Sofia, Bulgaria

Bulgaria is a country with a 1300+ years history. During the 7th century, the crown prince Asparouh led part of the Bulgars, who had settled in the area known as the Ukraine today, south and settled in the Danube Valley where they founded the First Bulgarian Kingdom. From the late 7th century until the late 14th century, Bulgaria went through the First and Second Bulgarian Empires and generally controlled most of the Balkan Peninsula and part of Romania. It was during this time of development that the Cyrillic alphabet was created and widely adopted by King Boris Ist as a vehicle to better promote the new Christian Religion. In the late 14th century, however, Bulgaria fell under Ottoman control until the Russians defeated the Turks in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78. From there, Bulgaria got involved in the Balkan Wars and later the World Wars. With the severely weakened economy, Bulgaria joined the Communist bloc. While there was less variety on the markets, the communist leadership did wonders providing free education for all. Finally, the Communist bloc fell in 1989 and again threw the Bulgarian economy into disarray. Through all of those changes, Bulgarians showed great resilience. They were able to hold on to their unique culture and traditions and start rebuilding one brick at a time.

Special thanks to Free Sofia Tours for their wonderful tour guides!

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