Bulgaria not only a beautiful country, but it’s also one of the most historical places in the world. Located in the Balkan Peninsula, its history is so rich that it can be traced back to 6000 years BC. This is when the earliest dwellings were discovered on the territory of Bulgaria. Currently, the country has 10 sites listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Another 16 are on the tentative list. Considering that Bulgaria is a small country, the amount of history that can be found here is incredible! Even if Bulgaria might not yet be on your list of places to visit, the following facts might change your mind!

5. Bulgaria Is The Oldest Country in Europe and one of the Most Historical Places in The World

Bulgaria was founded in 681 AD by Khan Asparuh and has not changed its original name since. No other European country has preserved its name for so long. There is another interesting fact, which you probably have not heard of. The town called “Solnitsata”, located on the territory of Bulgaria is the first prehistoric city center on the whole continent!

5 Reasons Why Bulgaria Is One of The Most Historical Places in The World

This means that it is Europe’s earliest known town to have existed. Therefore, it is no surprise why Bulgaria is home to so many ruins and ancient sites. They all serve as the mark that the Thracian, Roman, and Byzantine tribes that inhabited the land left behind.

4. Oldest Gold in The World Was Found in Bulgaria

The Thracians are the first tribe to have left a cultural heritage on the territory of Bulgaria and around the whole Balkan region. The archeologists found that the Thracians are an extremely cultured tribe. This differs them significantly from most tribes at the time. Thracians are also famous for their skills in gold craftwork.

As a result, archeologists discovered gold on the territory of Bulgaria back in the 1970s. After inspection, it was concluded to be the world’s oldest processed gold! The gold treasure can be found in the Varna Necropolis. The gold itself dates back to around 4600 years BC.

5 Reasons Why Bulgaria Is One of The Most Historical Places in The World

If this is something that interests you, you can also visit the Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari. It is a well-preserved tomb with a very unique architectural design. The walls of the main chamber are decorated by 10 half-female, half-plant caryatids.

Archeologists have so far discovered over 15000 Thracian tombs around the country and more are yet to be found. But enough for the Thracians, let’s move on to some further historical facts that make Bulgaria one of the most historical places in the world!

3. Plovdiv Antique Theater Is Among The Best Preserved and Most Historical Places in The World

Plovdiv is the second-largest city in Bulgaria and is regarded as the cultural center of the country. The city also became the European Capital of Culture for 2019. Situated near the Rhodope Mountains, Plovdiv is regarded as the hottest city in Bulgaria during the summer months.

“We live at crossroads where East meets West, where civilisation meets mysticism”

– Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union

And indeed, Plovdiv is a city where you can find a mosque situated next to a church! This view is definitely not something you can see often. Moreover, the Antique Theater, located in the beautiful Old Town of Plovdiv is one of the most preserved antique theaters in the world.

5 Reasons Why Bulgaria Is One of The Most Historical Places in The World

The theater itself is from Roman times and dates back to the 2nd Century AD. Back in the days, the theater was capable of accommodating up to thousands of viewers! If you ever get the chance to visit Plovdiv, you will not regret seeing it!

2. Wine Production Dates Back to 5000 Years BC

Very few people know that Bulgaria has a long history of wine culture. When you hear wine, you would usually imagine a place in Europe like France, Italy, or Spain. However, Bulgarian wine is actually central to the country’s traditions and culture.

5 Reasons Why Bulgaria Is One of The Most Historical Places in The World
Wine Regions in Bulgaria / Photo by Food & Drink – World Travel Guide

The country is home to various sorts of wine, special and not found in other regions. Along with rakia, most Bulgarians grow their own homemade wine each year and it is delicious! If you want to learn more about the history of wine in Bulgaria, check out this article by the Bulgarian Wine Company.

Moreover, the 14th of February in Bulgaria is not Valentine’s Day, it is Trifon Zarezan. On this day, Bulgarians celebrate the patron of vineyards and winemakers – Saint Trifon. Which other country has a special day dedicated to wine and feasting?

1. The Cyrillic Alphabet Originates in Bulgaria

Bulgarians write and read with their own letters. The Early Cyrillic alphabet was first introduced in the First Bulgarian Empire. It replaced the old Glagolitic script, created by Saint Cyril and Methodius.

“… we gave the world the possibility for all Slavs to be able to read books”

– Ivan Vazov / Bulgarian Poet

The brothers were also responsible for creating the new Slavic script, which became official in Bulgaria in 893. Only then the new script was given to the rest of the Slavic nations.

So, contrary to the popular belief, it was not Russia where the Cyrillic alphabet originates from. However, it is the country with the biggest population that uses it. It’s also not the only one, check out this list of other countries that officially use the Russian language. The results may surprise you!

To summarize, Bulgaria is indeed one of the most historical places in the world. The mentioned in this article facts are just a drop in the ocean. There is so much more that can be explored in this country. If you ever wonder where to travel next, do not hesitate to embrace the warm Bulgarian culture and traditions.

Marina Arolska is currently a Master student in International Security at the University of Groningen, NL. Drawing upon her wealth of international experience, Marina focuses on providing unrivalled insights into Eastern Europe. Her articles range from covering various cultural facts to providing security advice and safety tips for those visiting new destinations.