Country - Bulgaria
Bulgaria Country Information
Bulgaria is one of the few countries which have changed their communist rule into democracy. The transition took place after being a communist republic nation for 43 years since 1946. It has been thriving as a market-based economy since the total changeover in 1990.
Bulgaria is a southeastern European nation which has Romania to its north and Greece to the south. Its western border is shared by Serbia and Macedonia. The eastern border is a long coastline admeasuring 354 kilometres by the side of the Black Sea. Sofia is the largest and the capital city of Bulgaria. The major language spoken in the country is Bulgarian written in Cyrillic script.
As one of the important Balkan states, Bulgaria has its own share of potential to attract foreign visitors.
The inhabitants of the capital city Sofia, when asked about the important sightseeing places, jump at you urging to go to the St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral which has gained prominence not by mere its historical and cultural past, but even by virtue of its imposing behemoth size. The internal architecture stands as a silent testimony to the various events in the annals of history dating back from the late 1800s and the visitors would be required to spend time a lot more than expected in the largest cathedral in the entire Balkan region.
Though in smaller in size, the more ancient Serdica captivates the attention of tourists with red-bricked cylindrical monument covered by a conical canopy. St George Rotunda has its own special reasons to ignite the curiosity of history buffs with its surprisingly less-damaged constructions as well as the medieval frescos painted on the internal concave surface of cupola and the mural sketches.
If the ancient monuments begin to pull you into palaver, you can head for Vitosha Boulevard which in sharp contrast is a place for pedestrian-friendly modern walking areas and the restaurants with the latest varieties of cuisine. The beautiful sight of Vitosha mountain forces normal travellers and mountaineers to cast a cursory glance at it involuntarily.
The National Historical Museum appears to new visitors as a personal modern official bungalow lonely situated in the midst of a very wide garden. This is in contradiction to what is in store for the visitors who would be introduced with the Bulgarian ancient cultural and historical heritage. The well maintained sprawling flat ground/open space and the surroundings make the visitors hasten their pace to enter into the museum.
But the more fascinating monument built with a flair for modernity and neoclassical culture is Ivan Vazov National Theatre touching the hearts of aesthetic wanderers. The artistic patterns on the tiles in the front yard of the building pull pleasantly the visitors into the portico of the edifice. While the frontal façade itself of the building makes the sightseers suddenly stop at a distance for some time to savour the external architecture with fondness, the visitors are sure to get lost in the entertainment stage-shows, pantomimes/performances of Shakespeare and Don Quixote in Bulgarian and Russian versions. It is no wonder that Bulgaria proudly prints the image of the monument as a national iconic symbol on its currency notes.
Sofia also boasts of being the site for the biggest synagogue in the entire Balkan region and the third biggest in Europe. This was built in 1909 keeping in view the substantial size of Sephardic Jewish population at the beginning of the century.
The second largest city Plodiv too, after Sofia, has sufficient reasons to make it a compulsory name in the itinerary of tourists. The grand open-air stadium with super clean marble giant circular rows for seats is worth seeing even when it is empty. The tunnel-entrance into the open arena for participants have been built with perfect workmanship. The ground is laid with red small-sized cobblestones that tempt the audience to take part in the public show on the arena. This second century Roman Plodiv stadium has been excavated in the 20th century and it has been spruced up to meet the needs of the current day generation.
The small town Varna is no inferior to its bigger counterparts Sofia and Plodiv when it comes to amuse the enthusiastic tourists. Varna has a lot to amuse by way of innumerable prehistoric Roman bathhouses and plenty of Orthodox architecture.
Apart from its tourists’ interest, Bulgaria has reached levels of higher middle income economy. The country has been active participant in space exploration and development of various branches of science. It had sent into space two satellites, more than 200 payloads and two cosmonauts and conducted 300 experiments in the earth orbit during the last 37 years. Bulgaria has gained fame for having grown wheat and vegetables in space with its Svet greenhouses in the Russian Mir Space Station.
Bulgaria, however, is not free from other problems like most of the developing nations in the rest of the world. The present demographic crisis is due to consistent declining trend in total population since1987. This is partly attributable to massive emigration and low birth-to-death ratio. Improvement in the sector of health care like modernization of hospitals with the state-of-the-art equipment at affordable rates to the large section of populace is the need of the hour and would solve the problem to a great extent. Moreover, if the nation is to regain its past glory in education the country needs to improve the quality of infrastructure of educational institutions and the standard of erudite disciplines which might help stoppage of brain drain.