Bulgaria is a country in Eastern Europe. It is named after the first people that settled it, the Bulgars. They settled in the area around 200 AD. Bulgaria was first united in the 600s AD. It became a kingdom in 893 AD. Bulgaria has always been a small country, and since its beginning, it has been threatened by much stronger and larger neighbors. The first invaders came from the Byzantine Empire in 1018. The Ottoman Empire ruled for the longest period: 500 years. After World War II, the area was controlled by the Soviet Union. The Bulgarians reclaimed their independence in 1989.
- Bulgaria has a population of 7,741,000.
- The capital is Sofia.
- The official language is Bulgarian, but Turkish and Roma are also popular.
- The currency is the Lev.
- The area is 42,855 square miles, slightly larger than Tennessee.
- The main river is the Danube.
- 83 percent of the population is Orthodox Christian.
- 12 percent of the population is Muslim.
- Bulgaria joined the European Union in 2007.
- Bulgaria is one of the least-densely populated countries in Europe.
- Bulgaria borders the Black Sea.
- The country is famous for producing yogurt and rose oil.
- It takes 1,000 roses to make 1 gram of rose oil.
- Rose oil is often used in perfume.
- The highest point in Bulgaria is 2,925 meters above sea level at Musala.
- The Danube is the main river.
- One-third of Bulgaria is forest.
- Sofia is the second oldest city in Europe; it was founded 7,000 years ago.
The European Union, or the EU, is a group of European countries that have all agreed to share similar rules. People can move freely between the countries without special passports or permission. Goods can also be transported between the countries without extra taxes. Sharing these special rules allows the countries to improve their economies together. They can trade easily, and citizens can easily move to different countries for jobs or family.