Bulgaria rebuilt their military in the years following the victory, and subsequently found themselves involved in three separate wars. Unfortunately for the country, they ended up on the losing side of the second Balkan War as well as World War I.
Political unrest within the country was quick to set in, which in turn brought upon a royal authoritarian dictatorship led by Tsar Boris III.
As World War II came to light in the early 1940s, Bulgaria fought alongside the Axis powers, and once again found themselves on the losing side. Fortunately, the country refused to partake in Operation Barbarossa, saving its Jewish population from being transported to concentration camps.
By the 1950s there was a significant rise in the Bulgarian's standard of living, brought on by the destruction of the monarchic rule and a shift into a soviet-style economy.
However, in the late 1980s Bulgaria reconstructed itself into a parliamentary democracy, after the Communist Party resigned, and in June 1990 the nation's first free elections were held.
Despite the democratic shift and new constitution, Bulgaria's economy failed to thrive under the new conditions. And it wasn't until a reform package in 1997 was introduced that the country began to show signs of success.
In 2004 Bulgaria became a member of NATO, and then the European Union in 2007.
Tourism is a real growth industry here, and Europeans frequent the beautiful city of Sofia, the numerous historic sites, as well as the resorts and spas on the Black Sea coast. Not to mention, the Balkan and Rhodope Mountains are host to picturesque ski resorts.
And situated between the Balkans and Sradna Gora mountains is a unique place known as the Valley of Roses, which is responsible for 85% of the world's rose oil production.
For a few weeks towards the end of May through the beginning of June blossoms can be seen for miles, and you can bet that the aromatic scent from the roses makes the area surrounding the valley a desirable place to be.
|Land Area||108,489 km2|
|Water Area||2,390 km2|
|Total Area||110,879km2 (#103)|
|Government Type||Parliamentary Republic|
|GDP (PPP)||$143.00 Billion|
|GDP Per Capita||20,100$|
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