Since the 1880s, the number of territorial management units in Bulgaria has varied from seven to 26. Between 1987 and 1999 the administrative structure consisted of nine provinces (oblasti, singular oblast).
A new administrative structure was adopted in parallel with the decentralisation of the economic system.
It includes 27 provinces and a metropolitan capital province (Sofia-Grad). All areas take their names from their respective capital cities. The provinces subdivide into 264 municipalities.
Municipalities are run by mayors, who are elected to four-year terms, and by directly elected municipal councils. Bulgaria is a highly centralised state, where the national Council of Ministers directly appoints regional governors and all provinces and municipalities are heavily dependent on it for funding.
Bulgaria’s main exports are light industrial products, foods and wines, which are successfully competing on European markets.
Located in the heart of the Balkans, Bulgaria offers a highly diverse landscape: the north is dominated by the vast lowlands of the Danube and the south by the highlands and elevated plains. In the east, the Black Sea coast attracts tourists all year round.
Founded in 681, Bulgaria is one of the oldest states in Europe. Its history is marked by its location near Europe’s frontier with Asia. Some 85% of the population are Orthodox Christians and 13% Muslims.
Around 10% of the population are of Turkish origin while 3% are Roma. Similarly, its traditional dishes are a mixture of east and west.
The Bulgarian National Assembly (a single chamber parliament) consists of 240 members who are elected for a four-year period.
Fans of folk music will be familiar with a number of Bulgarian musicians. A Bulgarian folk song was included on the Voyager Golden Record which was sent into outer space by NASA. Famous Bulgarians include philosopher Julia Kristeva, Elias Canetti, Nobel Prize winner for literature in 1981, and Christo Javachev (“Christo”), the creator of many unorthodox outdoor sculptures.
The most famous Bulgarian food must be yoghurt, with its reputed gift of longevity for those who consume it regularly.
This weather map is meant to give you an understanding of the difficult conditions under which many abandoned, homeless and neglected animals are forced to live in - many die of heat stroke, dehydration or freezing temperatures in Europe.