Cell phone system GSM and NMT 450i
Domestic power supply 220 V/50 Hz, Schuko (CEE 7/4) sockets
Republic of Bulgaria
]), is a country in Southern Europe. Bulgaria borders five other countries: Romania to the north (mostlyalong the Danube), Serbia and the Republic of Macedonia to the west, and Greece and Turkey to the south. TheBlack Sea defines the extent of the country to the east.With a territory of 110994 square kilometers (42855 sq mi), Bulgaria ranks as the 16th-largest country in Europe.Several mountainous areas define the landscape, most notably the Stara Planina (
) and Rodopi mountainranges, as well as the Rila range, which includes the highest peak in the Balkan region, Musala. In contrast, theDanubian plain in the north and the Upper Thracian Plain in the south represent Bulgaria's lowest and most fertileregions. The 378-kilometer (235 mi) Black Sea coastline covers the entire eastern bound of the country. Bulgaria'scapital city and largest settlement is Sofia, with a permanent population of 1,378,000 people.
The emergence of a unified Bulgarian ethnicity and state dates back to the 7th century AD. All Bulgarian politicalentities that subsequently emerged preserved the traditions (in ethnic name, language and alphabet) of the FirstBulgarian Empire (681
1018), which at times covered most of the Balkans and eventually became a cultural hub forthe Slavs in the Middle Ages.
With the decline of the Second Bulgarian Empire (1185
1396/1422), Bulgarianterritories came under Ottoman rule for nearly five centuries. The Russo-Turkish War of 1877
1878 led to theestablishment of a Third Bulgarian state as a principality in 1878, which gained its full sovereignty in 1908.
In1945, after World War II, it became a communist state and was a part of the Eastern Bloc until the political changesin Eastern Europe in 1989/1990, when the Communist Party allowed multi-party elections and Bulgaria undertook atransition to parliamentary democracy and free-market capitalism with mixed results.Bulgaria functions as a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic. A member of the EuropeanUnion, NATO, the United Nations and the World Trade Organization, it has a high Human Development Index of 0.840, ranking 61st in the world in 2009.
Prehistory and antiquity
Prehistoric cultures in the Bulgarian lands include the Neolithic Hamangia culture and Vinča culture (6th to 3rdmillennia BC), the eneolithic Varna culture (5th millennium BC; see also Varna Necropolis), and the Bronze AgeEzero culture. The Karanovo chronology serves as a gauge for the prehistory of the wider Balkans region.
A golden rhyton, one of the items in the ThracianPanagyurishte treasure, dating from the 4th to 3rdcenturies BC
The Thracians, one of the three primary ancestral groups of modernBulgarians, lived separated in various tribes until King Teres unitedmost of them around 500 BC in the Odrysian kingdom. They wereeventually subjugated by Alexander the Great and consecutively by theRoman Empire. After migrating from their original homeland, theeasternmost South Slavs settled on the territory of modern Bulgariaduring the 6th century and assimilated the Hellenized or RomanizedThracians. Eventually the Bulgar élite incorporated all of them into theFirst Bulgarian Empire.
By the 9th century, Bulgars and Slavs weremutually assimilated.