Bulgaria, the Europe Less Known

Sofia, Bulgaria

Lifestyle and culture in Bulgaria is the result of various influences over a thousand years ago. This area has been inhabited since the very beginnings of the creation of mankind, so it is not surprising that art and culture are very developed and beautiful. Bulgaria is located, like Serbia, at the intersection of roads between Europe, Asia, and Africa, culture has been produced under the influence of triple factors. Nevertheless, the influence of Antiquity is most present. The Slavs who settled Bulgaria and the so-called proto-Bulgarians, a nation that was then living in the area of today’s Bulgaria, were mostly influenced by ancient peoples under the influence of Trachan, Illyrians, and Greeks. All peoples who lived in the surroundings and in the territory of today’s state influenced the creation of a unique, beautiful and exotic culture that is treasured for the whole of humankind.

Traditions BulgariaTraditions and Cuisine

Traditions, festivals, rituals, and customs of Bulgaria have preserved through the centuries the dynamic history and culture of this region. Bulgarian principles of culture are rooted in the tradition of Antiquity and are very much linked to the history of the area, but also to the spirit of the Orthodox Church to which they belong.

For example, dancing in heated charcoal is a tradition that dates back to ancient times, and continues to be practiced, especially in the villages on the mountain of the Balkans. The ritual was authentically performed on the day of Saint Constantine and Jelena, on May 21st. Initially, the dancers were preparing for dance for hours, locked in chapels, praying over the icons of two saints, while the music drums from the outside already played. The melody that is playing is specific to dancing on fire. After that, the dancers fall into a trance and dance on the hot grill for the entire evening. During the dance, they hold the icons of Saint Constantine and Jelena in their hands. Unbelievable, but dancers never get hurt, not even get their feet burned.

A Rose flower is a symbol of Bulgaria. Roses picking is one of the oldest and traditional Bulgarian customs. It is very interesting for tourists to visit Bulgaria during the picking of the roses, which became a real tourist attraction.

Shopska salataBulgarian cuisine is one of the attractions that this country has to offer. It is very versatile and delicious. It consists of numerous salads, pastries and bread, soup and many other local dishes. Many dishes from Bulgarian cuisine are prepared using recipes that are transferred from generation to generation. The best products by which Bulgaria is famous all over the world are Bulgarian yogurt in white cheese – feta.

Domestic population living in rural areas, or in villages, cultivate their own vegetables, which is why the taste of salads in Bulgaria is different. Tasty homemade vegetables made salads a central place in the tradition of Bulgarian cuisine.

So what else Bulgaria has to offer, which places you must visit in Bulgaria?

Beach BulgariaSuper beaches

There are many beautiful beaches in Bulgaria, but among them is the Sun Beach, a sandy beach eight kilometers long. Along the beach, there are 160 hotels of all categories, and a special tourist attraction is the old fishing town of Nessebar located in the vicinity, which is under the protection of UNESCO.

God’s eyes

If you are not a guy who likes to linger on the beach, and you prefer and love an active holiday, Bulgaria is great for hiking, climbing canyons where there are plenty of waterfalls, and tourists are attracted by the cave of Passage, also called God’s eyes, because from the biggest depths of the cave you can see the sky. The cave is 262 meters long and it’s located 112 kilometers from the capital of Bulgaria, Sofia.

Nessebar, BulgariaNessebar

Nessebar is one of the oldest cities in Europe. It is an old city founded more than 3200 years ago. It is built on a rocky peninsula and is connected with a narrow natural earthen passage. The best period for visiting this city is between May and October, then it is most pleasant because then the weather is generally warm. There are still remains of city walls from the second century that should be visited and from which there is a perfect view of almost entire Bulgarian coastal line. The city of Nessebar was also declared as a cultural asset as well as a museum open for cultural and historical significance, so it was also placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Church of “Sv. Stefan” is located near the amphitheater. Today it is no longer a church, but an open-air museum. Decorated and painted in the 16th century. Near the church of “Sv. Stefan” is also the church of “Sv. Jovan” from the 14th century that was not completed.

You will overcome the fear of height – Kopitoto

When you climb Kopitoto mountain, for which the local population says it provides the best panoramic view, you will not be afraid of the height anymore. It is equally good to see  Plovdiv, which is called the city of seven hills, and there are also 7 lakes, with a view from the mountain Rila.

Sofia, BulgariaBulgaria’s capital – Sofia

From the coast of the Black Sea and its beautiful resorts, Sofia is 450 km away. Sofia is surrounded by mountains. Regardless of its location in the flat Sofia area, Sofia is among the highest cities in Europe. South and not far from Sofia, the Vitosha mountain extends up to 3,000 meters. Through the city, there are several smaller rivers. According to the last census, 1.5 million people live in Sofia, mostly of Bulgarian origin and Orthodox religion. The city’s motto is brief and clear – It’s growing, but not getting old. And it really is. Sofia is characterized by a tumultuous and long history, but regardless of all the failures and scars, this city is fast and energetic. The city is expanding and growing and Sofia became one of the greatest and most beautiful cities in Southern Europe.

Flag BulgariaUseful information

The phone number for Sofia is +359 2. The postal code is 1000.

In Bulgaria, there are three large mobile operators covering 2G, 3G and 4G networks throughout the country. The operators are Vivac, Mtel, and Telenor.

In Sofia itself, there are several places where the internet is accessible – a promenade along the Vitosha Boulevard, the Slaveikov Square, the metro, the garden within the Ivan Vazov Theater, in the parks Zaimov, St. Petersburg. Trinity, Bukata, in the premises of the Contemporary Gallery, etc. Although Bulgaria is a member of the EU, its official currency is LEV. So it is best that you exchange your money at the border.

Author:

Milan Slavkovic 

Milan is a lawyer by profession, but a traveller and writer by passion. He is from Serbia and has seen many places in Eastern Europe.

 

 

 

 

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