Issue 151

QUOTE-UNQUOTE

We are the only European capital named after a temple and probably the only city named after God.

Todor Chobanov, Culture and Education Mayor of Sofia, on why Christ was chosen as the emblem of the city's 140th anniversary as a Bulgarian capital

Our football is like a tavern with a live band: you enter and you order the music.

TSKA coach Lyuboslav Penev

We will help Notre Dame with restorers and icon-painters.

Thu, 05/02/2019 - 11:56
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WHAT'S MAKING THE ROUND THESE DAYS?

If Boyko knew the fire at Notre-Dame would overshadow Apartment-gate for a while, he would have set it himself a long time ago.

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Shabla (at the Black Sea coast) is ready to help Paris with 70 million. The sacks can be delivered immediately.

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Plovdiv Bishop Nikolay (who infamously covered some 19th century church murals with wallpaper) said he would donate some wallpaper to Notre-Dame.

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Half the members of the BSP, or Bulgarian Socialist Party, are nuts. The other half are corrupt. In GERB, the situation is exactly the opposite.

Thu, 05/02/2019 - 11:56
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WHAT IS THE TRADITIONAL FOOD FOR ST GEORGE'S DAY, ON 6 MAY?

1. What is the relation between Cyril and Methodius, the creators of the Slavonic alphabet?

A. Father and son

B. Brothers

C. Cousins

 

2. In which Bulgarian river is there sturgeon?

A. The Danube

B. The Iskar

C. The Maritsa

 

3. King Liberator Boulevard in Sofia is named after...

A. King Ferdinand I

Thu, 05/02/2019 - 11:44
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WHO WAS LYUDMILA ZHIVKOVA?

Her father's daughter who imposed her own mediocrity on Bulgaria's culture? Or a forbearing politician who revived interest in Bulgaria's past and placed the country on the world map? Or a quirky mystic? Or a benefactor to the arts?

The assessment of Lyudmila Zhivkova, Communist dictator Todor Zhivkov's daughter, is more contentious than is customary for the public figures of Communism. What she did to Bulgarian culture in the 1970s continues to leave its imprint on public and social life, and even on the standpoints from which the nation views itself.

Thu, 05/02/2019 - 11:27
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NORTH MACEDONIA

The Balkans are associated in the common imagination with bloody conflicts, but in recent months a series of events challenged this notion. After years of grandstanding and disputes two Balkan countries finally agreed on... a name. Greece accepted to stop referring to its northwestern neighbour as Skopje, the name of its capital city. Said neighbour, for its part, agreed to stop calling itself Macedonia, recognising that there is a Macedonia in Greece, too. Thus, the republic of North Macedonia was born.

Thu, 05/02/2019 - 11:20
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WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?

They have probably visited the sanctuaries at Begliktash by the Black Sea and Belintash in the Rhodope. Tatul, the supposed resting place of Orpheus, is probably high on their list. Yet there is another ancient sanctuary-cum-tomb, as – if not more – evocative than Tatul but far less explored, mainly because it is off the beaten track.

Perched on top of a hill, it commands stupendous views to the nearby hills and waters, and holds a number of mysteries that will set your imagination in motion for weeks on end.

Where in Bulgaria are you?

Thu, 05/02/2019 - 11:17
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BLIND ORACLE OF MECTAN*, a short story

He is the blind oracle at Unchained Melody Massage Parlor.

He specializes in foot rubs. He can stimulate all kinds of glands with pulls and pricks of the tendon and phalanges.

He can, for example, make a person grow taller by pushing on the well of the big toe, which is the pituitary gland reflex point. Everyone knows this.

He can also tell people's fortunes.

He made his first prophecy on April 26, 1521.

Thu, 05/02/2019 - 11:13
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AN ENVIRONMENT FOR THE PEOPLE

In the past few years Bulgaria experiences a boom in construction of residential, administrative, sport, industrial, shopping and other buildings. The main trends taking shape in this process mirror the global trends in development of architecture, interior design, materials. After the overregulated and monotone architecture of Communist Bulgaria and the chaotic development of the 1990s and the 2000s, the Bulgarian architecture in the 2010s is interesting, up-to-date, innovative and responsible to the society and the environment.

Thu, 05/02/2019 - 11:05
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THE MAGIC OF THE BULGARIAN ROSE

The oil-bearing rose is a delicate plant that feels well only at a single, restricted territory: the Valley of Roses, the strip of land between the Stara Planina and the Sredna Gora mountain ranges around Kazanlak, Karlovo, Sopot and a couple of other towns. Only here the winter and the summer are balm enough and the soils are nurturing enough so that this gentle plant can create its unique aromatic magic.

The oil of the Bulgarian rose is a key ingredient for perfumery and cosmetic industry and Bulgaria is one of the main international producers and exporters.

Thu, 05/02/2019 - 10:50
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CATHOLIC BULGARIA

In 1199, Pope Innocent III wrote a letter to Bulgarian King Kaloyan to offer an union. Bulgaria had just freed itself from two centuries of Byzantine domination and actively sought international recognition of its political and religious independence. Even by the standards of medieval communications Kaloyan was slow to respond. He wrote back to the pope three years later, when it emerged that the Byzantine emperor would not recognise him as king.

Thu, 05/02/2019 - 08:59
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RHODOPE IN FULL BLOSSOM

The Rhodope mountains have an aura of an enchanted place no matter whether you visit in summer, autumn or winter. But in springtime there is something in the Bulgarian south that makes you feel more relaxed, almost above the ground. It could be the clean air and the smell of firs, the magnificence of the green peaks fading away in the distance or the picturesque traditional villages that are so often depopulated, a bitter-sweet sight. It could be the sublime nature of gorges, river meanders, oddly shaped rocks, or the locals with their trademark friendliness and mesmerising music.

Thu, 05/02/2019 - 08:50
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