The territory of the present-day Bulgaria has been inhabited since the New Stone Age and the New Copper Age and continues to reveal exceptional archeological findings.
Bulgaria is one of the oldest European States with 20-century-old history and traditions. Modern Bulgaria is situated in Southeastern Europe, in the Balkan Peninsula – a busy crossroad of ancient cultures.
For centuries, the roads passing through the territory of the country have been connecting Europe with Asia and Africa . Four common European transport corridors, connecting West and North Europe with the eastern and southern part of the continent, cross their roads here.
Most archaeological discoveries have been made near Kazanluk, Karlovo, Nova Zagora, Veliko Turnovo, Vidin, Sofia, Teteven, Troyan, Kurdjali and in the Rhodope Mountains.
The world-famous culture of the Tracians developed on the territory of today’s Bulgaria during pre-historic and ancient times. The oldest gold treasure in the world - the Vulchitrun gold treasure (13-12 century BC), is of Thracian origin.The Thracian heritage influenced significantly the Bulgarian culture and is part of the foundations of the European civilization.
The first Thracian state unions emerged in the 11th century BC and flourished in the 7th-6th centuries BC. In the 1st century BC their lands were conquered by Rome, and after the 5-th century AD they were incorporated in the Byzantine Empire. The Thracians were later assimilated by the Slavs who settled in the Balkan Peninsula in the 6-th century AD. The most famous people born in ancient Trhace were Orpheus – the greatest singer of all time - and Spartacus – a gladiator and leader of the biggest slave uprising in Antiquity. According to the archeological and historical data, on the territory of the present-day Bulgaria the Thracians planted their vines and produced the honey-sweet black wine, described in Homer’s Illiad.
In the 8th - 6th century B.C. the seafaring Greecs settled on the present day Bulgarian Black Sea cost and built fortified port cities such as Odessos (Varna), Mesambria (Nessebur), Apolonia (Sozopol).
Bulgaria is also known for its picturesque nature and rich cultural heritage. According to the statistics, the country ranks third in Europe only after Greece and Italy for the number of its valuable archeological monuments.