10 Fun Facts for the Bulgaria Curious

  1. Bulgaria has been known since antiquity for its soothing and healing mineral baths. There are hundreds, some say over 1000, mineral springs and spas galore.
  2. Bulgarians are literally world-class pessimists, even when living the good life drinking expressos for hours in cafés and visiting their country cottages on the weekends and holidays.
  3. The world-class ski slopes of Bansko, Bulgaria host the Ski World Cup Races. Lindsey Vonn won in 2009 and 2012 in Bansko.
  4. The Bulgarian Orthodox Church leadership helped save the Bulgarian Jewish population from being sent to the concentration camps.
  5. Bulgarian wine is famous. Sir Winston Churchill reportedly ordered 500 liters of Bulgaria’s Melnik wine every year. Import your own or ask your local store.
  6. Балкан (Balkan) refers to the central mountain range running west to east so it’s no surprise that Bulgaria has great rock climbing opportunities throughout the country.
  7. Guerilla artists have been using the enormous Sofia monument to the Soviet army as a protest vehicle. Among other statements, they’ve memorialized the 1968 Prague Spring, the current state of affairs in Ukraine, and generally thumbed their collective creative noses at Russia.
  8. Ancient Thrace, where Orpheus sang, is today’s southeastern Bulgaria. Archeologists continue to uncover their tombs and treasures.
  9. Bulgaria maintains a tradition of mummery in towns and villages nationwide. Кукери (kukeri) wear elaborate costumes and re-enact ancient rituals to scare away evil spirits.
  10. The Bulgarians created the Cyrillic alphabet. So important do Bulgarians consider their alphabet that they celebrate its creation as part of Day of the Alphabet, Culture and Education each May 24.

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