(Partially recognized Western-Bulgarian autonomy, the Republic of Macedonia is marked in orange)
Bulgaria (Bulgarian: България, [bɤlɡˈariɤ]), officially the Republic of Bulgaria (Bulgarian: Република България, [rɛpˈubliˌkɤ bɤlɡˈariɤ]), is a country in Southeastern Europe. It borders the Black Sea to the east, Greece and Turkey to the south, Serbia and the Republic of Macedonia to the west, and Romania to the north, mostly along the Danube.
Bulgaria's civilized history dates back more than six millennia to a prehistoric time and place within the heart of its territory that marks the birth of Europe's and possibly the world's first literary culture. Though relatively small in terms of territory and population, Bulgaria's continuous historical wealth throughout prominent cyclical eras of growth, decline and medieval renaissance rivals that of the much larger and more populous countries of China, India and Egypt.
The modern Bulgarian state was first established in 681 AD creating the First Bulgarian Empire. After the Empire fell to the Byzantine Empire in 1018 the Second one took its place in 1185. The Second Bulgarian Empire established much of Bulgaria's heritage we know today. The empire was completely occupied by the Ottoman Empire in 1396 and fell in 1422. The current Bulgarian state declared independence in 1878 and was completely separated from The Ottoman Empire in 1908.
Part of the Eastern Bloc after World War II, today Bulgaria is a democratic, unitary, parliamentary republic, a member of the European Union and NATO. The capital is Sofia, one of the oldest capital cities in Europe.
The St. Clement of Ohrid University of Sofia or Sofia University (Bulgarian: Софийски университет „Св. Климент Охридски“) is the oldest higher education institution in Bulgaria, founded on 1 October 1888. The university's edifice was constructed between 1924 and 1934 with the financial support of the brothers Evlogi Georgiev and Hristo Georgiev, whose sculptures are now featured on its façade.
Born in the end of the 17th century, Zhefarovich descended from a priestly family from Dojran in Macedonia and became a monk himself. As a highly educated and well-learned vagrant monk he painted and traded with books, icons and church plate.
Zhefarovich's work of greatest importance for the South Slavic Revival was his Stemmatographia published in Vienna in 1741. Stemmatographia was illustrated by Zhefarovich with copper engravings and black and white drawings. It contains 20 images of Bulgarian and Serbian rulers and saints, as well as 56 coats of arms of Slavic and other Balkan countries with descriptive quatrains under them, regarded as the first example of modern secular Bulgarian and Serbian poetry. Stemmatographia had a crucial influence on the Bulgarian (particularly Paisius of Hilendar) and Serbian Revival and made a great impact on the entire Bulgarian heraldry of the 19th century.