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Fact File on Bulgaria

Around 84 % of the Bulgarian population is Bulgarian and speak the Slavic language, which is similar to Russian and Serbian/ Croatian. The main religion practised is the Orthodox Christian religion.

13 % of the population is made up of Muslims comprising of ethnic Turks and Pomaks (Bulgarians from the sixteenth century onwards converted to Islam).

Bulgaria has about 350 000 Gypsies and Roma who signify the poorest sector of the population.

Most of Bulgaria’s industry collapsed with the fall of Communism after 1989. Now it is known for tourism, energy, mining, machine building and agriculture along with natural products, tobacco, fruit, vegetables, wine and yogurt.

Bulgaria’s Black Sea Coast began its development in the 1960’s and has grown rapidly over the past few years. In recent years advertisement campaigns have came about to promote tourism in diverse sectors such as rural and hiking.

A long Ottoman rule left Bulgaria with impressive Islamic architecture in areas where Muslims settled, and they are still used daily.

Throughout the Ottoman rule, Bulgarian traditions were kept alive by its Monasteries which had been learning centres from the middle Ages. Hidden in the Mountain valleys they were used for defensive reasons, tranquillity, spiritual and political uses. Today, they are visited by pilgrims from all over the world and provide a peace and tranquil atmosphere. Bachkovo, Rila and Troyan are the three most visited and attract crowds on major saints’ days.