It is unclear when lions were last seen in Europe, but a number of European countries have adopted the lion as an integral part of their coats-of-arms and national symbolism.
Bulgaria is in the company of Britain, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Finland, Georgia and a number of others to feature lions on its heraldry, and lions of all shapes and sizes decorate various public spaces in towns and villages. Some of them are 19th century and were erected after the 1878 independence. Some belong to newer times, including the Communist period. Many were made by professional artists commissioned by local authorities, but others were chiseled by amateurs whose sense of national pride and patriotism sometimes outperformed their proclivity for sculpting. The one featured here is one of the best examples of a 19th century Bulgarian lion standing in the middle of the central square of a large town.
Where in Bulgaria are you?