Geografía de Bulgaria - Historia

Geografía de Bulgaria - Historia



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Bulgaria

Topografía: En su mayoría colinas intercaladas con mesetas, con importantes llanuras en el norte (meseta del Danubio, que se extiende por todo el país) y el centro (llanura tracia). Principales cadenas montañosas Balkan (que se extiende a través del centro del país de oeste a este, formando la cuenca central del país) y Ródope (de oeste a este a través de la sección sur del país); incluyen dos cadenas principales, Pirin (extremo suroeste) y Rila (centro oeste).

Clima: Dividido por montañas en continental (predominante en invierno, especialmente en la llanura del Danubio) y mediterráneo (predominante en verano, especialmente al sur de los Balcanes). Las precipitaciones también son variables, con mayores cantidades en las elevaciones más altas.


Geografía de Bulgaria - Historia

La superficie terrestre de Bulgaria es de 110.550 kilómetros cuadrados, un poco más grande que la del estado de Tennessee. El país está situado en la costa occidental del Mar Negro, con Rumania al norte, Grecia y Turquía al sur y Yugoslavia al oeste. Considerando su pequeño tamaño, Bulgaria tiene una gran variedad de características topográficas. Incluso en pequeñas partes del país, la tierra puede dividirse en llanuras, mesetas, colinas, montañas, cuencas, quebradas y profundos valles fluviales.

Aunque los eventos históricos externos a menudo cambiaron las fronteras nacionales de Bulgaria en su primer siglo de existencia, las características del terreno natural definieron la mayoría de las fronteras después de 1944, y ningún grupo significativo de personas sufrió graves dificultades económicas debido a la delimitación de la frontera. La Bulgaria de la posguerra contenía un gran porcentaje de personas de etnia búlgara, aunque en varios momentos se produjeron numerosas migraciones hacia y desde Bulgaria. Ninguna de las fronteras del país fue disputada oficialmente en 1991, aunque los búlgaros nacionalistas continuaron afirmando que la participación de Bulgaria en Macedonia, que compartía con Yugoslavia y Grecia, no se debía solo a la conexión étnica entre macedonios y búlgaros.

En 1991, Bulgaria tenía una frontera total de unos 2.264 kilómetros. Los ríos representaban unos 680 kilómetros y la costa del Mar Negro, 400 kilómetros, las fronteras sur y oeste estaban definidas principalmente por cordilleras en terrenos elevados. Las fronteras occidental y septentrional se compartían con Yugoslavia y Rumania, respectivamente, y la costa del Mar Negro constituía toda la frontera oriental. La frontera rumana siguió el río Danubio durante 464 kilómetros desde la esquina noroeste del país hasta la ciudad de Silistra y luego cortó hacia el este-sureste durante 136 kilómetros a través de la provincia nororiental de Varna. El Danubio, con acantilados escarpados en el lado búlgaro y una amplia zona de pantanos y marismas en el lado rumano, era uno de los límites fluviales más eficaces de Europa. La línea a través de Dobruja era arbitraria y se volvió a trazar varias veces de acuerdo con los tratados internacionales. En ese proceso, la mayoría de los habitantes con fuertes preferencias nacionales se reasentaron en el país de su elección. Las fronteras al sur estaban con Grecia y Turquía. La frontera con Grecia tenía 491 kilómetros de largo y la frontera turca tenía 240 kilómetros de largo.

Topografía

La principal característica de la topografía de Bulgaria es la alternancia de bandas de terreno alto y bajo que se extienden de este a oeste por todo el país. De norte a sur, esas bandas son la meseta del Danubio, las montañas de los Balcanes (llamadas Stara Planina, que significa montañas antiguas en búlgaro), la llanura tracia central y las montañas Ródope. Las secciones más al este cerca del Mar Negro son montañosas, pero gradualmente van ganando altura hacia el oeste hasta que la parte más occidental del país es un terreno completamente elevado.

Más de dos tercios del país son llanuras, mesetas o tierras montañosas a una altitud inferior a los 600 metros. Las llanuras (por debajo de 200 metros) constituyen el 31 por ciento de la tierra, las mesetas y colinas (200 a 600 metros) el 41 por ciento, las montañas bajas (600 a 1000 metros) el 10 por ciento, las montañas medianas (1000 a 1500 metros) el 10 por ciento, y alta montaña (más de 1.500 metros) 3 por ciento. La altitud media en Bulgaria es de 470 metros.

La meseta del Danubio se extiende desde la frontera yugoslava hasta el Mar Negro. Abarca el área entre el río Danubio, que forma la mayor parte de la frontera norte del país, y las montañas de los Balcanes al sur. La meseta se inclina suavemente desde los acantilados a lo largo del río, luego colinda con montañas de 750 a 950 metros. La meseta, una zona fértil con colinas onduladas, es el granero del país.

El borde sur de la meseta del Danubio se funde con las estribaciones de los Balcanes, la parte búlgara de los Cárpatos. Los Cárpatos se asemejan a una S mientras corren hacia el este desde Checoslovaquia a través de la parte norte de Rumania, girando hacia el sur hasta el centro de Rumania y luego hacia el oeste, donde se les conoce como los Alpes de Transilvania. Las montañas giran nuevamente hacia el este en la Puerta de Hierro, un desfiladero del río Danubio en la frontera rumano-yugoslava. En ese momento, se convierten en los Balcanes de Bulgaria.

Las montañas de los Balcanes se originan en el valle de Timok en Yugoslavia y corren hacia el sur hacia la cuenca de Sofía en el centro oeste de Bulgaria. Desde allí corren hacia el este hasta el Mar Negro. Los Balcanes tienen unos 600 kilómetros de largo y entre 30 y 50 kilómetros de ancho. Conservan su altura hasta el centro de Bulgaria, donde el pico Botev, el punto más alto de las montañas de los Balcanes, se eleva a unos 2.376 metros. Luego, la cordillera continúa a menor altitud hasta los acantilados del Mar Negro. A lo largo de la mayor parte de Bulgaria, los Balcanes forman la cuenca hidrográfica desde la que los ríos fluyen hacia el norte hasta el río Danubio o hacia el sur hasta el mar Egeo. Algunos ríos más pequeños en el este desembocan directamente en el Mar Negro. La Sredna Gora (colinas centrales) es una cresta estrecha de unos 160 kilómetros de largo y 1.600 metros de altura, que corre de este a oeste paralela a los Balcanes. Justo al sur se encuentra el Valle de las Rosas, famoso por el aceite de rosas utilizado en perfumes y licores.

Las laderas del sur de las montañas de los Balcanes y Sredna Gora dan paso a la llanura de Tracia. De forma aproximadamente triangular, la llanura se origina en un punto al este de las montañas cerca de Sofía y se ensancha hacia el este hasta el Mar Negro. Incluye el valle del río Maritsa y las tierras bajas que se extienden desde el río hasta el Mar Negro. Al igual que la meseta del Danubio, gran parte de la llanura tracia es algo montañosa y no una verdadera llanura. La mayor parte de su terreno es lo suficientemente moderado para cultivar.

Las montañas Ródope ocupan el área entre la llanura tracia y la frontera griega al sur. Los ródopes occidentales constan de dos cordilleras: las montañas Rila al sur de Sofía y las montañas Pirin en la esquina suroeste del país. Son el rasgo topográfico más destacado de Bulgaria y de toda la península balcánica. La cordillera de Rila incluye el monte Musala, cuyo pico de 2.975 metros es el más alto de cualquier país balcánico. Aproximadamente una docena de otros picos en los Rilas tienen más de 2.600 metros. Los picos más altos se caracterizan por escasas rocas desnudas y lagos remotos por encima de la línea de árboles. Los picos inferiores, sin embargo, están cubiertos de prados alpinos que dan a la cordillera una impresión general de belleza verde. La cordillera de Pirin se caracteriza por picos rocosos y pendientes pedregosas. Su pico más alto es el monte Vikhren, con 2.915 metros, el segundo pico más alto de Bulgaria.

La cuenca más grande de Bulgaria es la cuenca de Sofía. Con unos veinticuatro kilómetros de ancho y noventa y seis kilómetros de largo, la cuenca contiene la ciudad capital y el área que la rodea inmediatamente. La ruta a través de cuencas y valles desde Belgrado a Estambul (antes Constantinopla) a través de Sofía ha sido históricamente importante desde la época romana, determinando la importancia estratégica de la península de los Balcanes. Las ciudades más grandes de Bulgaria se fundaron en esta ruta. Paradójicamente, aunque las montañas hicieron que muchos pueblos y ciudades búlgaros fueran relativamente inaccesibles, Bulgaria siempre ha sido susceptible a la invasión porque ningún obstáculo natural bloqueaba la ruta a través de Sofía.

Una parte importante de la tierra de Bulgaria es propensa a los terremotos. Dos áreas especialmente sensibles son las fronteras del oleaje del norte de Bulgaria (elevación redondeada), cuyo centro se encuentra en el área de Gorna Oryakhovitsa en el centro-norte de Bulgaria, y la Bóveda de Ródopes Occidental, una amplia área que se extiende a través de las regiones de Rila y Pirin del norte. a Plovdiv en el centro-sur de Bulgaria. También se producen temblores especialmente fuertes a lo largo de las líneas diagonales entre Skopje en la República de Macedonia y Razgrad en el noreste de Bulgaria, y desde Albania hacia el este a través del tercio sur de Bulgaria a través de Plovdiv. Dieciséis grandes terremotos azotaron Bulgaria entre 1900 y 1986, los dos últimos en Strazhitsa en la falla de SkopjeRazgrad. Juntos, los dos terremotos dañaron más de 16.000 edificios, la mitad de ellos de forma grave. Una aldea quedó casi completamente arrasada, otras gravemente dañadas. Muchos habitantes seguían viviendo en viviendas temporales cuatro años después.

Drenaje

Las montañas de los Balcanes dividen a Bulgaria en dos sistemas de drenaje casi iguales. El sistema más grande drena hacia el norte hasta el Mar Negro, principalmente a través del río Danubio. Este sistema incluye toda la meseta del Danubio y un tramo de tierra que se extiende de cuarenta y ocho a ochenta kilómetros tierra adentro desde la costa. El segundo sistema drena la llanura tracia y la mayoría de las tierras altas del sur y suroeste hasta el mar Egeo. Aunque solo el Danubio es navegable, muchos de los otros ríos y arroyos de Bulgaria tienen un alto potencial para la producción de energía hidroeléctrica y son fuentes de agua de riego.

De los afluentes búlgaros del Danubio, todos menos el Iskur se elevan en los Balcanes. El Iskur fluye hacia el norte hasta el Danubio desde su origen en las montañas de Rila, pasando por los suburbios del este de Sofía y por un valle de los Balcanes.

El Danubio obtiene algo más del 4 por ciento de su volumen total de sus afluentes búlgaros. A medida que fluye a lo largo de la frontera norte, el Danubio tiene una anchura media de 1,6 a 2,4 kilómetros. Los niveles de agua más altos del río generalmente ocurren durante las inundaciones de junio y se congela durante un promedio de cuarenta días al año.

Varios ríos importantes desembocan directamente en el mar Egeo. La mayoría de estos arroyos caen rápidamente de las montañas y han abierto desfiladeros profundos y pintorescos. El Maritsa con sus afluentes es, con mucho, el mayor drenaje de toda la llanura tracia occidental, todo el Sredna Gora, las laderas sur de los Balcanes y las laderas norte de los Ródopes orientales. Después de salir de Bulgaria, Maritsa forma la mayor parte de la frontera greco-turca. El Struma y el Mesta (que separan las montañas Pirin de las principales cordilleras de los Ródopes) son los siguientes ríos búlgaros más grandes que fluyen hacia el Egeo. El Struma y Mesta llegan al mar a través de Grecia.

Clima

Teniendo en cuenta su pequeña superficie, Bulgaria tiene un clima inusualmente variable y complejo. El país se encuentra entre las zonas climáticas continental y mediterránea fuertemente contrastantes. Las montañas y los valles búlgaros actúan como barreras o canales para las masas de aire, provocando fuertes contrastes en el clima en distancias relativamente cortas. La zona continental es un poco más grande, porque las masas de aire continentales fluyen fácilmente hacia la llanura del Danubio sin obstrucciones. La influencia continental, más fuerte durante el invierno, produce abundantes nevadas, la influencia mediterránea aumenta durante el verano y produce un clima cálido y seco. El efecto barrera de los Balcanes se siente en todo el país: en promedio, el norte de Bulgaria es aproximadamente un grado más frío y recibe alrededor de 192 milímetros más de lluvia que el sur de Bulgaria. Debido a que el Mar Negro es demasiado pequeño para ser una influencia principal sobre gran parte del clima del país, solo afecta el área inmediata a lo largo de su costa.

Los Balcanes son el límite sur del área en la que las masas de aire continentales circulan libremente. Las montañas Ródope marcan los límites septentrionales de dominación de los sistemas meteorológicos mediterráneos. El área intermedia, que incluye la llanura tracia, está influenciada por una combinación de los dos sistemas, predominando el continental. Esta combinación produce un clima de llanura que se asemeja al del Corn Belt en los Estados Unidos, con veranos largos y alta humedad. El clima en esta región es generalmente más severo que el de otras partes de Europa en la misma latitud. Debido a que es un área de transición, las temperaturas medias y las precipitaciones son irregulares y pueden variar mucho de un año a otro.

La precipitación media en Bulgaria es de unos 630 milímetros por año. Dobruja en el noreste, la zona costera del Mar Negro y partes de la llanura tracia suelen recibir menos de 500 milímetros. El resto de la llanura tracia y la meseta del Danubio reciben menos que el promedio del país. La llanura tracia a menudo está sujeta a sequías de verano. Las elevaciones más altas, que reciben la mayor cantidad de precipitaciones en el país, pueden promediar más de 2.540 milímetros por año.

Las muchas cuencas de los valles esparcidas por las tierras altas tienen inversiones de temperatura que dan como resultado aire estancado. Sofía se encuentra en una cuenca de este tipo, pero su elevación (unos 530 metros) tiende a moderar la temperatura del verano y aliviar la alta humedad opresiva. Sofía también está protegida de los vientos del norte de Europa por las montañas que rodean su cuenca en forma de abrevadero. Las temperaturas en Sofía promedian -2 ° C en enero y alrededor de 21 ° C en agosto. Las precipitaciones de la ciudad están cerca del promedio del país y el clima en general es agradable.

El clima costero está moderado por el Mar Negro, pero los fuertes vientos y las violentas tormentas locales son frecuentes durante el invierno. Los inviernos a lo largo del río Danubio son terriblemente fríos, mientras que los valles protegidos que se abren hacia el sur a lo largo de las fronteras griega y turca pueden ser tan suaves como las áreas a lo largo de las costas mediterráneas o egeas.

Medio ambiente

Al igual que los otros miembros europeos del Consejo de Asistencia Económica Mutua (Comecon), Bulgaria vio el crecimiento industrial sin obstáculos como un signo vital del bienestar social y el progreso hacia el ideal socialista. Debido a que este enfoque convirtió las cuestiones ambientales en un tema tabú en la Bulgaria socialista, el grado de daño de la política industrial de posguerra no se evaluó hasta que el gobierno de Todor Zhivkov (1962-89) fue derrocado a fines de 1989. El compromiso del gobierno de Zhivkov con la industria pesada y la falta de el dinero para gastar en medidas de protección lo obligó a ocultar los principales peligros ambientales, especialmente cuando estaban en juego las relaciones con otros países. Las fábricas que no cumplían con las normas ambientales pagaban multas simbólicas y no tenían ningún incentivo para instituir medidas reales de protección ambiental. Incluso en 1990, los funcionarios socialistas restaron importancia a los efectos en Bulgaria de la radiación del accidente de la planta de energía nuclear de 1986 en Chernobyl '. Se informó a los ciudadanos de que no es necesario que tomen tabletas de yodo ni utilicen otras medidas de protección.

En 1991, los ambientalistas búlgaros estimaron que el 60 por ciento de las tierras agrícolas del país se vieron dañadas por el uso excesivo de pesticidas y fertilizantes y por las consecuencias industriales. En 1991, dos tercios de los ríos búlgaros estaban contaminados y el río Yantra fue clasificado como el río más sucio de Europa. Para entonces, se habían talado alrededor de dos tercios de los bosques primarios. Sin embargo, a pesar de su reconocimiento de la necesidad de una mayor protección del medio ambiente, Bulgaria presupuestó sólo 10.400 millones de levas para remediar los problemas ecológicos en 1991.

Quizás el problema medioambiental más grave de Bulgaria estaba en la ciudad portuaria de Ruse en el Danubio. De 1981 a 1989, la contaminación química que se propagó desde una planta de cloro y sodio a través del Danubio en Giurgiu, Rumania, fue un tema prohibido en Bulgaria porque representaba una amenaza para las buenas relaciones entre dos países del Pacto de Varsovia. Las plantas químicas en Ruse también contribuyeron a la contaminación. Los ambientalistas ciudadanos que se oponían a la situación en Ruse organizaron las primeras manifestaciones y el primer grupo político independiente que se opuso al régimen de Zhivkov. Durante el primer año de operación de la planta Giurgiu, los niveles de cloro en Ruse casi se duplicaron, llegando a dos veces el máximo permitido en el verano de 1990. Más de 3.000 familias abandonaron la ciudad en la década de 1980 a pesar de las restricciones gubernamentales destinadas a encubrir el problema. Además del cloro y sus subproductos, la planta producía agentes químicos para la industria del caucho y, en 1991, algunas fuentes informaron que la planta procesaba desechos industriales de países occidentales; ambas actividades probablemente dañen aún más el medio ambiente de Ruse. Los expertos internacionales afirmaron que la mitad de los contaminantes de Ruse provenían de Giurgiu y los demás provenían de industrias búlgaras. En respuesta al formidable movimiento medioambiental búlgaro, algunas plantas búlgaras se han cerrado o se han añadido medidas de protección; sin embargo, la planta de Giurgiu tenía previsto expandirse en 1991.

La contaminación de las tierras agrícolas de una planta de cobre cerca de la ciudad de Srednogorie provocó duras críticas públicas. La planta emitió nubes tóxicas que contenían cobre, plomo y arsénico. En 1988, vertió aguas residuales tóxicas en los ríos cercanos que se utilizaban para regar las tierras de la llanura de Plovdiv-Pazardzhik, que incluye algunas de las mejores tierras agrícolas de Bulgaria. El agua subterránea debajo de la llanura también fue envenenada. Se ha comenzado a trabajar en un plan para drenar las aguas residuales tóxicas del embalse de la planta al río Maritsa. También se planificaron mejoras ambientales para la planta de cobre y otras tres fábricas en el área de Plovdiv (una fábrica de plomo y zinc, una fábrica de productos químicos y una fábrica de uranio), pero su implementación tomaría años.

Ninguna de las grandes ciudades de Bulgaria escapó a una contaminación ambiental grave. Las estadísticas mostraron que del 70 al 80 por ciento de la contaminación del aire de Sofía es causada por emisiones de automóviles, camiones y autobuses. Las inversiones de temperatura sobre la ciudad agravaron el problema. Otros dos contaminadores importantes, la planta de metalurgia de Kremikovtsi y la mina de uranio de Bukhovo (ambas en el suroeste de Bulgaria), contaminaron la región con plomo, dióxido de azufre, sulfuro de hidrógeno, etanol y mercurio. La ciudad de Kurdzhali quedó muy contaminada con el plomo de su complejo de zinc y plomo. En 1973, la planta química y de petróleo cerca del puerto de Burgas en el Mar Negro liberó grandes cantidades de cloro en un incidente similar al de Srednogorie. Los ambientalistas estimaron que el área dentro de un radio de treinta kilómetros de la planta se volvió inhabitable por esa liberación. El aire en Burgas también estaba muy contaminado con carbono y dióxido de azufre en 1990.

En 1990, los científicos medioambientales afirmaron que dos tercios de la población de Bulgaria sufrían algún grado de contaminación del medio ambiente. En 1991, Bulgaria comenzó a buscar ayuda internacional para resolver problemas ambientales. Además de unirse a Rumania, Turquía y la Unión Soviética en estudios científicos conjuntos del Mar Negro críticamente contaminado, Bulgaria buscó activamente tecnología y experiencia ambiental de Europa Occidental y Estados Unidos.


Datos básicos de Bulgaria

Población: 7,576,751

Localización: Bulgaria limita con cinco países y el Mar Negro al este. El río Danubio crea la frontera más larga entre Bulgaria y Rumanía. Los otros vecinos son Turquía, Grecia, Serbia y la República de Macedonia.

Capital: Sofía (София) - Población: 1.263.884

Divisa: Lev (BGN)

Zona horaria: Hora de Europa del Este (EET) y Hora de verano de Europa del Este (EEST) en verano.

Código de llamada: 359

TLD de Internet: .bg

Idioma y alfabeto: El búlgaro es una lengua eslava, pero tiene algunas peculiaridades, como los artículos indefinidos con sufijos y la ausencia de infinitivos verbales. Un tema candente entre los búlgaros es la opinión de que el macedonio no es un idioma separado, sino un dialecto del búlgaro. Por lo tanto, búlgaro y macedonio son mutuamente inteligibles.

El alfabeto cirílico, que se desarrolló en Bulgaria durante el siglo X, se convirtió en el tercer alfabeto oficial de la Unión Europea después de la adhesión de Bulgaria. Los viajeros que saben ruso u otros idiomas eslavos (particularmente uno que usa cirílico) lo pasarán mejor en Bulgaria debido a los rasgos lingüísticos compartidos y las raíces de las palabras.

Religión: La religión generalmente sigue a la etnia en Bulgaria. Casi el noventa y cuatro por ciento de los búlgaros son eslavos étnicos, y el 82,6 por ciento de ellos pertenecen a la Iglesia Ortodoxa Búlgara, la religión tradicional del país. La religión minoritaria más grande es el Islam, la mayoría de los cuales son de etnia turca.


Datos importantes de Bulgaria

  • Bulgaria se llama oficialmente República de Bulgaria. Es un país ubicado en el sureste del continente europeo.
  • Bulgaria limita al norte con Rumanía, al oeste con Serbia y Macedonia, al sur con Grecia y Turquía.
  • Bulgaria es una democracia parlamentaria, encabezada por el Primer Ministro.
  • Bulgaria se independizó del Imperio Otomano el 5 de octubre de 1908.
  • Bulgaria es el país más antiguo de Europa que no ha cambiado de nombre desde que se estableció. Tuvo lugar en 681 d.C.
  • El ejército búlgaro nunca ha perdido una sola bandera en batalla.
  • El área total de Bulgaria es 110.993,6 kilómetros cuadrados (42.854,9 millas cuadradas).
  • El idioma oficial de Bulgaria es el búlgaro.
  • La moneda de Bulgaria se llama Lev.
  • Según el Banco Mundial, la población total de Bulgaria en 2016 era de 71,3 mil rupias.
  • La primera computadora digital electrónica fue inventada por John Vincent Atanasoff, un físico e inventor de ascendencia búlgara.
  • Bulgaria tiene el cine IMAX 3D más grande del mundo.
  • En 1976, la UNESCO declaró el antiguo calendario búlgaro como el más exacto del mundo.
  • El primer reloj digital también fue inventado por Peter Petroff, un científico búlgaro.
  • La Iglesia Ortodoxa Búlgara es la Iglesia Ortodoxa Eslava más antigua.

Atlas de Bulgaria

Република България е държава в Югоизточна Европа. Разположена е в източната половина на Балканския полуостров. Граничи с Черно море на изток, с Гърция и Турция на юг, със Сърбия и Република Македония на на на велия, Република Македония на на на веледад,. Общата дължина на държавната граница е 2245 км, от тях 1181 км са сухоземни, 686 км - речни и 378 км - морски.Официалното име на държавата според конституцията ѝ от 1991 г. е Република България.

los República de Bulgaria es un país del sureste de Europa y un estado miembro de la Unión Europea. Limita con el Mar Negro al este, ► Grecia y ► Turquía al sur, ► Serbia y la ► República de Macedonia al oeste, y ► Rumania al norte, principalmente a lo largo del Danubio. Bulgaria también comparte una frontera marítima con Turquía, Rumania, ► Ucrania, ► Rusia y ► Georgia. La capital de Bulgaria es Sofía.

Mapas generales

Mapas de historia

Esta sección contiene un breve resumen de la historia del área de la actual Bulgaria, ilustrada con mapas, incluidos mapas históricos de países e imperios anteriores que incluían la actual Bulgaria.


Lo que sigue es un cuento de dos, bueno, cuentos. Más concretamente, dos cuentos sobre el origen del estado búlgaro.

Un cuento dice que Bulgaria tiene 1331 años (habiendo sido fundada en 681), habla de una alianza ancestral entre las prósperas tribus eslavas de los Balcanes y una banda de refugiados búlgaros expulsados ​​de Crimea por adversarios abrumadoramente fuertes, y es prominente en cada libro de historia, en cada resumen de cóctel de la historia de Bulgaria, en cada blog con temática de Bulgaria.

El otro, bueno, tiene un poco más de sentido. Quédese conmigo a través de 3400 palabras y le mostraré algunos ejemplos fascinantes de manipulación de hechos históricos, así como un relato lógico diferente de la fundación del estado búlgaro.

El mito de la creación de Bulgaria

Según nuestro primer relato, los búlgaros (o protobúlgaros) eran nómadas turcos adoradores del trueno, bajos, morenos y de patas arqueadas, que pasaban la vida a caballo vagando por las estepas de Asia Central con su ganado, viviendo en yurtas, saqueando sus vecinos y nunca establecerse permanentemente. A pesar de sus habilidades artesanales e ingenieriles primitivas, fueron descritos como & # 8220más numerosos que los granos de arena en la playa & # 8221 y como guerreros feroces, derrotando en varias ocasiones a los ejércitos profesionales de varios reinos, incluido el imperio bizantino. Cada soldado búlgaro estaba equipado con una cota de malla para él y su caballo, arco compuesto, espada, lanza, escudo, etc.

En 632 d.C., el khan (gobernante) búlgaro Kubrat, que había sido educado en Constantinopla durante un tiempo, aprendió el arte de gobernar de los bizantinos, se separó del Khaganato turco occidental y estableció un estado en la costa norte del Mar Negro con la capital Phanagoria. Los búlgaros se establecieron durante unos 30 años en lo que los historiadores han llamado (Antigua) Gran Bulgaria.

En su lecho de muerte, reunió a sus cinco hijos, Batbayan, Kotrag, Asparukh, Altsek y Kuber, y les pidió que rompieran un manojo de ramas atadas. Los cinco hermanos, guerreros experimentados, no lo hicieron. Entonces Kubrat desató el manojo y rompió los palos uno por uno con sus manos temblorosas, enseñándoles una valiosa lección sobre la unidad.


Sin embargo, inmediatamente después de su muerte en 665, la Vieja Gran Bulgaria fue destruida bajo los golpes de los jázaros, y cuatro de los cinco hermanos huyeron con sus propias tribus, en varias direcciones. Su mayor, Batbayan, se quedó atrás. Asparukh, el tercero entre ellos, con una banda de 10 & # 8211 20 000 refugiados búlgaros (según un cronista que vivió 5 siglos después), llegó finalmente al Danubio en 680, cruzado con un pequeño grupo de guerreros fieles a la fértil llanuras de Moesia, y declaró que ese sería el sitio de Bulgaria para siempre. Su banda de búlgaros, con ganado, mujeres y niños, cruzó el Danubio y estableció un puesto de avanzada de madera en Ongal, donde derrotó al ejército y la armada del emperador bizantino Constantino IV. Luego, unido a las siete tribus eslavas de Moesia, khan Asparukh invadió Tracia, obligando al emperador a firmar un tratado de paz, reconociendo oficialmente al estado búlgaro en 681 y acordando pagarle tributo.

Los 10 & # 8211 20 000 búlgaros originales formaron una alianza permanente con las tribus eslavas, que reconocieron la línea de Asparukh como gobernantes legítimos y los búlgaros aprendieron de los eslavos más avanzados cómo vivir en un solo lugar. Rápidamente se cruzaron con los eslavos mucho más numerosos y la lengua turca de los búlgaros, así como los propios búlgaros, fueron asimilados en lo que se convertiría en un imperio y una lengua eslavos.

Hay algunas cosas que no recomiendan a los búlgaros en esta historia, como el hecho de que los cinco hijos de Kubrat inmediatamente ignoraron el edicto de muerte de su padre y se dispersaron en las cuatro direcciones del mundo, y que la semilla del estado búlgaro fue en una banda sucia de nómadas errantes vestidos de cuero que tropezaron con una tierra fértil solo para ser asimilados por los habitantes nativos más numerosos allí.

Pero no nos preocupamos por lo bien que se ven los búlgaros en la historia. Eso no es motivo para tergiversar la verdad histórica, y cada pueblo ha sido un villano más de una vez. Sin embargo, hay algunos vacíos de continuidad en la historia, como ha señalado el historiador búlgaro Bozhidar Dimitrov en su libro & # 822012 Myths in Bulgarian History & # 8221. Aquí están, brevemente:

  • ¿Cómo puede una tribu nómada, errante y primitiva tener los recursos (en grandes cantidades de acero) para armarse lo suficiente como para ser el azote del siglo, sembrando el miedo en los corazones de todos los ejércitos que la han encontrado, incluido el del Este? ¿Imperio Romano (Bizantino)?
  • ¿Cuán lenta debe haber sido la tribu Asparukh & # 8217 para haber huido de la cuenca del Dnieper en 665 y solo llegar a la desembocadura del Danubio en 680? La distancia entre los dos ríos es de unos 250 km, lo que le da a la banda nómada de refugiados una velocidad promedio de 40 metros por día y # 8211 una quinta parte de la velocidad de una tortuga.
  • ¿Cómo imaginó Asparukh establecer un estado en Moesia, que durante siglos había sido una parte bien defendida del poderoso imperio bizantino si tenía como máximo 20 000 a su disposición?
  • ¿Cómo es posible que una banda de refugiados de 20000 (que podría enviar 6000 guerreros como máximo) presente una amenaza tal para el emperador bizantino que marche contra ellos él mismo, abandonando Constantinopla al peligro real de los árabes, persas, francos? y selyúcidas, a la cabeza de 50 000 hombres?
  • ¿Por qué Constantino IV incluyó su flota real (extremadamente cara y vulnerable a las tormentas) en la campaña contra los búlgaros si eran solo 20 000 personas? La flota bizantina solo se usaba normalmente cuando el corazón del imperio estaba en grave peligro. Solo se ha desplegado contra Bulgaria cuatro veces: contra Asparukh, contra su hijo Tervel en 705, en tiempos de Constantino V en 776 y contra Simeón de Bulgaria (durante la Edad de Oro del Imperio Búlgaro) en 917.
  • Si por algún milagro la alianza búlgaro-eslava logró derrotar una vez al ejército de Constantino y establecerse al sur del Danubio, ¿por qué Constantino no redobló sus esfuerzos para expulsarlos al año siguiente? El Danubio se consideraba una línea de defensa vital (un limas) para el imperio bizantino, y se había recuperado con un esfuerzo y un gasto considerables cada vez que se había perdido anteriormente.
  • ¿De quién aprendieron los errantes búlgaros ingeniería y construcción para construir su primera capital, Pliska, en las llanuras de Moesian? Pliska era una ciudad enorme, construida con bloques de piedra rectangulares, distintos tanto del estilo de construcción bizantino (que usaba ladrillos y argamasa) como del estilo eslavo (que se limitaba a refugios y cabañas de madera).
  • ¿Por qué las tribus eslavas aceptaron a los búlgaros como sus gobernantes si los superaban en número y podrían haberlos matado fácilmente hasta el último hombre?

Dimitrov propone una historia diferente, que parece algo más plausible. La búsqueda de la verdad histórica es difícil, especialmente cuando quedan tan pocos registros escritos de la época, por lo que separaré hechos bien obtenidos en negrita. Todo lo demás puede estar abierto a interpretaciones y conjeturas.

Además, algunos términos geográficos ayudarán en las secciones siguientes. Aquí & # 8217s un mapa de glosario de las áreas alrededor del Mar Negro con tres ríos importantes (el Danubio, el Dnieper y el Volga), tres montañas (los Balcanes, los Cárpatos y el Cáucaso, y tres áreas geográficas (Moesia, Tracia y Crimea). ).

El origen, la naturaleza y el nivel de civilización de los búlgaros.

El análisis genético, los factores lingüísticos y la etimología trazan el origen de los búlgaros no a Mongolia como se pensaba anteriormente, sino a la tierra de Bactria en las llanuras del actual norte de Afganistán. También se determinó que pertenecían al grupo genético iraní, lo que los hacía caucásicos, no asiáticos. Adicionalmente, consumieron una tremenda cantidad de carne (dado que la altura promedio de los esqueletos búlgaros descubiertos en el norte de Bulgaria es de unos asombrosos 6 pies), lo que significa tenían acceso a grandes rebaños de ganado de todo tipo. Sin embargo, también eran hábiles artesanos, metalúrgicos y agricultores & # 8211 jugs of wheat found intact in Bulgar burial mounds are of a high-yield cultivated sort that could only be obtained through long selection, implying centuries of agricultural tradition. Not only that, but as early as the 4th century an Armenian geographer stated that out of all the tribes North of the Caucasus, only the Bulgars knew how to build cities of stone.

So far so good. The Bulgars could not have been nomads in the true sense of the word. It is likely that their shepherds led their cattle on a cyclical migratory pattern while their craftsmen, miners, blacksmiths, builders and farmers remained in their cities of stone, arming their warriors and manufacturing leather goods for export.

Kubrat and Old Great Bulgaria

In the early 600’s, several Bulgar tribes were part of the Western Turkic Khaganate, in a federation of sorts with other tribes under the power of the Khaganate. Kubrat was the first-born son of the Bulgar federate’s ruler. Él was sent to Constantinople and spent about 20 years there, educated alongside future Byzantine emperor Heraclius. The two became friends, and Kubrat was baptized (his tomb, found in the 20th century near the Ukrainian town of Poltava shows Christian insignia on his seal and his weapons). He also had a chance to study statecraft first-hand in the capital of the Byzantine empire.

In 632, Kubrat returned, united the Bulgar tribes, led an uprising against the Khaganate and established a Bulgar state called Old Great Bulgaria with capital Phanagoria on the northern shores of the Black sea.

We should take a step back and examine the role that Byzantium may have played in the establishment of Old Great Bulgaria. In the 7th century, the Byzantine empire is surrounded by enemies. The Persians are a constant threat to the South, only removed by the relentless advance of the Arabs. The Franks are threatening the empire by sea, and the Turkic Khaganate is hostile to the North, having repeatedly raided and pillaged Moesia. Wouldn’t it be excellent for the Byzantines if a friendly state was created to the North that weakened the Khaganate and established a border with the empire, creating a buffer against other barbarian tribes and securing the Danube border for the foreseeable future? This was common practice in Byzantium, and they had a candidate: Kubrat was friendly to the empire, and the Bulgars were fierce warriors who yearned for freedom from the Khaganate. What if Kubrat’s return and accession was a coordinated step of mutual benefit between the Bulgars and the Byzantines? Kubrat’s Bulgaria signed a peace and trade treaty with Byzantium immediately after its formation and his capital Phanagoria was 48 hours by sea from Constantinople, enabling easy coordination of joint plans. When Heraclius died in 641, Kubrat threatened war on Constantinople if his family was harmed in the aftermath. Furthermore, far from being a savage pagan, Kubrat was likely one of the most well-mannered, cultured and educated Bulgarian of the Middle Ages, Christian and raised in Constantinople from a young age.

In order for Bulgaria to be a buffer to Byzantium, it should have established a common border between the two along the Danube limas (border) of the empire. Dimitrov claims that this had happened long before 681 and that Old Great Bulgaria bordered Byzantium along the Danube. Dozens of burial mounds found in present-day Romania (known as “Dridu culture” in archaeological literature) dating to the mid-7th century are consistent with the Bulgar style of weaponry and crafstmanship.

660, the Khazars, another federated people freed from the yoke of the Western Turkic Khaganate, attacked Bulgaria from the east and captured Phanagoria and its Black Sea holdings up to the Dnieper. Although it was originally believed that the entire state was wiped out by the attack, 7th century chroniclers mention no such dissolution, and a treasure trove near Poltava believed to house Kubrat’s tomb seems to have been erected in 665 at a time of peace, implying that Kubrat had repelled the Khazars and still held territory in present-day Ukraine at the time of his death.

Additionally, the Khazar invasion did not breach the Dnieper, meaning that if Old Great Bulgaria held territories north of the Danube, they were left intact. Evidence of another branch of Bulgars near the Volga dates back to approximately the same time, meaning that Old Great Bulgaria possibly stretched east as far as the Volga basin. The destruction of Old Great Bulgaria and the scattering of the four brothers may in fact have been the Khazars merely conquering an important part of the country and severing the territorial links between its outlying provinces. So Asparukh inherited, rather than wandered into, the lands north of the Danube after the death of his father, and his brother Kotrag inherited, rather than reaching, what would later become Volga Bulgaria.

The Bulgar Migration into Moesia

In 680, Asparukh crossed the Danube at the head of an army and invaded Moesia, severing Bulgaria’s long-standing peace with Byzantium. If he was coming from a territory he had held for 15 years, he would have been at the head of 30 000 – 50 000 soldiers rather than 6 000 and would have presented a significant enough threat to the Byzantine empire to prompt the emperor himself to lead a campaign against him. This is made more plausible by the memoirs of the archbishop of Apamea, who wrote in 681 “Didn’t I warn you not to start a war against Bulgaria?” Not “the Bulgars”, but “Bulgaria”, implying that the Bulgarian state existed before the famed peace treaty of 681 which has been touted as the date of its foundation. De hecho, no chronicler mentions the year 681 as significant to the creation of any new state, merely as the year a treaty was signed between two warring sides.

They do, however, mention that Asparukh bound the seven tribes of the local Slavonic population “yupo pakton optas“. There are two interpretations of this cryptic Greek expression. One means “with a treaty”, the other, “with a tribute”. The first case implies an even-footing alliance with the Slavs, while the second means that the Slavonic population had simply changed masters, serving Bulgaria instead of Byzantium.

We are left to solve the riddle of why Asparukh chose to cross into Moesia at all, rather than maintaining peace with Byzantium. To answer this question, we should look at the topographical features of the lands in question and the geopolitical situation at the time. Asparukh had witnessed the dissolution of his father’s vast but hard to defend state at the hands of a numerous people, one of many known at the time. He was aware that the breakup of Old Great Bulgaria was partly due to its men having to defend long borders in the plains that were on the path of many pillaging, migratory peoples such as the Khazars and the Avars. A diferencia de, the territory he occupied by the time of his death in 700 was bordered by two mountain ranges (the Carpathians and the Balkans), the Black Sea and the Dnieper river, making it much more geographically stable. Additionally, with his own demographic resource stretched thin to defend a relatively large territory, Asparukh may have abandoned the Bulgar holdings north of the Dnieper in order to ensure the survival of his state. He also correctly deduced that the Balkans were an easier border to defend from the Byzantines than the Danube.

681 – The Magic Number?

Many of these facts have been known to historians for decades. We may ask, why then is the year 681 still consistently touted as the founding year of Bulgaria? There are several reasons, many of which are political:

The PRB coat of arms including the year 681

  • Prof. Zlatarski, one of Bulgaria’s first academic historians, calculated the year 681 as the year the Bulgarian state was recognized in an official peace treaty with Byzantium in the mid-30’s of the 20th century.
  • With the emergence of new evidence in the 60’s and 70’s, the real significance of the treaty became clearer and it became more reasonable to count the year 632, the year Kubrat united the Bulgars, as the foundation of Bulgaria, but the year 681 had already been included in textbooks, official historical briefs and propaganda and the BCP was not in the habit of admitting to having made mistakes, especially in the realm of history.
  • 681 was a convenient year, since it would enable a huge celebration of 1300 years since the establishment of Bulgaria in 1981, under Socialist rule, and not in 1932 which had already passed. The year 681 was even incorporated into the coat of arms of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria in 1971.
  • The myth that Bulgaria did not exist with any significant strength before the alliance with the seven Slavonic tribes made it possible to claim that Bulgaria was by its very origin a Slavic state, bound in natural alliance to the overwhelmingly Slavic USSR and Eastern Bloc.

Counting 632 as the first year of the Bulgarian state buys us 49 more years of history, making Bulgaria 1380 years old (never mind that the Bulgars had been around for at least four centuries previously, building their cities of stone in Asia). However, there’s an argument for 681 still being a useful milestone to celebrate. The Bulgarian state has not existed continuously since then. In fact, it has been destroyed and resurrected twice, undergoing multiple metamorphoses. As we have seen, even Kubrat’s Old Great Bulgaria was not the first (or only) Bulgarian state, given that there was very likely a previous incarnation in Afghanistan and parallel daughter-states on the Volga, as well as in Hungary and Albania (where Asparukh’s other brothers ended up). Which of these dates do we celebrate?

I believe we should celebrate 681 as the year the lands of the Bulgars first overlapped with the territory of the present-day state of Bulgaria, the first year we settled in the place we inhabit to this day.

The Role of Thracians and Slavs in the Establishment of the Bulgarian State

Due to the aforementioned political reasons, during the time of Communist Bulgaria the role of the Bulgars in the establishment of their own state was downplayed to emphasize the role of the seven Slavonic tribes. It was claimed that the Slavs absorbed the small band of Bulgars and that they taught them how to be sedentary and do everything but ride and pillage.

In contrast, when Bulgaria was allied with Nazi Germany during WWII, the opposite was presented, claiming that the inferior Slavic nation was the fertilizer on which the mighty Proto-Bulgarian state grew.

Finally, when the golden treasures of the Thracian tombs started being uncovered in Bulgaria in the 70’s, some wishful thinkers, hoping to tie present-day Bulgaria to the ancient Thracian civilization in some way, claimed that the Thracians had some stake in the creation of Bulgaria in the 7th century.

The latter is the easiest myth to debunk. While the Thracians were a mighty and numerous people with an ancient civilization dating back to 500 BC, by the 7th century they had been subjugated and naturalized consecutively by Alexander the Great, then the Romans, and finally the Byzantines, and they had been slaughtered and decimated by successive Gothic, Celtic and Slavic invasions. By the time the Slavonic tribes migrated south of the Danube in the early 7th century, there wasn’t a single representative of the Thracian language or culture left to form part of a Bulgarian state. Bulgaria inherited a land rich in Thracian heritage, holy places and winemaking traditions, but never had any actual contact with the Thracian civilization.

As for the Slavs, who had come to Moesia and Thrace in 627, only a few decades before the Bulgarians, they were numerous, but only formed families and small tribes, hunting and fishing and building lean-tos and wooden huts. They fought bare-chested, had limited knowledge of metal-working and a scant ability to subdue fortified towns. That is why in the mid-600’s, the Byzantine empire was their nominal master, with its control exerted from the strongholds of Odessos (Varna), Tomi and Dorostorum. The Slavs had nowhere to retreat to since the Bulgars now held the area north of the Danube, and they preferred being allowed to stay and slowly naturalize as subjects of the Byzantine empire than the prospect of being slaughtered. The empire in turn welcomed the demographic addition of so many potential eventual subjects.

It was this tenuous arrangement that Asparukh’s Bulgars unsettled in 680. With the ambiguous “yupo pakton optas”, Asparukh either allied his people with the seven Slavonic tribes in Moesia or replaced Byzantium as their master. Either way, the Slavs, who had not formed a state up to this moment, quickly realized how much they would benefit from this arrangement. In exchange for participating in the Bulgarian state on equal footing (there is no evidence of discrimination against the Slavs, quite the contrary – Bulgars and Slavs seem to have intermixed freely during the following centuries) and sending their men to be trained for the Bulgarian army, the Slavs in Moesia and Wallachia, the well-defended core of the Bulgarian state, spent the years from 681 until 1001 without seeing a single enemy soldier march through their lands. In a time where one could expect one’s fields to be burned, one’s female relatives raped and one’s wealth pillaged every 5 years or so, in Bulgaria the Slavs spent 320 years in peace, becoming a crucial and indelible half of Bulgarian society.

The Slavs were clearly numerous enough to shape and influence the genetic and linguistic make-up of Bulgaria. Even though the Bulgars were more advanced warriors and builders, they were likely fewer, their numbers having dwindled in over thirty years of battle. A 70%-30% Slavic-Bulgar split would seem perfectly reasonable, and it would account for the dominance of the Slavic language in Bulgaria over time. This would have been made even easier if the Bulgars were in fact Indo-Europeans, sharing a common linguistic root with the Slavs.

By the way, Bulgar or Protobulgarian words may form as much as 20-30% of modern Bulgarian, in so-called “Indo-Iranian semantic nests”.

With materials from Bozhidar Dimitrov’s 󈫼 Myths in Bulgarian History”


Geografía

Bulgaria is situated in Eastern Europe and bordered to the north by the River Danube and Romania, to the east by the Black Sea, to the south by Turkey and Greece and to the west by Serbia and the Republic of North Macedonia. The Balkan Mountains cross the country reaching to the edge of the Black Sea and its golden beaches.

The land is heavily cultivated, covered with forests and crossed by rivers. Although Bulgaria lies in the very southeast corner of Europe, the climate is temperate &ndash cold, damp winters and hot, dry summers. The Black Sea resorts have some of the largest beaches in Europe and offer sunbathing from May until October, while in winter heavy falls of snow are virtually guaranteed in the mountain ski resorts.


Social Welfare and Change Programs

Bulgaria's socialist-era social safety net included pensions, health care, maternity leave, and guaranteed employment. Some services had ideological goals, such as day care, which helped facilitate women's entrance into the workforce. The economic status of many households has fallen significantly in the postsocialist period because of unemployment and the declining purchasing power of wages and pensions. Meanwhile, the government's poor financial condition has made maintaining earlier services difficult. Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), such as the Bulgarian Red Cross, are involved in activities such as supporting orphanages and feeding homeless children. Others promote civil rights or ethnic and religious tolerance. Yet, NGO activities are limited by their economic circumstances and reliance on foreign funding. Some foreign support for NGOs results from their perceived status as democratic institutions that are part of civil society, which was seen as lacking during the socialist era and thus needing support.


Europe: Human Geography

Europe has a long history of human development and is considered the birthplace of Western Civilization.

Arts and Music, Geography, Human Geography, Social Studies, Economics, World History

Europe is the second-smallest continent. The name Europe, or Europa, is believed to be of Greek origin, as it is the name of a princess in Greek mythology. The name Europe may also come from combining the Greek roots eur- (wide) and -op (seeing) to form the phrase &ldquowide-gazing.&rdquo

Europe is often described as a &ldquopeninsula of peninsulas.&rdquo A peninsula is a piece of land surrounded by water on three sides. Europe is a peninsula of the Eurasian supercontinent and is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and the Mediterranean, Black, and Caspian seas to the south.

Europe&rsquos main peninsulas are the Iberian, Italian, and Balkan, located in southern Europe, and the Scandinavian and Jutland, located in northern Europe. The link between these peninsulas has made Europe a dominant economic, social, and cultural force throughout recorded history.

Today, Europe is home to the citizens of Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland), and Vatican City.

Cultural Geography

Europe has a long history of human development and is considered the birthplace of Western Civilization. Today, this cultural wealth is used to solidify the European Community and is exported to the rest of the world as one of the continent&rsquos greatest global assets.

Historic Cultures
Indigenous cultures shaped, and were shaped by, the varied geography of Europe. Physical features, weather-related phenomena, and local resources had a deep impact on how historic European cultures prospered, interacted, and believed their world worked.

The geography and climate of the Mediterranean region, for example, directly influenced Greek mythology. Most Greek gods and goddesses are representations of the active physical elements that made up the local landscape. The volcanoes of Lemnos, an island in the Mediterranean, and Mount Etna, on the island of Sicily, were believed to be the forges of Hephaestus, the Greek god of fire. Ancient Greeks also believed reigning gods imprisoned lesser gods underneath the volcanoes. A volcano&rsquos violent nature thus came from the work of Hephaestus and the anger of the imprisoned gods.

The ancient Greeks&rsquo connection to the sea also deeply influenced their mythological beliefs. Greece&rsquos many earthquakes, and the tsunamis they caused, were connected to the sea god Poseidon, known as the &ldquoEarth Shaker.&rdquo Cults and temples centered on Poseidon were built throughout the Aegean and Mediterranean seas as a means of appeasing the god.

As maritime trade and exploration developed in the region, winds and currents connected to Poseidon became important in Greek mythology. The gods could both reward and punish travelers and traders with favorable or unfavorable sea conditions. This is a main theme of La odisea, an epic poem written by Homer, in which these key elements of the sea both help and hurt the hero.

Other cultures developed around the unique resources at their disposal. The Sami culture of Scandinavia, for example, was deeply connected to the indigenous reindeer herds of the Arctic. The Sami followed and cared for these herds during their grazing cycle. During the harsh winter, the Sami ate all parts of the animal. They created clothing and tents out of reindeer hides, sewing together the cloth with twine made from the animal&rsquos tendons.

Keeping track of herds and individual animals became increasingly important in Sami life. In order to distinguish herds, families and communities developed a pattern of cuts and notches on the animals&rsquo ears.

Reindeer were also the Sami&rsquos main method of transporting goods during their nomadic journeys. These journeys varied in length, depending on the migration patterns of specific reindeer herds. Some reindeer herds have a home range of up to 5,000 square kilometers (1,930 square miles).

Reindeer herding is still an important aspect of Sami culture, which continues to thrive in northern Scandinavia and Russia&rsquos Kola Peninsula.

Distinct physical features had a lasting impact on how European cultures communicated with each other. With its central European location but geographic remoteness, the Alps region developed into a unique crossroads for Europe&rsquos dominant languages, and a refuge for its archaic languages. This linguistic diversity is present in the Alpine regions of many contemporary European countries today.

Switzerland, for example, has four official languages: German, French, Italian, and Romansch. During the Middle Ages, dominant European powers conquered the strategically important mountain territory of the Alps. Around 400 CE, the Alemanni, a Germanic tribe, invaded present-day northern Switzerland. Today, this is the German-speaking region of the country.

Around this same time, Roman conquerors took over present-day southern Switzerland. Latin, the language of Rome, evolved into French in the western region, and Italian in the south. Because of their remoteness, however, all these regions have distinct dialects that differ slightly from their parent language. Swiss-Italian is distinguishable from Italian.

Romansch, an endangered language, is also derived from Latin. Fewer than a million people are fluent in Romansch. The language survives in Switzerland because of the remote location of its native speakers.

Contemporary Cultures
Europe&rsquos rich and diverse cultural heritage continues to flourish today. With such a large number of nationalities compacted into such a small area, Europe strongly supports individual cultural identities and products.

The European Capitals of Culture program, started in 1985, has become one of Europe&rsquos most important and high-profile cultural events. The goals of the program are local, regional, and global. The program highlights Europe&rsquos rich cultural diversity, celebrates its cultural ties, and brings people of different European backgrounds together. The program has provided a lasting economic boost to cities and regions, raised their international profiles, and enhanced their images in the eyes of their own inhabitants.

Each year, two or three cities are chosen to produce a year-long program of cultural events. This program must not only highlight the city&rsquos unique cultural heritage, but also feature new events that unite a range of cultural practices from across Europe. All of the events must come together under a common theme or themes. One Capital of Culture of 2011, Turku, Finland, focused on culture&rsquos positive influence on health and well-being. Many of its events encouraged community involvement and civic engagement. Projects are meant to stay a part of the city after 2011&mdashsome pieces of sculpture may be used for athletics, for instance. Turku officials hope to inspire other European countries to undertake similar projects.

Europe also strengthens ties between its diverse peoples and cultures by supporting multilingual education. The European Union has 23 official languages, and the continent has more than 60 indigenous languages. Flourishing immigrant communities are bringing in new languages to the continent, including Arabic, Hindi, and Mandarin.

A 2006 European study showed that 53 percent of respondents could speak a second language, while 28 percent could speak two foreign languages. The study also showed that only 8 percent of respondents considered language-learning unimportant.

The European Union has adopted a multilingual language policy with the goal that everyone should be able to speak at least two languages in addition to their own. By supporting this policy, the European Union hopes it will strengthen social, educational, professional, and economic ties in Europe and make the continent more competitive in global markets.

Europe&rsquos cultural products also help unify the region. Certain countries and regions have even developed an identity or &ldquobranding&rdquo focused on specific products and exports.

Scandinavian design, for instance, is primarily focused on fashion and home wares. It is characterized by simple, minimalist design and low-cost mass production. Important Scandinavian companies focused on designed products include Electrolux, which makes home electronics, and Ikea and H&M, famous around the world for inexpensive but well-designed home furnishings and clothing, respectively.

Italian fashion is also an important cultural export. The city of Milan is regarded as a major fashion capital, hosting an international fashion week twice a year. The city is home to the headquarters of luxury brands such as Valentino, Gucci, Versace, and Prada. Milan is also home to important European fashion magazines, such as Grazia, Vogue Italia, y Vera.

German automotive design has a global reputation for excellence and prestige. Automobile companies such as BMW, Mercedes, and Audi are known throughout the world for creating cars with dynamic designs and an engaging driving experience. The country is also home to a number of outstanding schools for automotive design, such as the Hochschule Esslingen and Hochschule Pforzheim.

Political Geography

Europe&rsquos long history and economic progress have been shaped by its political geography. Political geography is the internal and external relationships between governments, citizens, and territories. Early Europeans, in fact, shaped global ideas of citizenship and government. These ideas have been tested during times of peace and military conflict, and continue to be redefined today.

Historic Issues
Europe&rsquos early political history can be traced back to ancient Greece and Rome, both of which profoundly affected how Western civilizations govern their territories and citizens.

Described as the birthplace of democracy, ancient Greece revolved around the polis, or city-state. City-states were unique in that they were governed not by a hereditary ruler, but by a political body that represented its citizens. This idea of citizenship&mdashof being connected to and having a voice in your community&mdashbecame the basic building block of democracy. The word &ldquodemocracy&rdquo has Greek roots: población-, meaning &ldquopeople,&rdquo and -kratos, meaning &ldquopower.&rdquo Prominent Greek philosophers, such as Socrates and Plato, discussed democratic ideals in their writings. Philosophers and politicians have used these writings to uphold and defend the democratic tradition ever since.

Roman civilization had a major influence on Western concepts of law, government, and the military. At its largest, Rome controlled approximately 6.5 million square kilometers (2.5 million square miles) of land.

The Roman approach to conquering and controlling territory is often considered to be the basis of Western imperialism. Imperialism is a policy of extending a nation&rsquos power and influence through diplomacy or military force. Imperialism is a policy that has been used throughout history, most notably by European powers and the United States. Other political institutions of Rome persist throughout Europe and former European colonies. Some of these concepts include the idea of an elected Senate and the stationing of military troops outside a country&rsquos home region.

World War I and World War II dramatically affected the political geography of Europe. World War I (1914-1918) left about 16 million people dead. The Central Powers (led by the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the Ottoman Empire) fell to the forces of the Allied Powers (led by the United Kingdom, France, and the Russian Empire). By the end of the war, the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires collapsed and broke into a dozen separate nations. Borders between existing nations, such as Poland and Russia, were entirely redrawn.

World War II (1939-1945) left about 43 million Europeans dead, including about 6 million who died in the Holocaust. The Holocaust was the mass murder of Jews under the Nazi regime. World War II also left more than 40 million refugees, contributed to the independence of European colonies throughout the world, and devastated the urban infrastructure of many European cities.

As a result of the devastation of World War II, Western Europe&rsquos leadership in global politics diminished. The United States began to lead the Western world, while the Soviet Union, with its capital in the Eastern European city of Moscow, Russia, led the so-called Eastern Bloc. The relationship between the United States, with a free-market economy, and the Soviet Union, with a communist economy, was known as the Cold War.

The &ldquoIron Curtain&rdquo represents Europe&rsquos political geography during the Cold War. The Iron Curtain was an ideological boundary that divided Europe into two blocs&mdashWestern countries influenced by the United States, and Eastern countries influenced by the Soviet Union. International economic and military organizations developed on either side of the Iron Curtain. The United States and the Soviet Union built up huge nuclear arsenals, with many missiles aimed at targets throughout Europe.

The Iron Curtain took on the physical shape of border defenses, walls, and limited diplomacy. The nation of Germany was divided in two. In fact, the most famous symbol of the Iron Curtain was the Berlin Wall, which divided the East German city of Berlin into western and eastern-controlled parts.

The economic and political demise of the Soviet Union led to the end of the Iron Curtain in the late 1980s. During this time, a number of anti-communist revolutions swept central and eastern Europe. These revolutions eventually lead to the end of the Cold War, symbolized by the falling of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

Contemporary Issues
Europe is now broadly defined in the context of the European Union (EU), an economic and political body officially created by the Maastricht Treaty in 1993. The EU works to create a unified structure for social, environmental, military, and economic policies of its member states.

Today, the European Union is composed of 27 member states, with new members mainly coming from central and eastern Europe. The financial and diplomatic success of the EU has led to its rapid growth across the continent.

The euro is one of the strongest currencies in the world. The euro is the second-most popular currency (behind the American dollar) and is used daily by more than 320 million people. Nations that use the euro as a unit of currency are called the &ldquoeurozone.&rdquo

Leadership of the EU, split among different branches and institutions, is a working model of international cooperation. The EU accepts few candidates: member states must maintain a stable, democratic form of government, a free-market economy, and commitment to the rule of law.

The rapid growth of the European Union, however, has caused a number of administrative and political tensions. Critics believe the process of attaining EU membership is too difficult for Europe&rsquos developing economies. Strict EU regulations place a heavy burden on developing countries to compete with their more developed neighbors.

The global financial crisis, which began around 2008, has caused these tensions to elevate dramatically. The financial crisis is defined by debt and high unemployment. The European Union created a $957 billion &ldquorescue package&rdquo for the EU economy, primarily for countries that had unsustainable debt rates. These countries included Greece, Ireland, Spain, and Portugal. This rescue package has caused tensions to rise between economically competitive countries and the indebted countries that they are helping to rescue. Indebted countries must now deal with strict budgets and declining incomes while more financially stable countries are forcing taxpayers to help fund the financial rescue.

The status of immigrants is also a source of tension and debate in Europe. Historically, Europe has been a center of immigration. The European Union has established the Schengen Area&mdasha zone where Europeans can travel from country to country without having to show their passports. The financial crisis, along with concerns about immigrants&rsquo connections to terrorism and religious extremism, has caused Europe to develop a more guarded approach to immigration. Some critics argue these attitudes are xenophobic. Xenophobia is an intense dislike or fear of people from other places or cultures.

Two events demonstrate this debate. In 2005, the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published 12 cartoons featuring Islamic subjects. The political cartoons sought to engage in the debate surrounding Muslim extremism. Many Muslim organizations, however, saw the cartoons as bigoted, racist, and insulting. Protests developed across the Muslim world, and demonstrators set fire to Danish embassies in Lebanon, Iran, and Syria. These events had a devastating effect on Denmark&rsquos reputation as a progressive and welcoming country. The debate surrounding the cartoons also intensified strained relations between the Islamic world and the West.

In 2010, the French government dismantled illegal immigrant camps throughout France. These camps were mostly populated by Roma, also called Gypsies. Roma are a people and culture native to central and eastern Europe. In the face of an economic crisis, EU citizens of poorer member countries, such as the Roma of Bulgaria and Romania, often migrate to more developed EU countries in search of work. Developed countries, however, are also facing economic challenges. These nations do not feel an obligation to accept illegal immigrants, seeing them as both a threat and a burden.

Supporters of the crackdown want to stop illegal immigration. Critics argue the move was racist.

Future Issues
An important predictor of Europe&rsquos political and economic future is its efforts to minimize the effects of climate change.

Europe is often seen as a world leader in environmentally friendly technologies and legislation. The 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference was held in Copenhagen, Denmark. As part of an international agreement signed at the conference, all 27 member states of the European Union agreed to reduce carbon emissions by 20 percent by 2020 (from 1990 levels).

The EU also notified the UN of a &ldquoconditional offer to increase this cut to 30 percent, provided that other major emitters agree to take on their fair share of a global reduction effort.&rdquo This conditional offer illustrates the tension that was present at the conference between developed countries&rsquo high carbon emissions and developing countries&rsquo low or rising carbon use. In fact, many developing nations argued that the Copenhagen Accord was drafted by a small group of powerful countries and unfairly disadvantages poorer countries, many of which are expected to suffer the worst effects of climate change.

The ageing of Europe&rsquos population is also expected to dramatically affect the continent&rsquos social, political, and financial future. The overall population of Europe is set to drop from roughly 590 million to 542 million by 2050. The proportion of people older than 65 will grow from 16 percent to 28 percent. These projected changes will have two major effects: There will be a smaller work force to create a dynamic and industrious economy, and governments and citizens will have to care for more elderly people.

These changes will affect different regions of Europe in different ways. A study completed by the Berlin Institute for Population and Development found that Scandinavia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, western Germany, Switzerland, Slovenia, Austria, and France have the best prospects of supporting vibrant and economically successful societies. Many of the most socially and economically powerful elements of these societies will be led by immigrants.

Developing countries, such as those in eastern and southern Europe, are expected to bear the worst of the depopulation trend. Among the struggling economies that may suffer from carbon emission limits are Romania, Bulgaria, and Moldova.

Thus, it seems that Europe&rsquos historic disparities between north and south, west and east, will continue to widen in the future. Enacting regional social policies and economic legislation, especially through bodies like the European Union, may help curb that trend.

Europe has a long history of human development and is considered the birthplace of Western Civilization.


GABROVO - Geography and history

With the exception of Sofia-City this is the smallest region in Bulgaria in terms of area with 2 023 km2, which represents only 1.8% of the country's area. Gabrovo is situated in the centre of Northern Bulgaria, bordering on the regions of Lovech, Veliko Turnovo and Stara Zagora. The settlements in the four municipalities of Gabrovo region consist of the four municipal centres, one town that is not a centre of a municipality, 74 villages and numerous hamlets. This number of small settlements is typical for this part of the country and for the southern Balkan slopes. The regional centre, Gabrovo, is the largest town in the region, followed by Sevlievo.

This part of Bulgaria has been inhabited since ancient times. The regional centre of Gabrovo emerged as an urban centre during the time of the Ottoman invasion. Its name was mentioned for the first time in the 16th century. During the 18th and at the beginning of the 19th century manufacturing began to develop rapidly there. Gabrovo merchants established offices in many European cities. In 1835, the first Bulgarian secular school opened its doors in Gabrovo. After the Liberation of Bulgaria (1878), the city turned into one of the largest industrial centres in the country with numerous textile, leather and other enterprises.

The relief is predominantly undulating and mountainous. Valleys such as the Sevlievo Valley offer good opportunities for agriculture. Black coal, marble, limestone and clay are the region's main natural resources. The climate is moderately continental with frequent temperature inversions in the valleys. The major rivers cutting across the region are the Yantra, Rossitsa, Vidima and Dryanovska. One of the biggest dams in Bulgaria, the Alexander Stamboliyski Dam, has been built on the river Yantra. Soil is less fertile in the hilly Balkan mountain range areas, although there are many large pastures, used for animal-rearing.

High employment rate and low unemployment level

Gabrovo region is highly attractive for investors. It has an abundant supply of skilled labour, a variety of production facilities and a heterogeneous economy. Furthermore, its environment is well-preserved and there are valuable architectural and ethnological sites (Bozhentsi, Tryavna, Dryanovo, Etara). The famous Dryanovo Monastery, commemorating the Bulgarians' struggle for national liberty in the 19th century, is situated here too.

The well-developed economic structure of the region is reflected in the favourable employment indicators. The unemployment rate (15.1% in 2002) is one of the lowest nationally (the national unemployment rate for the same year is 16.8%). A note-worthy feature is the high percentage of employment in industry, 43.8% of the total, which is the highest among the regions.

Nevertheless, the region faces a number of problems, the most significant ones concerning the negative natural growth due to the ageing of the population, and depopulation of the mountainous areas. In these zones, substantial areas of arable land are being abandoned and becoming overgrown.

In order to continue to attract local and foreign investors, the right conditions for the management of these processes have to be created, which should then generate sufficient guarantees for the future successful development of this part of the country.

Developed economy with considerable investment

Gabrovo is the smallest region in terms of its population size, with 140 991 people at first of January 2003 (1.8% of the national total). Its density (69.7 inhabitants per km2) is just under the national average. In 2002, people under 25 represented a quarter of the population while those of 65 and over had a share of 20%. The number of inhabitants is diminishing due to the very low birth rate (7.1 per thousand in 2002, the lowest in Bulgaria) and to the large share of ageing population. Infant mortality is, however, below the national average.

With an activity rate of 50.0% (in 2002) and a high employment rate of 425 per 1 000 inhabitants in working age (between 15 and 65), the region is in a better position than the rest of the country (which has an employment rate of 403 per 1000). The higher level of urbanisation is evident from the fact that 77% of the population are urban dwellers as against 67.7% nationally.

The economy has a predominantly industrial bent, the major sectors being processing industries, textile and knitwear industries. Other manufacturing branches include electric hoists, cables and plastic products. A modern enterprise for the manufacture of sanitary fittings, as well as a factory for the manufacturing and repair of railway wagons and carriages are situated in the vicinity of Gabrovo. Due to the significant foreign investment in plants in Sevlievo the region is in second place in Bulgaria in terms of its per capita investment.

Stock-breeding is the principal agricultural activity, mainly in the mountain areas , while cereal crops are grown in the plains. The arable land had a total area of 202 301 hectares, representing 1.8% of the total arable land of the country and 12.1% of the total area of the region (2002 figures)

The good road network is evident from the high road density of 0.25 km per km2 (the highest in Bulgaria), compared to 0.17 km per km2 nationally. The region is crossed by two major roads: the Sofia-Varna and Veliko Turnovo - Stara Zagora roads, as well as by the railway line which runs from Ruse via Gorna Oryahovitsa to Stara Zagora and Podkova.

At the end of 2002, the number of telephone posts (including the installed direct, party-line and supplementary telephone apparatus to the settlements' telephone exchanges) was 61 825 of which 85% for households.

Gabrovo is one of Bulgaria's main university centres, with a Technical University which has several faculties there. There are 65 schools in the municipality of Gabrovo. During the 2002/2003 school year, there were 7 678 students in colleges and universities, representing 21% of the North Central region. There were also 265 teachers, or 11% of the regional average.

Medical care is better than average thanks to the hospital and clinics based here and the available skilled medical staff. On average, there are 7.7 hospital beds per 1 000 inhabitants. Al primero de enero de 2003, Gabrovo registró 492 médicos, de los cuales el 19% eran totalmente prácticos, 117 dentistas y 919 personas con nivel intermedio de educación médica. En conjunto, esto representó el 14% del personal de la región Centro Norte.

Este texto no ha sido validado oficialmente por la oficina de estadística de Bulgaria.


Ver el vídeo: Bulgaria y su apasionante Edad Media. Eva Tobalina