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Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia
The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia is one of the biggest Orthodox cathedrals in Europe. Varna
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4 Narodno Sabranie Square - Sofia, Bulgaria

Radisson Sas Grand Hotel Is Located In The Centre Of Sofia, Opposite The Parliament Building And The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, 500 Metres From The Shopping Centre. The 136 Guestrooms Feature A Modern Décor With Oak Furnishings And Warm Fabrics, While Marble Bathrooms Are Complete With Separate Showers And Bathtubs,


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 The Republic of Bulgaria (Bulgarian: Република България), or Bulgaria, is a country in the southeast of Europe. It borders the Black Sea to the east, Greece and Turkey to the south, Serbia and Montenegro and the Republic of Macedonia to the west, and Romania to the north along the river Danube.

Bulgaria is named after the Bulgars. Their tribal name, Bulgar may come from burg, which means "castle" in Germanic languages. A. D. Keramopoulos derives the name "Bulgars" from burgarii or bourgarioi meaning "those who maintain the forts" (burgi, bourgoi, purgoi) along the northern boundaries of the Balkan provinces, and elsewhere in the Roman Empire, first mentioned in Greek on an inscription dated A.D. 202, found between Philippopolis and Tatar Pazardzhik (and last published in Wilhelm Dittenberger's Sylloge inscriptionum graecarum, 3 ed., vol. II [1917], no. 880,1. 51, p. 593). The Bulgarians, previously known as Moesians, inhabited Thrace.

An alternative Turkic etymology for the name of the pre-Slavicised Central-Asian Bulgars derives from Bulgha meaning sable and has a totemistic origin.

Main article: History of Bulgaria

In the late 7th century a branch of the Bulgars led by Khan Asparuh migrated into the northern Balkans, where they merged with the local Slavic populaton and possibly remnants of the Thracian population to form the first Bulgarian state in 681 AD. This was the first Slavic nation-state in history. The Bulgarian empire was a significant European power in the 9th and the 10th century, while fighting with the Byzantine Empire for the control of the Balkans. The Bulgarian state was crushed by an assault by the Rus in 969 and completely subdued by a determined Byzantine assault under Basil II in 1018.

It was re-established in 1185 and continued to be an important power in the European south-east for two more centuries by fighting to assert its place in the region with the Byzantine Empire, crushing the Crusader states in Greece, as well as Hungary. By the end of the 14th century the country was overrun by the Ottoman Empire. A liberation attempt by the Polish-Hungarian forces under the rule of Wladislaus III of Poland was clashed in 1444 in the battle of Varna.

An autonomous Bulgarian principality comprising Moesia and the region of Sofia was established in 1878 following the Russo-Turkish War, 1877-78. After uniting with Eastern Rumelia in 1885, the principality was proclaimed a fully independent kingdom in 1908.

During 1912 and 1913 it became involved in the Balkan Wars, a series of conflicts with its neighbours, during which Bulgarian territory varied in size. During World War I and later World War II, Bulgaria found itself fighting on the losing side. Despite that fact, Bulgaria saved the lives of its own 50,000 Jews from the Nazi death camps by refusing to comply with a 31 August 1943 resolution, which demanded their deportation to Auschwitz.

Bulgaria fell within the Soviet sphere of influence after World War II and became a People's Republic in 1946. Communist domination ended in 1989, when Bulgaria again held multiparty elections.

Bulgaria joined NATO on 29 March 2004 and is set to join the European Union on 1 January 2007 after signing the Treaty of Accession on 25 April 2005.


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. Bulgaria regained its independence in 1878, but having fought on the losing side in both World Wars, it 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. Today, reforms and democratization keep Bulgaria on a path toward eventual integration into NATO and the EU - with which it began accession negotiations in 2000.

Southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Romania and Turkey
Geographic coordinates:

43 00 N, 25 00 E
Map references:


total: 110,910 sq km
water: 360 sq km
land: 110,550 sq km
Area - comparative:

slightly larger than Tennessee

noun: Bulgarian(s)
adjective: Bulgarian
Ethnic groups:

Bulgarian 83.6%, Turk 9.5%, Roma 4.6%, other 2.3% (including Macedonian, Armenian, Tatar, Circassian) (1998)

Bulgarian Orthodox 83.8%, Muslim 12.1%, Roman Catholic 1.7%, Jewish 0.1%, Protestant, Gregorian-Armenian, and other 2.3% (1998)

Bulgarian, secondary languages closely correspond to ethnic breakdown

lev (BGL)
Currency code:

Exchange rates:

leva per US dollar - 2.2147 (January 2002), 2.1847 (2001), 2.1233 (2000), 1.8364 (1999), 1,760.36 (1998), 1,681.88 (1997)
note: on 5 July 1999, the lev was redenominated; the post-5 July 1999 lev is equal to 1,000 of the pre-5 July 1999 lev

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