Bulgaria, republic in southeastern Europe, known from 1946 to 1990
as the People's Republic of Bulgaria. Situated in the Balkan Peninsula,
Bulgaria is bounded on the north by Romania, on the east by the
Black Sea, on the south by Turkey and Greece, and on the west by
the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) and the
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
Once an independent kingdom, Bulgaria was dominated by the Communist
Party from 1946 until 1990, when a multiparty system was adopted.
During the Communist period, when Bulgaria was under the control
of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), the once-dominant
agricultural sector was overtaken by manufacturing. The capital
and largest city is Sofia.
Most of Bulgaria has a continental climate, with cold winters and
hot summers. The climate in general is more severe than in other
European areas of the same latitudes, and the average annual temperature
range is greater than that of neighboring countries. Severe droughts,
frosts, winds, and hail storms frequently damage crops.
A Mediterranean climate, with dry summers and mild, humid winters,
prevails in the valley of the southwestern Rhodope Mountains; the
northern limit of the climatic zone is the Balkan Mountains.