Playing With Fire in Bulgaria


In Balgari, a small village in Bulgaria’s Strandzha Mountains, the air is thick with anticipation. Embers are spread around in a large circle. High above the circle sit icons of the two saints, Constantine and Helena, who are being honored today. The fire dance is about to begin.

The Bad Girl of the Bulgarian Theatre


The loss of a beloved artist is always a painful loss. The loss of Stoyanka Mutafova in 2019, who, at 97 years old, was one of the oldest actors in the world still working, shook Bulgaria profoundly. After all, the country lost its uncontested "Queen of Comedy."

All Eyes on Plovdiv, Bulgaria


Plovdiv, Bulgaria’s second-largest city, is always there for you, although it’s easy to miss. A less than two-hour drive to the south from the capital Sofia, Plovdiv is often seen as a city living in the shadow of its mighty neighbor. Big mistake.

When Lions Roared in Bulgaria


Once upon a time, lions roamed parts of the Balkan Peninsula. Excavations show that the last lions were spotted in Bulgaria somewhere around the 3rd or 4th century BC. And while lions were not around to witness the birth of Bulgaria or its struggles, they remain one of the country’s symbols. Why?

Bulgaria’s House of Funny


Welcome to Gabrovo, Bulgaria’s capital of humor. In this Central Bulgarian town, legends say that they cut the tails of cats so that the door closes faster after them. It’s such a prevalent story they erected a bronze cat sculpture that has been attracting visitors for two decades.

Bulgaria’s Little-Known Forefathers


At first sight, Pliska, a town in northeastern Bulgaria with a population of just over 1,000, is exactly what you’d expect from a small town, with its main street housing a few administrative buildings and a coffee shop. And yet, it is not a town like any other. Welcome to Bulgaria’s first capital.

Looking for Bulgarian Yogurt? Try Japan


When Francis I of France suffered a stomach disease, a renowned doctor was summoned from Constantinople, soon arriving in Paris in unusual company – a flock of about 40 sheep. The good doctor got to work fermenting the sheep milk and offered it as a remedy. The King made a swift recovery.