Sofia, Bulgaria, June 9-13, 1997
Bulgaria is an European country situated in the centre of the Balkan
Peninsula. The area of the country is about 110,000 sq. km. and the
population approximately 8 million. The capital is Sofia and Plovdiv
is the second biggest Bulgarian city with a remarkable old centre.
Although Bulgaria is small, it abounds in remarkable sights: the
Balkan mountain range (gave the peninsula its name), the famous
Rhodope mountain (the native land of Orpheus), the Valley of
Roses (most interesting during the season of picking the roses in
the beginning of June). There are many picturesque small towns and
monasteries among which most famous is the Rila monastery.
Our country borders on the Black Sea in the east. In Bulgaria there
are many interesting monuments since the time Bulgaria was
populated by the Thracians, was part of the Roman
Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria (about 1,300,000 inhabitants) is among
the most ancient cities in Europe, founded by the Romans two millennia
ago under the name of Serdica.
Sofia (42 degrees North) is located in the western part of Bulgaria,
in the foot of the Vitosha mountain. Its altitude is approximately 550
metres above sea level; the average altitude of Vitosha,
a national park, is 1500 metres with its highest peak, Cherni Vrakh,
reaching 2290 metres. The climate in Sofia is moderately continental;
the average temperature in June is 19 degrees
Centigrade (over a 24- hour period) with average precipitation 86
litres per square metre.
Sofia is the economic, cultural and scientific centre of Bulgaria. The
city sights include ruins of the ancient city, the St. Sofia church
which gave the city its name (built in the 6th century on top of a
4th century basilica), the frescoes in the Boyana church (10th-13th
century), the St. Alexander Nevsky cathedral, the National Museum
of History with its rich collection, etc.
Sofia's International Airport is located close to the city (about 10
km from the centre).
Plovdiv (about 400 000 inhabitants) is the second largest Bulgarian
city, situated on the banks of Maritza river in Thrace lowland, about
150 km south-easterly from the capital Sofia. The hills, around
which the city has been originated more than 4000 years ago, are
typical for Plovdiv.
Plovdiv is picturesque city, with typical folk-style restorants,
a lot of parks and gardens, museums and archeological monuments.
Its renaissance part is organized as open-air museum. In its
vicinities there are many sites, old monasteries, health resorts,
spas and historical settlements.
The famous Rose Valley is nearby, too.
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