is a symbol of wonderful nature, and the red is a symbol of the blood-soaked into our lands.
36. For more than 700 years, Bulgaria was twice its current size, reaching three seas – the Aegean, Adriatic and Black sea.
37. There are 142 resorts in Bulgaria – 26 marine resorts, 56 mountain resorts, and 58 balneological resorts.
38. There are 9 UNESCO sites in Bulgaria. 7 cultural sites (Rila Monastery, Boyana Church, Ancient City of Nessebar, Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak, Madara Rider and the Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo) and 2 natural sites (Pirin National Park and Srebarna Nature Reserve).
39. Bulgaria has one of the fastest internets in Europe.
40. Sofia is one of the most affordable European capitals to visit.
41. Bulgarian women have been ranked among the most beautiful in the world.
42. Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria is situated just 15 minutes away from Vitosha Mountain.