Bulgaria lies at the heart of the Balkan peninsula, bordered by Turkey, Greece, The Former Republic of Yugoslavia, Serbia and Romania. It is the ideal hub to explore countries which stir the imagination, having been 'out of reach' till the onset of modern travel and the fall of the Soviet Empire.

About the size of England, Bulgaria and its 8 million residents turned their backs on their communist history in 1990 and opened up to Western Europe. The two major attractions are the Black Sea coast in the summer and the skiing in the winter, but with so much more to offer Bulgaria is fast becoming the new Spain. This is due not only to its geographical position but also its unique blend of European and Asian culture.

The Climate.
Bulgaria offers a lot of sunshine. The climate is continental with four seasons and a Mediterranean influence in its southern regions. Although the Black Sea coast has mild winters, there is excellent snow for winter sports in the mountains. The winter temperature varies between -5°C and +5°C (+20°F to +40°F). The average summer temperatures are between +20°C and +30°C (+68°F to +86°F). Bring warm clothing in winter (especially, if you go to the mountains) and light clothing in summer.

Property market.
For the property buyer, Bulgaria has it all. Uncrowded ski resorts, long sandy beaches, quiet villages and an impressive historical culture. Add to that the fact that Bulgaria is set to join the European Market in 2007, when property prices are expected to soar! The prices are notoriously low when compared to the rest of central europe, so for investors there is a huge tourist potential in Bulgaria via property rental etc.

During the Ottoman rule the influence of European architecture was weak. For this reason it is not possible to find big buildings with architecture from the 18th and 19th centuries. Instead of that there are a lot of houses and small towns that keep the original beauty of the Bulgarian National Revival (18-19 centuries). One of the most famous is Plovdiv's Old Town. Behind stone walls and wrought iron gates along the steep cobbled streets are lovely gardens with flowers and symmetrical houses with colorful painted facades, bay and lattice windows.

Monuments, buildings and archaeological excavations from different times can be found all over Bulgaria. Here are some of them: Varna's ancient necropolis which revealed proofs of the first European civilization and the world's oldest gold dated to 4600-4200 BC; The Kazanluk Thracian Cupol Tomb dated to the end of the 4th and the beginning of the 3rd century BC, containing unique murals - the only surviving monuments of Hellenic painting, included in the List of World Cultural Heritage.; A Roman Amphitheater from the 2nd century - the biggest one in the Balkan Peninsula outside of Greece; The Rila Monastery founded in 9th century - the biggest monum of Bulgarian Architecture from that time; Kotel and Zeravna - two villages in the Balkan mountain that have saved their original architecture from the National Revival. The spirit of these villages can not be described, it can only be seen and experienced.

Bulgarian Capital - Sofia.
Situated in west Bulgaria, Sofia sits on a high plain surrounded by the Balkan Mountains. It is Bulgaria's chief industrial, transportation, and commercial center.

Once occupied by a Thracian settlement, it was taken by the Romans in AD 29 and flourished, especially, under the Emperor Trajan, as Sardica.

It was destroyed by the Huns in AD 447, and rebuilt in the sixth century by the Byzantine emperor Justinian I and renamed Triaditsa by the Byzantines. It formed part of the first Bulgarian kingdom (809–1018), reverted to the Byzantines (1018–1186), and was included in the second Bulgarian kingdom (1186–1382).

Known as Sredets under the Bulgars, it was renamed Sofia or Sophya in 1376. Sofia passed to the Ottomans in 1382 and became the residence of the Turkish governors of Rumelia. Taken by the Russians in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78, it became (1879) the capital of newly independent Bulgaria. During World War II the Russians captured Sofia from the Germans in 1944.

Bulgarian National Anthem.

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