|Situated at the crossroads
between Europe and the rest of the ancient world Bulgaria can be
discovered as a land of many ancient civilizations with turbulent
histories. A place of respite as well, for the curative properties of
the Bulgarian mineral waters were known and used from antiquity the area
is rich in cultural history.
Every town takes pride in its colorful annual holiday where visitors are welcome. Among the quaint villages is a wealth of folklore waiting to be told through song and dance at cultural events.
In 2004, Athens, Greece hosts the Olympic Games and Sofia, Bulgaria will host the XXIV International Convention of Carnival Cities.
Predating the Greeks as the most important early European civilization is the Thracian ethnos which comprised not only the territory of present-day Bulgaria but also the land of present-day Romania, Eastern Serbia, Northern Greece and Northwestern Turkey. According to the 5th century BC Greek historian Herodotus, the Thracians were the most numerous people in Europe numbering around one million or about 4 to 5 times the total population of the Greek City States.
Communist domination ended in 1990, when Bulgaria held its first multiparty election since World War II and began the contentious process of moving toward political democracy and a market economy while combating inflation, unemployment, corruption, and crime. Today, reforms and democratization keep Bulgaria on a path toward eventual integration into NATO and the EU - with which it began accession negotiations in 2000. The visitor industry, while still undeloped away from the Black Sea is booming as much of Europe discovers this least populated country which has charmed it crossroads visitors warily for over 6,000 years.
Pernik region is located in Mid West Bulgaria, on a territory of 20 269,8 m2 and includes six municipalities –
Pernik, Radomir, Breznik, Tran,
Zemen and Kovachevtzi and 20+ villages The City of Pernik's population is about 110,000
and situated primarily in the lowlands along the Struma
Pernik supports two daily newspapers today: "Com-pe(rnik)-titor" and "Town newspaper". There is a municipal cable radio station. There are three private radio stations - "Mila", "Rarnik FM", and "Kiss FM". There are regular 24-hour emissions of the "Krakra" private cable television channel.
|The sights of the town are the historical museum,
the art gallery, the recovered Krakra fortress and many monuments. The
Stoudena dam suitable for fishing, swimming and watersports is also in the
vicinity of Pernik. Close to the international road to Greece. Pernik is
known for its fortress which was defended by the bollyar Krakra in the 11th
century. Pernik lies 30km from Sofia on one of the oldest trade routes on
the Balkans,Sofia - Salonika - Scopje, which is the shortest route
connecting the Dunabe and the Aegean Sea
Pernik is in the picturesque valley of the Struma river, between the mountains of Vistosha, Golo Bardo and Ljulin. The long river flows from its Vitosha mountain source. The region is mostly known for its January masquerade games in Pernik but it also has much potential for the development of eco, cultural and outdoor tourism.
The 28 Community
Centers of Pernik
Light of Bulgaria - Saint
John of Rila
MUSEUM OF MINING The museum was opened in 1981. It is managed by Mini-Pernik. It is dedicated to the coal mining in Pernik and has original exhibits set in an authentic environment.
|Natural Attractions in Pernik|
|PERNIK on the Net|
| by ROTOP.com
Political Organizations  || Public Resorts  || Media  ||Firms  || Organizations  || Schools  || Personal Pages 
Simeon Radev" language school in Pernik
|PERNIK REAL ESTATE & INVESTMENT|
"properties in Sofia feature the highest price increase. For example the average prices of apartments in the ideal centre of the city have increased with 70-80 % for 18 months (from August 2002 till February 2004) and with 40 % for 6 months (August 2003-February 2004). Now (Feb 2004) the average price of Sofia central apartments is 700 EUR per sq. m floor area."
Bulgarian Foreign Investment
Pernik region is located in Mid West Bulgaria, on a territory of 20 269,8 m2 and includes six municipalities – Pernik, Radomir, Breznik, Tran, Zemen and Kovachevtzi.
In the Nort-East it borders Sofia region, the south border is the region of Kiustendil and the western border is the state border with the Republic of Serbia.
The region center Pernik is located 30 km South-West from the capital Sofia. The distance to the border point Giueshevo is 81 km, 172 km to Kulata, 83 km to Kalotina, 347 km to Capitan Andreevo, 243 km to Vidin and 70 km to Strezimirovtzi.
Art & Culture in Plovdiv
Maritsa local newspaper
The best known festivals are two music events the international chamber music festival (mid-June), and Trakiisko Lyato (early Aug)
festival of kouker and masquerade games - Rakovski
The first international festival Koukove Rakovski was held
March 1, 2003 Sekirovo Residential Area, Rakovski, Plovdiv
www.fair-plovdiv.com Exhibition center
hosts a huge international annual trade fair and events
throughout the year
Sofia is dramatically ringed by the Balkan Mountains to the north and the Vitosha Mountains to the south, the capital stands on an open plain 550m (1804ft) above sea level in western Bulgaria. Owing to its altitude, the summers are moderately hot and the winters cold and snowy, making spring and autumn the best times in which to visit. The town centre is dominated by neo-classical Stalinist architecture and is surrounded by a sprawling periphery of bleak, Socialist-era block housing – a formidable greeting for the first-time visitor. However, a peek through the side streets and century-old commercial quarter reveals the true magic of Sofia – a very European city of tree-lined boulevards and balconied buildings by 19th-century Russian and Viennese architects.
From the earliest times, Sofia’s main attraction has been its thermal springs, which are still in public use today, as a water source. Its strategic location on military and trade routes made it an important administrative centre in Roman times, reaching its grandeur as an early centre of Christianity during the reign of Constantine in the fourth century. Two significant Byzantine churches remain. In 1382, the Turks conquered the city but when they were ousted, in 1878, Sofia became the capital and its grand boulevards were constructed, cutting through the grid-plan quarters that had grown up around the oriental nucleus. Ottoman-imposed mosques were torn down, as the Orthodox Church was reinstated.
|Sofia by travel-bulgaria.com,|
Bulgaria by Lonely Planet at travel.yahoo
Culture|| Activities || Events ||Getting There and Away ||Economic Facts ||Recommended Reading ||When to Go ||Getting Around ||Environment ||Relative Costs ||Travel Facts ||Money Advice ||Offbeat Attractions ||Offbeat ttractions ||
|Sofia's city centre is an eclectic mix of architectural styles, largely rebuilt after WWII bombings and complete with a yellow-brick boulevard. The city's compactness and diversity make it a great place to get your bearings before heading off to discover the real Bulgaria|
Aleksandâr Nevski Church
Sofia’s most photographed monument, Alexander Nevski is a magnificent neo-Byzantine cathedral-sized church, topped by copper and golden domes. Considered the heart of the city, it was built between 1882 and 1912, in honour of the Russian soldiers, who fell when the Russian army helped liberate Bulgaria from Ottoman rule in 1878. The church takes its name from Alexander Nevski, credited with saving Russia from Swedish troops in 1240
Standing next to
St Aleksander Nevski, this early Byzantine brick church
dates to the fifth century, although there were several churches
here before it, as well as the pre-Christian Serdica city
necropolis. The present church still follows the classic
Byzantine plan of a regular cross with a central dome. The city
took its name from the church in the 14th century, which was
converted to a mosque under Ottoman rule, when the original
12th-century frescoes were destroyed and minarets added. During
the 19th century, the building was abandoned, following damage
caused by an earthquake. After the Liberation in 1878, it was
restored and reinstated as a church
Tours of the City
the historic sights are all concentrated around Ploshtad Sveta Nedelya and are well marked, making a self-guided tour the easiest and cheapest option.
just 17 km away is Bulgaria's most famous spa resort
Bansko The town is situated 160 km south of Sofia and is regarded the entrance to the most beautiful Bulgarian mountain and National Park - Pirin. If you add to this its architectural and historical value, Bansko is connected with the Bulgarian Renaissance On your way back to Sofia stop at the place where 3 mountains meet: Rila, Pirin and the Rhodopes.
RILA MONASTERY A combination of nature, history, art and tradition just a few hours drive from the capital city. This is the most visited place in Bulgaria Founded 11 centuries ago in the highest mountain on the Balkan Peninsula - Rila.
Koprivshtitza is a town-museum and unique settlement in Bulgaria, which name is hard to pronounce, but even harder to forget, preserving over 250 patterns of the Revival period architecture with colorful houses and carved ceilings, courtyards surrounded with high stone walls, disorderly built curved and cobblestone little streets.
|SOFIA ANNUAL Events|
International Fair of the Masquerade Games
every even year mid Januaryin
FEB: Marenitsa, the coming of spring is celebrated by wearing red and white tassels, Feb-Mar, throughout the city
St Trifon’s Day, a vine growing and wine making festival, 14 Feb, villages outside the city
MAR: Liberation Day,national holiday celebrating liberation from Ottoman rule in 1878, 3 Mar, throughout the city
APR: LazaruvaneSt Lazarus's Day (the day before Palm Sunday) sees young girls dressing up in folk costumes to perform dances in honour of the coming spring.
Orthodox Easter Apr, throughout the city A rewarding time to be in Bulgaria: after midnight Mass on Easter Sunday, celebrants flood out onto the streets bearing candles symbolizing the Resurrection, before smashing specially painted eggs.....Restaurants in the village of Bansko cater to crowds of Sofia folk at Eastertime and in high summer, with their famous grilled food and live folk music
MAY Labour Day, national holiday, 1 May, throughout the city
St George’s Day, Orthodox festival and official holiday, also agricultural celebration heralding the end of spring and beginning of summer, 6 May, throughout the city
Culture and Education Day, national holiday honouring Saints Cyril and Methodius for devising the Bulgarian alphabet, 24 May, throughout the city
Sofia National Book Fair, organised by the Association of Bulgarian Publishers, late May, NDK
Sofia Music Weeks - The famous Bulgarian Music Festival. festival of classical and contemporary orchestral repertoire, May-Jul, Bulgaria Music Hall and NDK
JUN Festival of European Co-productions, international annual non-competitive feature film festival, early Jun, Lumičre Cinema, NDK
AUG Birthday of St John of Rila, 18 Aug, Rila Monastery
Folk Music Festival, first weekend Aug, Koprivshtitsa
The Feast of Assumption at Dragalevtsi monastery of Dragalevtsi on Aug 15, for processions and services marking the Feast of Assumption ( Golyama Bogoroditsa ).
International Folklore Festival, last week Aug, Plovdiv
SEP Day of Unification, national holiday, 6 Sep, throughout the city
Independence Day, national holiday, 22 Sep, throughout the city
OCT Feast Day of St John of Rila, 19 Oct, Rila Monastery
Kinomania, three-week film festival, showing the newest and best international and Bulgarian films, Nov, NDK
NOV International Jazz Festival, second week in Nov, various venues
DEC Music Evenings, featuring classical music, early Dec, various venues
Sofia National Book Fair, organised by the Association of Bulgarian Publishers, mid-Dec, NDK
St Nicholas’ Day, 12 Dec, throughout the city
Christmas, national holiday – most families celebrate Christmas on 25 Dec, although traditional Orthodox Christmas is 7 Jan, 25-26 Dec, throughout the city
New Year’s Eve, festivities, 31 Dec, throughout the city
The city’s official arts
centre, Natsionalen Dvorets na Kulturata or National Palace of
Culture (NDK), 1 Ploshtad Bulgaria, Yuzhen Park (tel: (02)
9166 2300; website: www.ndk.bg), is a
colossal modern structure incorporating concert halls, exhibition
spaces, congress facilities and the Lumičre Cinema. Most major
cultural events take place here. The box office is to the left of the
|The main shopping area of Sofia is the Vitosha Boulevard. Bulgarian products, handicrafts, wines, spirits and confectionery can all be purchased. Shopping hours: Shops and stores are generally open Mon-Fri 1000-2000; Sat 1000-1400.|
|TRADE & BUSINESS|
Business Etiquette by Columbus
"Due to their long legacy of occupation by foreign powers, Bulgarian business people are reserved and often highly suspicious of an outsider’s intentions until the proper introductions and contacts have been established. Business visitors should request meetings well in advance –
in writing or by fax – and arm themselves with documents detailing interest and position. People in the higher ranks are likely to be former Communist party members and thus stiff officiousness should be prepared for. Bulgarians also pride themselves on their IT development and visitors will be expected to scrutinise the company’s website before questions are entertained.
Dress code is standard suit and tie
for men, while women are allowed to dress more daringly– short
skirts and plunged necklines are not thought ill of. English
is generally well understood, although employing an interpreter will
help business visitors minimize the risk of misunderstandings."