The idea for a museum of military history dates from the time of the First World War. One of the army commanders, General Pravoslav Tenev, saw an opportunity to collect the artefacts scattered all over Bulgaria, held by the regiments and exhibited in regional museums. The army headquarters agreed, and promised rewards to those who cooperated – and penalties to those who tried to hide them.
In 1981, Bulgaria was awash with the megalomaniacal preparations for the celebration of the 1,300th anniversary of its foundation. The BKP wanted to show that Bulgaria was not only an ancient but also a Socialist country.
Strange as it may sound, you can still find clean and peaceful beaches where you can place your towel on the sand without thug-like security guards putting the squeeze on you to hire a lounger or a parasol for 25 leva.
There was a time in its recent history when Bulgaria was marketed as the "Country of Roses." But another title would have had the same, or even greater, success: "Country of Eccentrics." You want examples? There are oodles of them.
Bubi could not say whether he had jumped under the wheels of that car on purpose. The grief-stricken family attributed his death to the tragedy that had happened a few days earlier, on 22 September 1921.
Slivarovo became part of the most strictly guarded part of the Strandzha, the whole of which was now declared a border zone. Even local residents needed permits to leave the area. Rumours about the few people who managed to escape across the border were drowned in propaganda: The Turks, it said, would kidnap Bulgarians foolish enough to wander too close to the border.
70 years ago, on 10 March 1943, Bulgaria's pro-Nazi government decided to defy Berlin and halt the deportation of Bulgaria's 50.000 Jews. This was down to the actions of one man - Dimitar Peshev. Just two years later he faced Communist justice and found himself on trial for his life. His niece Kaluda Kiradjieva remembers