Republic of Bulgaria, country occupying 42,855 square miles (110,994 square kilometres) of the eastern portion of the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe. The capital of the country is Sofia, which lies in a mountainous basin in the west, near the geographic centre of the entire Balkan region.
Bulgaria is crossed by historically important routes from northern and eastern Europe to the Mediterranean basin and from western and central Europe to the Middle East. It is bounded by Romania on the north, most of the border being marked by the lower Danube River. The Black Sea lies to the east, Turkey and Greece to the south, Macedonia to the southwest, and the Yugoslav republic of Serbia to the west.
The country is remarkable for its variety of scenery - beautiful mountains and valleys and a coast with both sandy beaches and dramatic rocky areas. Those rugged mountains and modern Black Sea resorts attract a wide variety of tourists every year.
Because Bulgaria's population is largely homogeneous, the degree of cultural variation even at the regional level is small. Ethnically, most of its people are descendants of Slavs, although there are a number of Roma and Turkish minorities.
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