A country in south-eastern Europe on the western shores of the Black Sea; population 7,100,000 (estimated 2015); official language, Bulgarian; capital, Sofia.
Bulgaria was first established as a state in the 7th century. It became part of the Ottoman Empire in the 14th century and remained under Turkish rule until the late 19th century, becoming independent in 1908. A communist state was set up by the former Soviet Union after World War II, and a multiparty democratic system was introduced in 1989. Bulgaria joined NATO in 2004 and became a member of the EU in 2007
Named after the Bulgars (see Bulgar).