Bulgaria

Area: 110,993.6 sq km

Population: 7,973, 673 (2001)

Neighbouring countries: Romania to the North, Greece and Turkey to the South, Serbia and Montenegro and the ex-Yugoslavian Federation Republic of Macedonia to the West, the Black Sea to the East .

Capital city: Sofia (population: 1,122,302)

The capital city Sofia is situated in the Western part of the country, at the foot of the Vitosha mountain, the plain is 550 m above sea level.

Official language: Bulgarian

Alphabet: Cyrillic

Religion: There is freedom of religious confessions. Traditional religion in the Republic of Bulgaria is Eastern Orthodox Christianity (85 %). There are Muslims (13%), Catholics (1%), etc.

National holiday: March 3, the day of the Liberation of Bulgaria from Ottoman domination (1878)

Currency: the Bulgarian Lev (BGN)

Exchange Rate: 1 BGN = 0.51129 EUR. The BGN is pegged to the Euro at the rate of BGN 1 per EUR 0.51129.

www.bnb.bg

Time: GMT+2

Administrative division: 28 regions, named after their respective regional centres.

State system: a parliamentary republic with a one-chamber parliament (National Assembly), consisting of 240 national representatives, elected for a four-year term of service. The head of state of the republic is the President, elected for a five-year term of service. The Council of Ministers is the main body of executive power.

Relief: Average height above sea level 470 m. Some 31.5% of the countrys territory is plain (up to 200 m above sea level), 41% are lowlands and hilly regions (from 200 to 600 m above sea level), and 27.5% are mountains (from 600 to more than 1,600 m above sea level).

Climate: Bulgaria is at the border line between the temperate and Mediterranean climatic areas. The climate is temperate continental in its northern part, while the Mediterranean climatic influence is strongly felt in its southern part.

In winter the average temperature is about -1 , – 2 C.
In summer the average temperature is about 20 – 22 C.

http://weather.bg/indexen.php

Waters: rivers (main rivers are Danube, Maritsa, Mesta, Strouma, Iskar, Yantra); warm and cold mineral springs (more than 600); lakescoastal (some with curative mineral mud) and of glacial origin (in the Rila and Pirin mountains).

Plant and animal world: extremely diverse. An Act on the Protected Territories “Natura 2000” is operating in Bulgaria, aiming at the preservation of the countrys flora and fauna. It has specified the following categories in the country: a national and nature park, a reserve and a tended reserve, a natural sight, a protected locality.

Economy: Bulgaria has been an associated member of the European Union (EU) since 1992. In 1997 an agreement was signed with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank for economic stabilization and for the carrying through of economic reforms in the country. A currency board was introduced. The BGN is pegged to the Euro. Bulgaria is a NATO Member State since 2004 and a EU Member since January 1, 2007.

Transport: railway, automobile, air and water.

International automobile sign: BG

International telephone code: +359