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The Bulgars, a Central Asian Turkic tribe, merged with the local Slavic inhabitants in the late 7th century to form the first Bulgarian state. In succeeding centuries, Bulgaria struggled with the Byzantine Empire to assert its place in the Balkans, but by the end of the 14th century the country was overrun by the Ottoman Turks. Northern Bulgaria attained autonomy in 1878 and all of Bulgaria became independent from the Ottoman Empire in 1908. Having fought on the losing side in both World Wars, Bulgaria fell within the Soviet sphere of influence and became a People's Republic in 1946. Communist domination ended in 1990, when Bulgaria held its first multiparty election since World War II and began the contentious process of moving toward political democracy and a market economy while combating inflation, unemployment, corruption, and crime. The country joined NATO in 2004 and the EU in 2007.

Languages & Population

Approximate Population: 7,322,858 (July 2007 est.)

Nationality (Noun): Bulgarian(s)

Nationality (Adjective): Bulgarian

Official Language(s): Bulgarian

Major Languages Spoken: Bulgarian, Turkish

Map of Bulgaria

Country Facts

Country Name (long form): Republic of Bulgaria

Country Name (short form): Bulgaria

Country Name (local long form): Republika Balgariya

Country Name (local short form): Balgariya

Name of Capital: Sofia

UTC Time Difference (from capital): UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Countries Near by, and Bordering Bulgaria: Turkey, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Greece

Land Area: 110550 sq km

Water Area: 360 sq km

Comparative Area: slightly larger than Tennessee

Total Land Boundry: 1,808 km

Coastline: 354 km

National Holiday: Liberation Day, 3 March (1878)

International Phone Code: 359

Currency Code: lev (BGL)

Internet Country Code: .bg

US Embassy Location: 16 Kozyak Street, Sofia 1407

US Embassy Mailing Address: American Embassy Sofia, US Department of State, 5740 Sofia Place, Washington, DC 20521-5740


Bulgaria flag

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