Rio 2016 Bulgaria Team Introduction and Roster


When the 2016 Summer Olympic Games roll into Rio de Janeiro this week, 51 Bulgarian athletes will be there representing their homeland. Competing in 14 sports, this will be Bulgaria’s 20th appearance at the Summer Olympic Games. Here’s an introduction to the Rio 2016 Bulgaria team.

Rio 2016 Bulgaria Medal Chances

The best Bulgarian chance for taking home a medal lies with their rhythmic gymnastics team, which won the 2014 World Championship and placed 2nd in the world last year. Renata Kamberova, Mihaela Maevska, Tsvetelina Naydenova and Hristiana Todorova, all veterans of those teams, will be joined by newcomer Lyubomira Kazanova in their quest for gold.

The Bulgarian wrestling team, traditionally a strong Olympics performer, sends 11 athletes to the games this year, including a slew of bronze medal winners from the most recent World and European Championships. Vladimir Dubov (men’s freestyle 57 kg) and Taybe Yusein (women’s freestyle 63 kg), both bronze medalists at the 2015 World Championships, will need to perform at the peak of their abilities to take home medals from Rio. Daniel Aleksandrov (men’s greco-roman 75 kg), Elitsa Yankova (women’s freestyle 48 kg), and Mimi Hristova (women’s freestyle 58 kg) enter the games following strong performances in the European qualifying tournament earlier this year.

In shooting, Bulgaria will be represented by two second time Olympians, including defending European champion Anton Rizov (10m air rifle, 50m rifle 3 positions and 50m rifle prone) and 2016 European Championship silver medalist Antoaneta Boneva (women’s 10m air pistol and women’s 25m pistol). Both are underdogs hoping to improve on their out of the money finishes at the 2012 games.

Other athletes to watch are Ivaylo Ivanov (Judo, men’s 81 kg), Gabriela and Stefani Stoeva (Badminton, women’s doubles), Gabriela Petrova (Athletics, women’s triple jump), and Miroslav Kirchev (Canoeing, men’s 1000 m).

Crowd favorite Ivet Lalova, competing in her fourth Olympic Games, was recently announced as the flag bearer for the Bulgarian team.

To stay on top of the action, follow us on twitter, where we will be posting daily results for Bulgarian athletes competing in the games. Below is a complete list of Bulgarian athletes participating in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

Rio 2016 Bulgaria Roster


Mitko Tsenov, 3000 m steeplechase
Rumen Dimitrov, triple jump
Georgi Ivanov, shot put
Tihomir Ivanov, high jump
Georgi Tsonov, triple jump

Silvia Danekova, 3000 m steeplechase
Ivet Lalova, 100 m and 200 m
Militsa Mircheva, marathon
Mirela Demireva, high jump
Radoslava Mavrodieva, shot put
Gabriela Petrova, triple jump


Linda Zechiri, singles
Gabriela Stoeva, doubles
Stefani Stoeva, doubles


Daniel Asenov, flyweight
Simeon Chamov, welterweight

Stanimira Petrova, flyweight


Miroslav Kirchev, men’s K-1 1000 m.
Angel Kodinov, men’s C-1 1000 m.


Stefan Hristov, men’s road race


Pancho Paskov, men’s sabre

Gymnastics (Rhythmic)

Neviana Vladinova, individual

Reneta Kamberova, team
Lyubomira Kazanova, team
Mihaela Maevska-Velichkova, team
Tsvetelina Naydenova, team
Hristiana Todorova, team


Yanislav Gerchev, men’s 60 kg
Ivaylo Ivanov, men’s 81 kg

Modern Pentathlon

Dimitar Krastanov, men’s


Georgi Bozhilov, men’s double sculls
Kristian Vasilev, men’s double sculls


Samuil Donkov, men’s 10 m air pistol, men’s 50 m pistol
Anton Rizov, men’s 10 m air rifle, men’s 50 m rifle prone, men’s 50 m rifle 3 positions

Antoaneta Boneva, women’s 10 m air pistol, women’s 25 m pistol


Ventsislav Aydarski, men’s 10 km open water
Aleksandar Nikolov, men’s 100 m freestyle

Nina Rangelova, women’s 200 m freestyle


Grigor Dimitrov, men’s singles

Tsvetana Pironkova, women’s singles


Vladimir Dubov, men’s freestyle 57 kg
Borislav Novachkov, men’s freestyle 65 kg
Georgi Ivanov, men’s freestyle 74 kg
Mihail Ganev, men’s freestyle 86 kg
Dimitar Kumchev, men’s freestyle 125 kg
Daniel Aleksandrov, men’s greco-roman 75 kg
Nikolai Bayryakov, men’s greco-roman 85 kg
Elis Guri, men’s greco-roman 98 kg

Elitsa Yankova, women’s freestyle 48 kg
Mimi Hristova, women’s freestyle 58 kg
Taybe Yusein, women’s freestyle 63 kg

Perushtitsa History Museum


A town dating to the middle ages famous as for its heroes and their suffering during the April uprising of 1876. The regional history museum is number 42 on the Bulgarian Tourist Union list of the Top 100 Tourist Sites in Bulgaria.





Nessebar (BG: Несебър) is an ancient seaside village located on a peninsula jutting into the Black Sea. Called “The Pearl of the Black Sea,” it is number 7 on the Bulgarian Tourist Union list of the top 100 tourist sites in Bulgaria, and has been included on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites since 1983.


The earliest settlement on the site was of Thracian origin, with evidence of habitation dating back to about 1000 BCE.

It became a Greek colony in the early 6th century BCE. Called Mesembria (BG:

Remains from the Hellenistic period include the acropolis, a temple of Apollo, and an agora. A wall which formed part of the fortifications can still be seen on the north side of the peninsula. Bronze and silver coins were minted in the city since the 5th century BC and gold coins since the 3rd century BC.


Football Vocabulary Cheat Sheet

fifa world cup artwork

Just in time for World Cup 2014 in Brazil, Bulstack presents a new Football Vocabulary Cheat Sheet: World Cup Edition.

Whether you plan to view matches with friends, or just want to be able to share your thoughts in post-match talk arund the water cooler, download our handy pdf version of the cheat sheet and you are good to go!

 Download Now

Sliven Old Elm Named European Tree of the Year


The Old Elm in the center of Sliven is the overwhelming choice for European Tree of the Year 2014. In a Europe-wide poll, the venerable symbol of the city received 77,526 votes, the highest total ever for a winning tree, and over five times the number of votes for the next five finalists combined. Municipal officials attributed the lopsided result to an aggressive get-out-the-vote campaign organized by the young people of Sliven. The Old Elm joins previous winners from Hungary and Romania who have received the honor.

The Old Elm is the most important landmark in Sliven, located right next to the city hall. It is a fine example of the Field Elm (Ulmus minor), standing proud astride the main pedestrian thoroughfare in the city center. It is over 1100 years old. Citizens have gathered around the old elm for centuries, and it remains the most common meeting place for friends and visitors today.

A likeness of the tree appears on the city coat of arms.

The European Tree of the Year competition is organized by the Environmental Partnership, the largest environmental NGO in the Czech Republic. Bulgarian participation is coordinated by the Bulgarian Environmental Partnership Foundation. The competition seeks to honor trees which have an interesting story to tell and the power to unite communities.

The Good Balkans


A 20-something Englishman, Jack Hamilton traveled to Bulgaria in search of adventure, in part hoping to ferret out answers about its transition from Communist satellite to modern European state. His timing was impeccable. Working as a journalist in Sofia from 1996 to 2001, he occupied a ringside seat for some of the most tumultuous years in recent Bulgarian history. The Good Balkans is a collection of people and vignettes reflecting what Hamilton saw, heard and experienced along the way.

Hamilton touches on most of the major themes which seem to reverberate around Bulgarian society. Bulgarian nationalism, the Macedonian question, the role of old Communists, the shadow economy, local superstition and the plight of everyday Bulgarians make regular appearances throughout the book. His encounters with famous Bulgarians such as Simeon II, the last King and later Prime Minister of Bulgaria, and Ilya Pavlov, Bulgaria’s richest man when he was gunned down in 2003, provide useful insights and amusing anecdotes.

His friends and acquaintances are a veritable smorgasbord of Bulgarian characters who might seem unusually eccentric to the uninitiated outsider, but to the experienced observer embody all at once the goodness, sadness and frustration of what has become contemporary Bulgarian society.

Table of Contents:

A Blank Spot on the Map
Balkan Winter
Europe’s First Post-communist Revolution

Disappearing Treasures
Crossed Lines
Adventures with the Underclass
Disappointing a Hermit
Red Wine, Black Earth
The Macedonian Question
The Good Spirits
The Witch’s Cup
Saving My Soul

The Last of the True Marxist-Leninists
Zhivkov, Markov, and the Poisoned Umbrella
Burying the Past
The Rise and Fall of a National Capitalist
Put Not Thy Trust in Princes
Life and Death on Grafa

Who Can Stay?
Milk from the Matchmaker
Gypsy Love
An Awkward Dissident in Democracy
A Struggle for Souls
What is a Dowry Worth?

Bibliographic entry:

Hamilton, Jack. The Good Balkans: Adventures between Old and New Bulgaria, (London: Wild Man Books), 2007.

Buy The Good Balkans: Adventures in Bulgaria from Amazon today!

Bulgaria Past & Present


Bulgaria Past & Present is a collection of scholarly essays comprising the Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Bulgarian Studies, held in Varna, Bulgaria, from 13-17 June 1978.

The volume includes forty one articles on a wide variety of topics, including history, literature, economics, music, sociology, folklore and linguistics. Some of the topics, such as history and literature, are easily accessible to the curious reader. Others, such as those on linguistic matters, are perhaps only of interest to specialists.

An interesting observation is that many of the Bulgarian authors reflect the communism of the times. Undoubtedly their reports would differ if written today.

The English translations of Bulgarian authors were obviously done by Bulgarian native speakers. As a result they suffer from the typical errors of grammar, syntax, and vocabulary often encountered in Binglish colloquial usage. The volume would have benefited from the addition of at least one native English speaking editor to assist in the scholarly task.

Nevertheless, the collection is useful for anyone interested in the state of Bulgarian studies during the late 1970’s in general or the specific subject matter of the articles in particular.

Welcome to Bulgaria keeps a reference copy of this work in its library for the use of our customers.

Table of Contents:

Hristo Hristov – Russia, the West European States and the Liberation of Bulgaria from Ottoman Rule.
Marin Pundeff – Schuyler and MacGahan before 1876.
Tsonko Genov – Januarius A. MacGahan before 1876.
James F. Clarke – Lt. Greene and the Russo Turkish War.
Liubomir Panaiotov – The Ilinden-Preobrazhenie Uprising in 1903.
Vladimir I. Georgiev – Genesis of the Bulgarian People and the Appearance of the Bulgarian Language.
Zhana Molhova – What Does Componential Analysis Say?
Victor A. Friedman – Admirativity in Bulgarian Compared with Albanian and Turkish.
Svetomir Ivanchev – An Unusual Way of Forming Diminutives from Nouns of Masculine Gender in Bulgarian.
Eric P. Hamp – The Loss of Declension and the Definite.
Liuben Berov – Economic Relations between Bulgaria and the USA during 1918-1941.
Liubomir Dellin – United States Trade with Bulgaria – Problems and Prospects. A Report on American Research.
Raina Pesheva – The Bulgarian Family and the Traditions of National Culture.
Irwin T. Sanders – Studying Bulgarian Village Life in the 1930’s.
Roger Whitaker – Experienceing Revolutionary Change: The Role of Tradition.
Velichko Dobrianov – What is Developed socialism – Theoretical and Practical Advancements.
Philip Shashko – A Bulgarian Revenge: In Search of the Real Yorvaki-Haji Oglou.
Michael B. Petrovich – The Romantic Periodof Bulgarian Historiography: From Paissii to Drinov
Peter John Georgeoff – The Role of Education in the Bulgarian National Revival.
Gencho D. Piriov – Democratic Principles of Bulgarian Education.
Trendafil Krustanov – Origins of the Neo-Bulgarian Enlightenment.
Albert B. Lord – The Structure of Certain Bulgarian Rescue and Return Songs.
Stefana Stoikova – On the Problem of Continuity in Bulgarian epic Tradition.
G. Koolemans Beynen – The Bulgarian Animal Language Tales.
Ante Kadic – The Bulgarian Peasants as Portrayed by Elin Pelin and Iordan Iovkov.
Stefan Elevterov – America through the Eyes of Aleko Konstantinov.
Tsveta Damianova – Western European Romanticism and Bulgarian Renaissance Literature.
Petar Shopov – Linguistic Intercourse as a Basic Prerequisite for the American Missionary Work in Bulgaria.
Veselin Traikov – The First American Protestant Missionaries in Bulgaria.
Voin Bozhinov – On the Political Relations between Bulgaria and the United States of 1918-1923.
Alexandar Velichkov – On Some Aspects of Bulgarian-American Relations Immediately Before and at the Beginning of World War II.
Raina Manafova – Some Aspects of the Bulgarian-American Cultural Ties from the Liberation to the First World War.
Boriana Velcheva – Bulgarian “jers” and the Contribution of American Linguists to Their Study.
Ronelle Alexander – Directions of Morphometric Change in Bulgarian Dialects.
Iordan Penchev – Dative Pronominal Indirect Objects and Attributes in Bulgarian.
Elena Toncheva – Bulgarian Melodies in Byzantine Manuscripts of the 14th and 15th Centuries.
Boris Kremenliev – Multidisciplinary Approaches to Ethnomusicology.
Dimitar Dimitrov – Relations Between the Commmunist Party and the Agrarian Party over the Past 80 Years.
Frederick B. Chary – The Politicization of the Bulgarian Agrarian Popular Union, 1899-1901.
Iono Mitev – Alexandar Stamboliiski and the Worker-Peasant Unity.
Todor Sabev – The Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the Jewish Question during the Second World War.

Bibliographic Entry:

Kosev, Dimitar, ed. Bulgaria Past & Present: Studies in History, Literature, Economics, Music, Sociology, Folklore and Linguistics. Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Bulgarian Studies, 13-17 June 1978. Sofia: BAN, 1982.

Aladzha Monastery


The Aladzha Monastery is a treasure of Bulgarian spiritual history, preserving the remains of a large cave monastery complex and other ancient and medieval ruins surrounding the site.

Rock Monasteries in Bulgaria

Rock monasteries hold an important place in Bulgarian spiritual history. Frequently carved out of limestone cliffs, evidence suggests that the use of these places predates even the arrival of Christianity in Bulgarian lands.

The earliest Christian remains, carvings in rock-hewn cells, have been dated to late antiquity, when the first wave of Christianity passed through the Balkan Peninsula during the 4th through 6th centuries. By the time of the Bulgarian arrival towards the end of the 7th century, most of the rock monasteries were abandoned.

King Boris’s adoption of Christianity as the state religion in 864 opened the door for a revival of these spiritual communities. This process was encouraged through the remainder of the first Bulgarian Kingdom, and continued under Byzantine rule during the 11th and 12th centuries.

The Second Bulgarian Kingdom ushered in a cultural renaissance during the 13th and 14th centuries, often called the “Golden Age” of Bulgaria. As spiritual renewal swept the land, old rock monasteries reopened, and many new ones were established. The Aladzha Monastery was a part of this revival. Investigation of chapel frescoes suggests that the life of the monastery reached its height during this time.

Aladzha Monastery

The origins of Aladzha Monastery are unknown, but it is thought to date from sometime during the 12th century. Even its original name has been lost. The current name comes from the Turkish word for motley, or multi-colored, probably in reference to the colorful frescoes that once decorated the interior walls.

The monastery is carved into a limestone cliff about 40 meters high. It was constructed on two levels, connected by an outdoor staircase. The lower level consists of the monastery church, private cells, the kitchen and dining hall, the crypt, and a small cemetery chapel. The upper level contains the monastery chapel, built in a natural rock recess at the eastern end of the cave complex. Very little of the once colorful frescoes remains, but standing on location it is easy to imagine how beautiful it must have been in its heyday.

The monastic community at Aladzha adhered to the hesychast tradition of the Orthodox church, which stressed prayer and solitude as means to experience God.

The Turkish conquest of Bulgaria at the end of the 14th century brought the life of the monastery to its end. Though it was abandoned at least for some time, its subsequent history through the centuries remains unclear.

Other Historical Remains near Aladzha Monastery

In the vicinity of the monastery are other historical remains, including rock-hewn cells called the Catacombs, an early Christian basilica, a fortress, and a group of buildings from late antiquity.

The Catacombs are a separate series of caves located about 700 meters west of the main monastery. Excavation of the site confirms its existence from at least the 4th century, with evidence that it continued in use into the 6th century. The catacombs were likely incorporated into the life of the main monastery during the 13th and 14th centuries.

Getting There:

Aladzha Monastery is located 17kilometers north of Varna and 3 kilometers west of the Golden Sands Resort in the Golden Sands Nature Park. The site can be reached easily by car via Route 9, then following the roadsigns to the monastery. The local bus stop is a 5 minute stroll from the monastery.


Aladzha Monastery
Golden Sands Nature Park
9007 Golden Sands

(t) +359 52 35 54 60


Hours of operation:
1 May to 31 October, 09:00-22:00 daily
1 November to 30 April, 09:00-16:00 mon-fri, closed weekends

Adults – BGN 5
Children – BGN 2

Show Tickets:
BGN 15 per person for groups up to 20 people
BGN 10 per person for groups of more than 20 people

Guided Tour:
In Bulgarian or Russian – BGN 20

Image Gallery for Aladzha Monastery:

Bulgarian Competitiveness Ranking Falls Three Places


The 2013 World Competitiveness Yearbook ranks Bulgaria 57th out of 60 countries studied by the organization this year. The ranking compares the competitiveness of 60 nations based on over 300 criteria in four broad categories (economic performance, business efficiency, government efficiency, and infrastructure) to illustrate how an economy manages the totality of its resources and competencies to increase the prosperity of its population.

Bulgaria’s ranking dropped three places from 54th in 2012. A one point improvement in its infrastructure index was more than offset by a three point decline in government efficiency this year.

The United States regained the top spot in the world rankings this year after falling to 2nd in 2012, with Switzerland, Hong Kong, Sweden and Singapore rounding out the top five. Among the world’s largest economies, Germany and the UK held steady at 9th and 18th, respectively, China rose two places to 21st, Russia rose six places to 42nd, and India fell five places to 40th.

Around the region, Turkey far outpaced the rest in 37th place, with the rest of the Balkan countries scattered near the very bottom of the list. Slovenia and Croatia declined one place each to 52nd and 58th, and Romania declined from 53rd to 55th. Greece moved up four places from 58th to 54th.

Complete rankings, data, and methodology can be found here.

Check out more of Bulgaria by the numbers:

The Oresharski Cabinet


parliament-building-480x360On Wednesday, 29 May, the Bulgarian Parliament elected a “government of experts” proposed by the Bulgarian Socialist Party, with Plamen Oresharski as Prime Minister. The new government was approved by a vote of 119-98, with 23 members abstaining.

The former ruling party, Citizens for the European Development of Bulgaria (GERB), narrowly prevailed in the May national elections and received the first mandate to propose a government, but failed to secure enough seats to form one on its own. When it became clear that none of the other parties was willing to form a coalition with them, they returned the mandate and it was passed along to the socialists.

The BSP quickly secured the support of the ethnic Turkish party, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), but this alone was not enough to obtain a victory. The two parties together control just 120 seats, or exactly one half of the parliament, one seat shy of assembling a quorum. To achieve victory they needed help from either GERB or the ultra-nationalist party ATAKA, who are the sworn enemies of the DPS.

Suspense surrounding the process continued right up until the morning of the vote, when ATAKA leader Volen Siderov registered as the 121st member to vote on the proposal, personally assuring a victory for the Oresharski bid.

The GERB delegation, present but not registered for the vote, walked out in protest, then returned to register their votes in opposition after the quorum was secured. GERB leader and former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov called the Oresharski cabinet laughable and dangerous, saying, “After we saw this so-called expert cabinet, we realized that it would have been laughable, if it was not so dangerous for Bulgaria.”

Despite his displeasure at the outcome, Borisov later admitted that at least the Oresharski cabinet is “better than no government at all.”
In his first comments as Prime Minister, Oresharski reiterated his intention to get Bulgaria on “the right path” by addressing widespread poverty, stabilizing the economy, and restoring hope to the Bulgarian people. “In times of crisis,” he said, “Everybody should give their best, come what may.”

Regarding future prospects for the nation, he reflected, “We shall probably not manage to turn rich and prosperous, but the minimum target should be to make sure that by the end of the government’s term in office, all Bulgarian citizens have greater hope and confidence and we are on the right path, that by striving to achieve personal prosperity they are contributing to society as a whole.”

The Oresharski Cabinet

Here is a list of members in the cabinet of Plamen Oresharski:

Plamen Oresharski, Prime Minister
Zinaida Zlatanova, Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Minister
Petar Chobanov, Finance Minister
Kristian Vigenin, Foreign Minister
Danail Papazov, Transport Minister
Aneliya Klisarova, Education Minister
Tanya Andreeva, Health Minister
Tsvetlin Yovchev, Interior Minister
Mariana Georgieva, Youth and Sports Minister
Angel Naydenov, Defense Minister
Petar Stoyanovich, Culture Minister
Iskra Mihaylova, Environment Minister
Dragomir Stoynev, Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism
Hassan Ademov, Minister of Labor and Social Policy
Desislava Terzieva, Regional Development Minister
Dimitar Grekov, Agriculture Minister
Ivan Danov, Minister of Investment Projects

A second Deputy Prime Minister in charge of Economy will be appointed in the coming weeks.