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The earliest human remains found in Bulgaria were excavated in the Kozarnika cave, with an approximate age of 1.6 million BC. This cave probably keeps the earliest evidence of human symbolic behaviour ever found.
The earliest dwellings in Bulgaria – the Stara Zagora Neolithic dwellings – date from 6.000 BC and are amongst the oldest man-made structures yet discovered. By the end of the neolithic, the Hamangia and Vinča culture developed on what is today Bulgaria, southern Romania and eastern Serbia.
The Copper Age Varna culture (5.000 BC) represents the first civilization with a sophisticated social hierarchy in Europe. The centrepiece of this culture is the Varna Necropolis, discovered in the early 1970s. It serves as a tool in understanding how the earliest European societies functioned, principally through well-preserved ritual burials, pottery, and golden jewellery.

The first people to leave lasting traces and cultural heritage throughout the Balkan region were the Thracians, who appeared on the Balkan Peninsula some time before the 12th century BC. The Thracians were generally disorganized, but had an advanced culture despite the lack of their own proper script, and gathered powerful military forces when their divided tribes formed unions under the pressure of external threats. They never achieved any form of unity beyond short, dynastic rules at the height of the Greek classical period. The first Greek colonies in Thrace were founded in the 8th century BC.
Thracian tribes remained divided and most of them fell under nominal Persian rule from the late 6th century till the first half of the 5th century, until King Teres I united most of them in the Odrysian Kingdom around 470 BC, probably after the Persian defeat in Greece, which later peaked under the leadership of King Sitalces (431–424 BC) and of Cotys I (383–359 BC).
The death of Cotys, marked the beginning of the kingdom's downfall and it was vassalised by Philip II of Macedon in 341 BC, attacked by Celts in the 3rd century, and finally became a province of the Roman Empire in AD 45.

The region came under Byzantine control after the fall of Rome in 476. The Byzantines were engaged in prolonged warfare against Persia and could not defend their Balkan territories from barbarian incursions. This enabled the Slavs, in the early 6th century, to enter the Balkan Peninsula as marauders, primarily through an area between the Danube River and the Balkan Mountains known as Moesia. Not long after the Slavic incursion, Moesia was once again invaded, this time by the Bulgars under Khan Asparukh. Their horde was a remnant of Old Great Bulgaria, an extinct tribal confederacy situated north of the Black Sea in what is now Ukraine and southern Russia.
Asparukh attacked Byzantine territories in Moesia and conquered the Slavic tribes there in 680. A peace treaty with the Byzantine Empire was signed in 681, marking the foundation of the First Bulgarian Empire (681–1018).

Succeeding rulers strengthened the Bulgarian state throughout the 8th and 9th centuries and in 864 Boris I abolished paganism in favour of Eastern Orthodox Christianity. The conversion was followed by a Byzantine recognition of the Bulgarian church and the adoption of the Cyrillic alphabet. The common language, religion and script strengthened central authority and gradually fused the Slavs and Bulgars into a unified people speaking a single Slavic language.
A golden age began during the 34-year rule of Simeon the Great (893-927), who oversaw the largest territorial expansion of the state. After Simeon's death, Bulgaria was weakened by wars with Magyars and Pechenegs and in 986, the Byzantine emperor Basil II undertook a campaign to conquer Bulgaria. After a war lasting several decades he inflicted a decisive defeat upon the Bulgarians in 1014 at the Battle of Kleidion and completed the campaign four years later.

Byzantine domestic policies changed after Basil's death and a series of unsuccessful rebellions broke out, the largest being led by Peter Delyan (1040). The empire's authority declined after a catastrophic military defeat at Manzikert (1071) against Seljuk invaders, and was further disturbed by the Crusades.
In 1185, two aristocrat brothers from Tarnovo, Peter and Asen led a revolt against Byzantine rule and Peter declared himself Tsar Peter II. The following year, the Byzantines were forced to recognize Bulgaria's independence.
The Second Bulgarian Empire (1185-1396) reached the peak of its power under Tsars Kaloyan (1196–1207) and Ivan Asen II (1218–1241) before gradually being conquered by the Ottomans in the late 14th century.
The history of Ottoman Bulgaria spans nearly 500 years (1396–1878). From the 14th century till the 19th century Sofia was an important administrative center in the Ottoman Empire. It became the capital of Rumelia (Rumelia Eyalet), the province that administered the Ottoman lands in Europe (the Balkans).

After the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878, the 1878 Treaty of Berlin set up an autonomous state, the Principality of Bulgaria, within the Ottoman Empire. Although remaining under Ottoman sovereignty, it functioned independently, taking Alexander of Battenberg as its first prince in 1879. In 1885 Alexander took control of the still-Ottoman Eastern Rumelia, officially under a personal union. Following Prince Alexander's abdication (1886), a Bulgarian Assembly elected Ferdinand I as prince in 1887. Full independence from Ottoman control was declared in 1908.
In the 1912–1913 Balkan Wars, Bulgaria initially formed an alliance with Greece, Serbia and Montenegro against the Ottoman Empire, and together they liberated a great deal of Ottoman territory. Bulgaria, however, unhappy with the resulting division of territory, soon went to war against its former allies Serbia and Greece and lost territory it had gained in the first war.
The First World War saw Bulgaria fighting (1915–1918) alongside Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire. Defeat led to the Treaty of Neuilly-sur-Seine (27 November 1919), in accordance with which Bulgaria lost further territory. Social problems and political instability persisted throughout the Interwar period.
In the Second World War, Bulgaria again allied with Germany (March 1941). Although Sofia attempted to pull out of the war as the Soviet Union advanced towards its territory (1944), the Red Army invaded (September 1944), and a communist government came (1944–1946) to power and established the People's Republic of Bulgaria (1946–1990).
The Communist Party was forced to give up its political monopoly on 10 November 1989 under the influence of the Revolutions of 1989, and Bulgaria embarked on a transition to a parliamentary democracy. The first free elections in June 1990 were won by the Communist Party, now rebranded as the Bulgarian Socialist Party.
A new constitution that provided for a relatively weak elected president and for a prime minister accountable to the legislature was adopted in July 1991. The new system initially failed to improve living standards or create economic growth—the average quality of life and economic performance remained lower than under communism well into the early 2000s.
After 2001, economic, political and geopolitical conditions improved greatly, and Bulgaria achieved high Human Development status in 2003.
It became a member of NATO in 2004 and participated in the War in Afghanistan.
After several years of reforms, it joined the European Union and the single market in 2007, despite EU concerns over government corruption. Bulgaria hosted the 2018 Presidency of the Council of the European Union at the National Palace of Culture in Sofia.

I did visit Bulgaria several times

The pictures of these trips, are not yet available; i have to digatalize them first.

Please let me know when you're having questions.
i would be pleased to help you.

Things to do and other tips

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This illustrate's my memories of Bulgaria:

See my "Things to do" pages for more pictures.

When i'am visiting a country i like to be prepared;
So i know something about the Country and i can plan the things to visit.
That's why i 'm reading books;looking at travel maps etc.
See my "Things to read" pages for Books/Maps about