ABOUT Bulgaria

Country Briefs: The beautiful country of Bulgaria is located on the southeast of Europe. Its boundaries run from the Black Sea to the east, Greece and Turkey to south, in west from Serbia and Montenegro and the Republic of Macedonia and in north from Romania to the river Danube.

Bulgaria spreads in an area of nearly 111,001.9 square kilometers and is the home for more than seven million people.

The capital city if Bulgaria is Sofia. It is also the largest city of the country. Sofia and other cities reflect the past of Bulgaria or the distinct upheavals it has undergone.

The first Bulgarian state was formed in 681 AD. It was the first Slavic nation-state in history of the world. The Bulgars who had migrated into the northern Balkans in 7th century were responsible for formation of this state. The Bulgars that became one with the local Slavic population were governed by Khan Asparuh in that time.

In 9th and 10th century the Bulgarians had fought over Balkan states with Byzantines. But Bulgarians were badly defeated by the Rus? in 969 and completely came under the domination of a Byzantine in Basil in 1018.

But Bulgaria again came to prominence in 1185 when it was re-established. After that Bulgaria served as a significant power in the European South-East for it constantly fought against Byzantines to establish its position.

However the Ottoman Turks succeeded in capturing Bulgaria at the end of 14th century. The Polish-Hungarian forces made an endeavor to attain liberation in 1444, which turned out to be completely unsuccessful.

In 1877-78 there occurred the much known, Russo-Turkish War. As a result of the war the Treaty of San Diego Stefano was signed on 3rd march, 1878. This treaty proclaimed Bulgaria an autonomous principality.

However due to the threat of a large Slavic country on the Balkans might serve Russian interests, the Great Powers (politically and economically dominating nations) declined the treaty.

The failure of this treaty gave rise to the Treaty of Berlin in 1878. The treaty of Berlin offered an autonomous Bulgarian principality that was made up of Moesia and the region of Sofia. The maximum portion of Thrace was offered to Eastern Rumelia and the rest of it was returned to the Ottoman Turks.

The unification with Eastern Rumelia in 1885 fetched this principality the status of a fully sovereign kingdom in 1908. But the Bulgarians continued to struggle for their freedom in the Adrianople Vilayet and Macedonia. This struggle ended in 1903 with the Iiinden-Preobrazhenie Uprising organized by IMARO.

In 1912 and 1913 in order to acquire national unity Bulgaria actively participated in the Balkan Wars. At first it fought with the Ottomans and then against its previous Balkan allies.

During First World War Bulgaria was with the Central Powers. In this war Bulgaria lost many of its territories such as Western Outlands, Western Thrace, Southern Dobruja etc. to Serbia, Greece and Romania respectively. The Balkan wars and the First World War resulted in the influx of several thousand refugees from Macedonia, Eastern and Western Thrace etc. to Bulgaria.

However in 1940 Bulgaria managed to regain control over the Southern Dobruja. Bulgaria then allied with the Axis Powers to participate in the Second World War. But this time Bulgaria was not a directly participating in the war.


After the Second World War Bulgaria became a part of the soviet region. Bulgaria was declared a People?s Republic and Moscow?s ally in 1946. In 1970 the Bulgarian- Greece relations improved greatly. In 1989 the Communist rule ended in Bulgaria. The country conducted its multiparty polls.

On march 29, 2004 Bulgaria became a member nation of NATO. Bulgaria has also signed the Treaty of Accession according to which it will join European Union as soon as possible.

Bulgaria Provinces
Province HASC ISO NUTS FIPS Population Area(km.²) Area(mi.²) Reg
Blagoevgrad BG.BL 01 BG213 BU38 341,245 6,450 2,490 8
Burgas BG.BR 02 BG231 BU39 423,608 7,748 2,992 2
Dobrich BG.DO 08 BG132 BU40 215,232 4,720 1,822 3
Gabrovo BG.GB 07 BG124 BU41 144,150 2,023 781 4
Grad Sofiya BG.SG 22 BG211 BU42 1,173,988 1,349 521 1
Khaskovo BG.KK 26 BG223 BU43 277,483 5,533 2,136 9
Kurdzhali BG.KZ 09 BG226 BU44 164,019 3,209 1,239 9
Kyustendil BG.KY 10 BG215 BU45 162,622 3,052 1,178 8
Lovech BG.LV 11 BG122 BU46 169,951 4,129 1,594 4
Montana BG.MT 12 BG112 BU47 182,267 3,636 1,404 5
Pazardzhik BG.PZ 13 BG224 BU48 310,741 4,457 1,721 6
Pernik BG.PN 14 BG214 BU49 149,856 2,394 924 8
Pleven BG.PV 15 BG121 BU50 312,018 4,336 1,674 4
Plovdiv BG.PD 16 BG221 BU51 715,904 5,973 2,306 6
Razgrad BG.RG 17 BG135 BU52 152,417 2,640 1,019 7
Ruse BG.RS 18 BG125 BU53 266,213 2,803 1,082 7
Shumen BG.SH 27 BG133 BU54 204,395 3,390 1,309 3
Silistra BG.SI 19 BG136 BU55 142,003 2,846 1,099 7
Sliven BG.SL 20 BG232 BU56 218,474 3,544 1,368 2
Smolyan BG.SM 21 BG225 BU57 140,067 3,193 1,233 6
Sofiya BG.SF 23 BG212 BU58 273,252 7,062 2,727 8
Stara Zagora BG.SZ 24 BG222 BU59 370,665 5,151 1,989 9
Turgovishte BG.TU 25 BG134 BU60 137,689 2,559 988 7
Varna BG.VN 03 BG131 BU61 462,218 3,820 1,475 3
Veliko Turnovo BG.VT 04 BG123 BU62 293,294 4,662 1,800 4
Vidin BG.VD 05 BG111 BU63 130,094 3,033 1,171 5
Vratsa BG.VR 06 BG113 BU64 243,039 3,938 1,520 5
Yambol BG.YA 28 BG233 BU65 156,080 3,356 1,296 2
28 provinces 7,932,984 111,002 42,858  
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
  • ISO: Region codes from ISO 3166-2. For full identification in a global context, prefix "BG-" to the code (ex: BG-05 represents Vidin).
  • NUTS: Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics.
  • FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4, a U.S. government standard.
  • Population: 2001-03-01 census.
  • Reg: ISO code of former region containing this province (see Change history, 1993).
  • Capitals: have the same names as the provinces, except that Sofiya is the capital of Grad Sofiya.
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