|Bulgaria (bʌlˈɡɛərɪə, bʊl-)|
|a republic in SE Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula on the Black Sea: under Turkish rule from 1395 until 1878; became an independent kingdom in 1908 and a republic in 1946; joined the EU in 2007; consists chiefly of the Danube valley in the north and the Balkan Mountains in the central part, separated from the Rhodope Mountains of the south by the valley of the Maritsa River. Language: Bulgarian. Religion: Christian (Bulgarian Orthodox) majority. Currency: lev. Capital: Sofia. Pop: 7 829 000 (2004 est). Area: 110 911 sq km (42 823 sq miles)|
Republic in southeastern Europe in the eastern part of the Balkan Peninsula, bordered by Romania to the north, the Black Sea to the east, Turkey to the southeast, Greece to the south, and Macedonia and Yugoslavia to the west. Its capital and largest city is Sofia.
Note: Former Eastern Bloc country. Soviet troops entered Bulgaria in 1944, and a communist government was established soon thereafter. Bulgaria's communist rulers followed the Soviet lead for almost fifty years, until the collapse of the Soviet Union. In January 1991, a multiparty government began to institute democratic and economic reforms.