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Over the centuries, however, Thrace's lack of a strong, central leadership made it an attractive target for various conquering armies, from the Persians in the sixth century B.
C., to the Macedonians, who settled the region under Alexander the Great, to the Romans, who overpowered the Thracians in 50 A. When the attenuated Roman Empire divided itself into two parts, Thrace fell under the administration of the eastern, or Byzantine, empire. D., migrant Slavic tribes, encountering little opposition from Byzantine troops, had established themselves south of the Danube and absorbed the smaller Thracian population.
About 85 percent of the population belongs to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.
Smaller numbers are Muslim (13 percent), Jewish (0.8 percent), Roman Catholic (0.5 percent), and Protestant.
Since the country cast off Soviet-sponsored Communism in late 1989, Bulgarians have increasingly turned to public worship, and religious observance has been on the upswing. Turkish has survived several waves of repression during Communist rule and is the primary language of about eight percent of citizens.
The famous crop of the dry and dusty Tundzha Valley, or the "Valley of the Roses," makes Bulgaria the world's largest exporter of attar, or extract, of roses.
The ancient Thracians were one of the original civilizations of the eastern Balkans. C., they inhabited large parts of modern Bulgaria, northern Greece, and European Turkey.
Bulgaria is a small country on the east coast of the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe.