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For a country of its size, Bulgaria has given quite a lot to the world. Here are 12 Bulgarian achievements and records in sports, science, culture and industry that you probably didn’t know about!
The Cyrillic alphabet, one of the world’s most widely used writing systems, was invented at the Preslav Literary School in Bulgaria in the 9th century. Today it is used by over 250 million people in Europe and Asia!
Bulgarian American inventor John Atanasoff played a key role in computer history. His non-programmable prototype, the Atanasoff–Berry computer, is recognized as the first electronic digital computer.
The highest-jumping woman in the world is a Bulgarian. Olympic and world champion Stefka Kostadinova still holds the world record in the high jump athletic discipline which she set in 1987.
The oldest gold treasure in history was unearthed at the Varna Necropolis site in northeastern Bulgaria. The treasure dates back more than 6,000 years and consists of the most ancient worked gold items in the world. Amazingly, this collection of global importance is not among the 9 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Bulgaria.
Bulgaria has the best-quality Internet connection in the world according to a combined factor of speed, stability and customer satisfaction. And also the cheapest per megabit!
In 1979, Bulgaria became the sixth country in the world to send an astronaut (cosmonaut) in space. Two Bulgarians were part of the Soviet Union’s Intercosmos space program of manned orbital missions – Georgi Ivanov and Aleksandar Aleksandrov.
Bulgaria produces about 70% of all rose oil in the world. Natural rose oil is a key component of most perfumes. Bulgaria is also the world’s top exporter of lavender, a fragrant herb used in cuisine and aromatherapy.
Bulgarian footballer Hristo Stoichkov won the Ballon d’Or, Europe’s prime individual award in football, in 1994. In 1990, Stoichkov also won the Golden Boot as Europe’s top scorer – and so have done two other Bulgarians, Petar Zhekov (1969) and Georgi Slavkov (1981).
A record of a Bulgarian song has travelled in interstellar space “further than anyone, or anything, in history”. The captivating folk song Izlel e Delyu haydutin, performed by singer Valya Balkanska, is part of the Voyager Golden Record, carried by the Voyager 1 and 2 space probes into the Universe since 1977.
Local yogurt, an integral part of some of the most delicious Bulgarian food classics and refreshing Bulgarian drinks, is internationally renowned, and not without reason. Its natural health benefits owe much to the bacterium Lactobacillus bulgaricus, discovered by Bulgarian microbiologist Stamen Grigorov in 1905.
Bulgarian visual effects designer George Borshukov was a major contributor to the bullet time effect in The Matrix trilogy.
In 1994, the Bulgarian national team made international headlines by finishing fourth at the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the USA. On the way, Bulgaria beat defending world champions Germany 2-1 in a dramatic encounter.
If you are already fascinated, here are some mind-blowing reasons why you should visit Bulgaria. Want more fascinating information on Bulgaria? Simply head over to my website Kashkaval Tourist, where you will find every reason to love Bulgaria. Add your reactions in the comment section below!