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a traditional Bulgarian house, Discover Bulgaria

Discover Bulgaria, a Balkan country nestled amidst beautiful mountains, clean coastlines, and ancient history, a captivating blend of old and new, nature and modern cities. Delving into Bulgarian culture is like exploring a vibrant tapestry woven with threads of Slavic, Ottoman, Roman and Byzantine influences.

Let’s embark on a journey to discover Bulgaria, where the key to unlocking its soul lies in the unique melody of the Bulgarian language and its diverse cultural heritage.

Bulgaria: A Land Steeped in History

Bulgaria’s story stretches back millennia. Did you know, that Bulgaria is one of Europe’s oldest countries, founded in the seventh century. Even before that, the Thracians, a powerful civilization in these sites, left their mark on the landscape with impressive tombs and intricate gold treasures. Interesting fact is that the oldest worked gold in the world was found near Varna on the Black Sea coast. It is dated from 5th millennium BC. Though the Thracians left behind no written records, their impressive tombs offer a glimpse into their impressive civilization. Must-see sites for history buffs include the Sveshtari Tomb, the Kazanlak Tomb, the Starsel Kings Complex, and the Golyamata Kosmatka Mound.

The Roman Empire’s influence is evident all over the country and you can find lots of Roman sites anywhere in Bulgaria, most notably in Plovdiv, Kyustendil, Varna, Stara Zagora, Cabyle, even the capital Sofia (ancient name Serdika). Later on, The First Bulgarian Empire in the 7th century ushered in a golden age of art and literature. The Cyrillic alphabet, created by Saints Cyril and Methodius in the 9th century, laid the foundation for Slavic literacy and cultural identity. Ottoman rule, spanning five centuries, left an indelible mark on architecture, music, and cuisine. Most recently, Bulgaria emerged from communist rule in 1989 and thrives today as a democracy, where the echoes of its remarkable past resonate in the warmth of its people, the vibrancy of its traditions, and the forward-thinking spirit of its nation.

Bulgaria: A Fusion of Cultures Reflected in Art and Architecture

Travel through Bulgaria, and you’ll find yourself transported through time. The UNESCO-listed Boyana Church in the outskirts of Sofia, adorned with stunning frescoes, embodies the exquisite Byzantine style from the 10th-12th century. The Rila Monastery, Bulgaria’s largest and most famous Eastern Orthodox monastery, build in the 10th century, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular pilgrimage destination.

In contrast, the majestic mosques and Ottoman baths in cities like Plovdiv showcase Islamic influences. The small towns and villages of Bulgaria are the places that have best preserved the Bulgarian spirit and culture. Churches, schools, houses made of natural materials, such as stone, wood, and clay, steep roofs, thick walls, and wooden balconies are among the traditional Bulgarian architecture. These houses were built to withstand the harsh Bulgarian climate, and many of them are still standing today, providing a glimpse into the country’s rich architectural heritage.

Discover Bulgaria: The Rila Monastery

Bulgaria: A Culinary Adventure Awaits

Bulgaria’s cuisine is a delightful mix of flavors, drawing inspiration from its diverse history. Sample a steaming bowl of banitsa, a flaky pastry filled with cheese or vegetables, a legacy of Ottoman influence. Savor an invigorating bowl of tarator, a cold yogurt soup with cucumbers and dill, a refreshingly light summer dish. Don’t miss the chance to try succulent kebapcheta or gyuvetch, a testament to the Balkan culinary heritage.

Discover Bulgaria through its food

Bulgaria: Enchanting Folklore and Music

Bulgarian folklore is a vibrant tapestry of myths, legends, and traditions passed down through generations. Tales of shape-shifting heroes, mischievous spirits, and mythical creatures like the firebird, Zhar-Ptitsa, fire the imagination.

You should also definitely immerse yourself in the rhythmic beauty of Bulgarian folk music, characterized by its complex polyphony and energetic beats. Don’t miss out the chance to dance the Bulgarian horo. The haunting sounds of the gaida (a type of bagpipe) and the enchanting melodies of the kaval (a shepherd’s flute) will transport you to a bygone era.

The Bulgarian language

The Bulgarian language belongs to the Slavic language family and uses the Cyrillic alphabet.

Even a few greetings and basic phrases in Bulgarian will demonstrate your effort to connect with the local culture and will be met with warmth and appreciation.

Hi/Hello Здравей / Здравейте (Pl.) Zdravei / Zdraveite
Excuse me. Извинете Izvinete
Thank you! Благодаря Blagodarya!
Good bye! Чао / Довиждане Chao / Dovizhdane
How are you? Как си? / Как Сте (Pl.)? Kak si? / Kak Ste (pl.)?
Yes Да Da
No Не Ne
You are welcome Моля Molia

So, are you ready to embark on an adventure unlike any other? Take the first step towards uncovering the magic of Bulgaria. Learn Bulgarian and discover a land brimming with history, culture, and unforgettable experiences.

At Berlitz, you can find different options to study the language so that you start speaking Bulgarian with confidence. Our language course will immerse you in the Bulgarian language and culture.

Learn more on our dedicated page: Bulgarian for foreigners.

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