42 Facts You Probably
Didn’t Know About Bulgaria!

Here are 42 facts about Bulgaria

Bulgaria is a charming European country located south of Romania, my home country. It is, in fact, my first visit – I went on a quick excursion to Veliko Tarnovo. Today, I’d like to invite you to discover a few things about Bulgaria from Bilyana, travel blogger at Owl Over The World, who presents 42 facts about the country. 

Many of them were new to me, so make sure to read all of these interesting/fun facts about this country, and don’t forget:

I have more travel curiosities and quirky stuff for you on the site!

Bulgaria is a great country with incredible natural beauty, lovely villages, nice people, delicious food, and it is quite affordable. The country has a rich history and traditions that have been properly preserved. However, many individuals have never heard of Bulgaria, despite the fact that they should.

  1. Bulgaria is one of the oldest European countries established in 681 AD. Yes, Bulgaria is indeed one of the oldest countries in Europe with a rich and fascinating history. It has had a continuous existence as a nation-state for over 1,300 years.

  2. Since then Bulgaria is the only one that hasn’t changed its name. Even though the country has been under Byzantine and Ottoman rule throughout its history, the term Bulgaria has been used for over 1,300 years.

  3. Bulgaria ranks third in Europe for the number of valuable archaeological monuments after Italy and Greece. The country plays a vital role in Europe’s historical narrative, providing valuable knowledge about ancient civilizations, cultural interactions, and artistic achievements.

  4. Alexander Nevski is the oldest autocephalous Slavic Orthodox church in the world. The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is a testimony to Bulgaria’s historical and cultural heritage, representing the country’s war for freedom as well as its deep-rooted Orthodox Christian traditions.

  5. The Bulgarian army has never lost a single flag in battle. Bulgarian troops’ commitment to defending their flags has endured despite many battles. This remarkable achievement represents the Bulgarian army’s honour, heroism, and unwavering loyalty to their motherland.
Tsar Kaloyan the Kaloyan Cavalry. Credits to Bulgarian History
  1. The Cyrillic alphabet became the third official alphabet of the EU after the accession of Bulgaria to the EU on January 1, 2007. It is based on the Cyrillic script, which was developed by the brothers Cyril and Methodius in the 9th century.
  2. In Bulgaria, the oldest golden treasure. The discovery, known as the Varna Necropolis, was made in 1972 during excavations near the Black Sea coast. The Necropolis is an ancient burial site that dates back to the Chalcolithic period, specifically around 4,500 BC.
  3. The ancient Bulgarian calendar was declared the most accurate in the world by UNESCO in 1976. The surviving records and archaeological findings provide some insights into the calendar practices of the early Bulgarian civilizations, but a comprehensive understanding of the ancient Bulgarian calendar remains challenging.

  4. Plovdiv is Europe’s oldest inhabited city. Settlements in the area date back to the Neolithic period, with evidence of human presence from around 6,000 BC. Throughout its long history, Plovdiv has been inhabited by Thracians, Romans, Byzantines, Bulgarians, and Ottomans, each leaving their mark on the city’s culture, architecture, and heritage. Find out more about Plovdiv here.
Plovdiv, Bulgaria - N°1 Plovdiv Travel Guide Before You Go. Urban Tourism
The Roman theatre in Plovdiv. Photographer: Martin Georgiev
  1. Bulgaria is fourth in the world in per capita university education.

  2. The Bulgarian folk song “Izlel e Delyu Haydutin” was sent into space on the board of the US Space Probe Voyager I.

  3. Almost one-third of Bulgaria is covered in forests. Approximately 35% of Bulgaria’s land area is designated as natural protective areas. These areas include national parks, nature reserves, protected landscapes, and protected areas under various categories. Find out more here.

  4. 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.
  5. The first woman in the world who participated in a military flight was the Bulgarian Rayna Kasabova.

  6. The highest peak on the Balkan Peninsula is the Musala Peak. It’s located in Rila Mountain, Bulgaria, rising at 2925m above sea level.

  7. Bulgaria was the home of the Thracians, and a legend has it that a certain hero called Spartacus was born in Bulgaria. Thracian’s contributions, both in terms of material culture and their influence on subsequent civilizations, make them an intriguing subject of study and fascination for historians and archaeologists.

  8. Bulgaria produced as much as 85% of the world’s rose oil. The roses grown in Bulgaria’s Rose Valley (Kazanlak) are an essential ingredient in perfume production. We have a piece of short and helpful information about the roses in Bulgaria that you can find here.
Bulgarian Rose tradition
Women display rose petals they had collected. Photographer: Nikolay Pandev
  1. 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.

  2. 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. Here you can find more dedicated and fascinating information about the Bulgarian yoghurt 

  3. Bulgaria is the second country in Europe with the highest number of natural mineral springs.  The country boasts more than 700 mineral springs, each with its own unique mineral composition and therapeutic properties. These mineral springs are located in various regions, including the famous Bulgarian Spa Triangle, which comprises the towns of Velingrad, Sandanski, and Hisarya.

  4. Bulgarians nod no and shake their heads for yes.

  5. “Name Days” are celebrated in addition to birthdays and are even more valued by some people.

  6. Bulgarians welcome the spring with Baba Marta. Every year on 1 March Bulgarians give a Martenitsa ( white and red bracelets) to each of their friends to congratulate them on the beginning of the spring and for their health. The Martenitsa is wearing until you see a stork or a blossoming tree. Find out more about it here.

  7. 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 spill water in front of the door before he leaves with the word ‘’may your success flows like water’’.

  8. Bulgarian celebrating Trifon Zarezan instead of Valentine’s Day. 14 February is Wine-growers Day and people celebrate their love for wine.

    More information can be found here.

The Bulgarian Tradition Triphon Zarezan or Saint Triphon
  1. World’s first digital wristwatch was developed by the Bulgarian, Peter Petroff.

  2. The first electronic computer was invented by John Vincent Atanasoff who has a Bulgarian origin.

  3. The Bulgarian national football team finished fourth in the 1994 World Cup. The fourth-place finish in the 1994 World Cup remains the highest achievement for the Bulgarian national football team in a major international tournament.

  4. The Bulgarian Dan Kolov is the first wrestler in the world with 1500 wins and 2 lost matches.

  5. For 33 years so far no woman has managed to beat the record of the Bulgarian Stefka Kostadinova for the high jump at the World Championships in Rome with a sensational 2.09 meters.

  6. Bulgaria is one of the biggest wine-exporting countries in the world. Wine production has a long history dating back to Thracian times.

  7. Bulgaria ranks third in Europe in biodiversity, with several rare and endemic species.

  8. For more than 700 years, Bulgaria was twice its current size, reaching three seas – the Aegean, Adriatic and Black Sea.

  9. There are 142 resorts in Bulgaria – 26 marine resorts, 56 mountain resorts, and 58 balneological resorts.

  10. The most famous dish in Bulgaria is called “banitsa.” Banitsa is a traditional Bulgarian pastry made from thin layers of filo dough filled with various ingredients. The most common filling consists of a mixture of whisked eggs and Bulgarian white cheese called “sirene.” 

  11. The national drink of Bulgaria is rakia (also spelled rakiya or rakija). Rakia is a traditional fruit brandy that holds great cultural and social significance in Bulgarian society. It is made through a process of distilling fermented fruits, typically grapes, plums, apricots, or other fruits.

  12. 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).

  13. Bulgaria has more than 130 active monasteries around the country. These monasteries are scattered throughout various regions of Bulgaria, including the Rila Mountains, the Rhodope Mountains, the Pirin Mountains, and the Balkan Mountains. They are often nestled in serene and picturesque locations, offering stunning natural surroundings and a tranquil atmosphere. Here you can find a list of the most popular.

  14. Sofia is one of the most affordable European capitals to visit. A daily budget goes between 35 and 50€ including restaurants and room accommodation.

  15. Bulgarian ranks in the top 15 worldwide in terms of women’s work ethics and women’s safety.

  16. The design of the Bulgarian flag also known as the “Tricolor” is attributed to the artist and revolutionary Zachary Zograf. The colours of the flag hold symbolic significance: white represents peace, green symbolizes fertility and hope, and red signifies valour and the blood shed for the nation’s independence.

  17. Menilk, with a population of 300 people, is considered Bulgaria’s smallest town. The city and surrounding region are regarded as the best for wine tourism. You can find more information about the city here.

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