Fun Facts of Bulgaria

Helping Jewish people in WWII

During World War II many countries put their Jewish inhabitants on the train to their death. However, some countries resisted.

Bulgaria protected their Jewish inhabitants from being sent to the Nazi concentration camps. Bravo Bulgaria.

The Bulgarian people flooded the streets in outrage when their neighbors were about to be shipped to concentration camps. In 2001 a documentary “The Optimists” was filmed regarding this story.

1. Shake when you mean yes, nod when you mean no

A bit confusing but Bulgarians shake their head when they mean to say ‘yes’ and nod when they want to say ‘no’. 

2. A wooden cross with 140 microscopic scenes from the bible

In the Rila Monastery you’ll find a wooden cross with 140 microscopic scenes from the Bible. The biggest of the 1,500 figures is smaller than a grain of rice. It’s truly incredible to see. The monastery is a UNESCO heritage site and is the largest and most famous Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria.

3. One of the most biodiverse countries of Europe

Bulgaria ranks as the third most biodiverse Eastern European country. It has over 3,500 vascular plant species and almost 415 bird species. However, according to the European Commission Bulgaria isn’t protecting it’s biodiversity enough, thus decided to take the country to court in 2021. Preserving natural sites and restoring damaged ecosystems have been prioritized by the commission as part of its European Green Deal and its 10-year biodiversity strategy.

4. Bulgarian wine

In the 1980s, Bulgaria was the second-largest wine producer in the world. It declined after the fall of the Soviet Union. The production of wine is growing again. Wine is, together with beer and grape rakia, among the most popular alcoholic beverages in the country.

Within the country, about 75% of the vineyards in Bulgaria are found in the Thracian Valley PGI. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot make up 31% of the vineyard area.

5. The oldest processed gold is from Bulgaria

The Varna in Bulgaria invented gold working and were some of the first gold melters. They produced the jewelry, coins and weapons of the Varna Necropolis, which was found among 290 graves. This is the oldest processed gold and the oldest golden treasure in the world and is believed to be about 7,000 years old.

6. The only European country that kept it’s original name

Bulgaria is the only country in Europe that hasn’t changed it’s name since the year it was established. Bulgaria was founded in the 7th century and is one of the oldest countries in Europea and pre-dates the Roman Empire. 

7. No army in the world has ever captured a Bulgarian flag in battle

Even though Bulgaria actively participated in European wars since the 19th century it never lost a single flag in battle. In 716 AD the Bulgarian cavalry overpowered the Arabs with a victory that put an end to the Muslim Arab’s penetration into Europea and therewith ‘saved’ Europe from islamization. 

The Bulgarians were also the first to use a plane in combat dropping bombs. With that the Bulgarian Air Forces formed the basis of modern combat aviation. 

MY posts

Bulgaria is a big country and we have seen too little of it. But what we’ve seen was impressive and made us want to explore more and more. It’s incredibly green, the people very nice and the food delicious. 

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