The older Bulgarian literature written on Church Slavic experienced a golden age as early as the 9th century, during the then 865 Greek Orthodox First Bulgarian Empire, and underwent a new upswing with the culmination of the 13th century before the Turkish conquest of 1396. The literary The activities during these stages were linked to the church and focused on translation from the Byzantine literature of the church-religious genres, but also included standard medieval entertainment literature such as the Troja and Alexander novels and other worldly acclaimed works by Byzantine models. The elements of original authorship were few but testified to an early independence gained.
- Countryaah: Population and demographics of Bulgaria, including population pyramid, density map, projection, data, and distribution.
During Turkish rule, promising literary development was transformed into a stagnation that lasted until the end of the 18th century. Then, until the liberation in 1878, followed the epoch known as the Bulgarian Renaissance (văzrazjdane). What triggered the national rebirth was the Athos monk Paisij Chilendarskis in transcripts spreading “Slavic-Bulgarian history” (1762; first printed in 1844). In this work, which brought the proud past to life and called for national self-reliance and vigilance about Bulgarian language and uniqueness, there was inscribed an educational program, which in the following time came to be realized in the form of schools, reading rooms, publicist activities, folkloric fund-raising work, etc. both inside and outside the country. This, along with the political struggle, prepared the nation for liberation.
As part of this development, around the middle of the 19th century, the foundation was also laid for modern fiction, with the spoken New Bulgarian risk as a linguistic basis. The Russian influence was now clear as later. An important source of inspiration and substance was also the oral tradition of popular poetry, especially the epic partisan songs, whose heroes (chajduti) appeared as symbols of the national struggle for freedom. As the portal figures of the New Bulgarian literature the decades before liberation stands within the poetry of Petko Slavejkov, within the prose Vasil Drumev and Ljuben Karavelov. However, the literary monuments of the era are revolutionary Christo Botev’s lyric. At this time also stood the cradle of the Bulgarian theater, and the first significant drama was written by Vasil Drumev.
After the liberation in 1878, a new generation with Ivan Vazov as the leading name appeared for a long time in both prose, poetry and drama. Internationally noted was his historical novel “Under the Yoke” (1889) with the subject of the April rebellion in 1876 and considered a Bulgarian national epic. Vazov’s poetry also falls mainly during the first decades of free Bulgaria. But the time of the break is dominated by a social-prose with different signs: patriotic-critical at Vazov; satirical-humorous by Aleko Konstantinov in the classic “Baj Ganju” (1893); naturalistic-moral at Georgi Stamatov, whose writing extends well into the next century. The same goes for Anton Strashimirov, who linked to a vivid depiction of Bulgarian prose since the 1880’s,
At the same time as the national educational aspirations of the 19th century reached high goals (university 1888, national library and national theater 1907), literature began to orient itself towards contemporary European ideas and currents. At the forefront of this development was the influential critic Krăstjo Krăstev and the circle of poets he gathered around Misăl magazine. Foremost among them were Pentjo Slavejkov and Pejo Javorov, who brought Bulgarian poetry to a high level. It was also mainly in poetry that the new international orientation became established. It should be emphasized that the strong position of symbolism from 1905 onwards with Javorov as nests and Teodor Trajanov, Dimtjo Debeljanov and Nikolaj Liliev as significant representatives. Roots in symbolism also had the poets who, during the troubled last half of the 1920’s, expressed a radical social and political pathos; Primarily at Geo Milev and Christo Smirnenski are strong influences from German expressionism and Russian futurism. More unbound by aesthetic and political programs was Kiril Christov and during the latter part of the interwar period Elisaveta Bagrjana and Atanas Daltjev. A special position takes Nikola Vaptsarov (executed in 1942), with his Majakovsky-inspired revolutionary poetry. The prose continued to be predominantly nationally and regionally rooted, with Elin Pelin and Jordan Jovkov as the main names of the interwar period. The theater’s rapid progression attracted several writers to try their hand at drama; the greatest scenic success during the interwar period was Stefan Kostov’s comedies.
The first decade of the Bulgarian People’s Republic was marked by a doctrinally applied socialist realism. However, a significant work from this period was Dimităr Dimov’s novel “Tobacco” (1951). In addition, several authors were attracted to the less controversial historical novel, such as with Dimităr Talev, Emilijan Stanev, Anton Dontiev and others. has become a successful genre in Bulgarian post-war prose. In the freer climate after 1956, a significant thematic and genre-wide breadth has been developed with Ljubomir Levchev and Blaga Dimitrova in poetry, Nikolaj Chajtov and Jordan Radichkov in the prose as the internationally best known names. Radichkov has also become known as a playwright with peculiar satires and together with Stanislav Stratiev dominates this form.
Around the middle of the 19th century, theater activities emerged as part of the struggle for cultural and political independence. Several amateur troops appeared in the typical reading cabins. The importance of the struggle for freedom was that led by Dobri Vojnikov in Brăila in Romania 1866–71. After the liberation, professional theaters emerged in Plovdiv and Sofia, and in 1907 the National Theater in Sofia was opened. The historical and patriotic dramas that hitherto dominated the repertoire were followed by a more modern selection. The strong Russian influence was reinforced by the Moscow-trained theater man Nikolaj Massalitinov, who led the national scene in 1925-44 and founded a stage school in 1926. The Stalin era was devastating for the drama, but in 1948 was added the Theater College (VITIZ). Since 1956, the drama has slowly recovered; The performing arts are considered to hold a high class that the domestic repertoire had difficulty reaching. In 1980, close to 50 theaters operated in the country.
A sporadic film production was maintained by the pioneers Vasil Gendov (1891-1970) and Boris Grezhov (1899-1968) from 1910 to World War II, when propaganda films for the Axis powers were almost exclusively made, on which Bulgaria stood. The film industry was nationalized in 1948, and a Soviet-imposed social realism dominated for several years, often with heroic depictions of the communist resistance movement’s struggle against the Nazis and the rebuilding of the country after the war.
Towards the end of the 1950’s, a new director generation with Rangel Văltjanov (born 1928) and Vălo Radev (1923–2001) came to the forefront. During the 1960’s, the repertoire was broadened with contemporary themes, and genre works such as horror films also appeared. Although several of these films were drawn to film festivals – such as Georgi Djulgerov’s (born 1943) “Avantazj”, winner of the Silver Bear in Berlin 1977 – they rarely got any commercial distribution. Largest international distribution got the animated film, which had its pioneer era in the 1950’s and 1960’s with, among other things, Todor Dinov (1919–2004) and Donjo Donev (1929–2007).
The situation has not improved significantly in post-communist Bulgaria. Single productions, e.g. Iglika Trifonova’s (born 1957) crime film “Razledvane” (2006) in co-production with companies in the Netherlands and Germany, has got some distribution. In addition, since 1997, the Sofia International Film Festival has grown to become one of the most important festivals in Europe.
The really Bulgarian art originated with the formation of the state 679 and got its focus with the introduction of the Orthodox Church 865. The Byzantine genre and style influence was evident, and it is only with the so-called Tărnovo school in the 13th and 13th centuries that one finds a greater measure of independence from the role models: an increased decorative elegance in the building arts (churches in Veliko Tărnovo and Nesebăr), a greater realism in exquisite icons, frescoes (Bojanak 1255) and illuminated manuscripts (Manasseh Chronicle 1345, the Gospel of London 1356).
With the Turkish conquest of 1396, a depletion of art life followed. It was not until the 19th century that the national renaissance saw a new upsurge, followed by a gradually increasing secularization and Europeanization. Within the architecture you can see the Rila monastery’s conversion and extension (1795-1860) but also residential buildings in Plovdiv, Trjavna and Koprivsjtitsa, further works by the self-taught architect Koljo Fitjeto (churches, Jantra bridge). In the painting, this transition phase is mainly represented by Zachary Zograf and Stanislav Dospevski.
After the liberation in 1878, rapid development took place along the paved road. In the painting, Ivan Mărkvichka, Vladimir Dimitrov-Majstora and Ilija Petrov are prominent representatives of different generations during the 20th century.
After the Stalinist low tide (1944–56), a new revitalization has emerged with the goal of utilizing national forms of expression, while becoming more open to international currents.
Bulgaria’s architectural history can be traced back to antiquity, including through the recently renovated and restored theater in the city of Plovdiv. Since the introduction of Christianity in 865, the Bulgarian building tradition has been Byzantine, established by the Byzantine Empire and the Greek Orthodox Church: three-tiered basilica, domed rooms and decorative, often polychrome brick masonry. Well-preserved examples include in Veliko Tărnovo and Nesebăr. After the Turks invasion in 1396, mosques were built, but the Byzantine tradition survived and gained from the middle of the 18th century a new flourishing and national significance. This “Bulgarian Renaissance” is a formidable architecture, often in wood and with protruding ceilings, cantilevered floors, bay windows and arch forms. Examples of this can be found in Koprivsjtitsa and Plovdiv.
After the liberation from the Turks in 1878, the influence of the rest of Europe became strong, and large assignments often went to foreign architects. A modern classicism was represented by Dimităr Tsolov, who designed the National Bank of Sofia (1934–39). Domestic architectural education was first established in Bulgaria at the end of the interwar period.
After World War II, Bulgarian construction joined Soviet models, ie. the monumental and national form of socialist realism; Typical examples are Sofia’s center and the new industrial city Dimitrovgrad. Likewise, in Soviet succession, residential buildings were built on a large scale from the 1960’s and with modern forms.
Until the liberation in 1878, the people of Bulgaria had very limited contact with Western music culture. Rich and regionally distinctive song and instrument repertoires existed within the ethnically diverse peasant and shepherd culture. The songs were to a large extent linked to the farmer’s rituals and festivals, but there were also eg. Rules songs.
The instrumental music, which was closely associated with the dance tradition, was mainly soloist, but occasional ensembles arose. The most important instruments were gajda (single-table bagpipe), gădulka (lira) and zurna (skullmouth). They are often used in conjunction with the large two- fold drum tăpan. With the shepherd culture, the edge-blown flute was associated with cavalry. Tambura was a long haul.
Today, the old instruments in the musicians’ music are often replaced by clarinet, accordion and saxophone. The melodic material used in the peasant society’s traditional music is mainly diatonic. Particularly characteristic is the great metric and rhythmic complexity with so-called asymmetric rhythms, as in the popular dance rătjenitsa.
The traditional Bulgarian music was widely spread through the Bulgarian State Television’s women’s choir (formed in 1952) which became internationally known in the 1980’s as Le Mystère des voix bulgares.
During the Ottoman period, when the city’s leading population layers were largely Muslim, the art of music based on the macam principle was cultivated, whose main center was Istanbul. However, the Bulgarian church managed a liturgical singing tradition with roots in Greek-Byzantine music.
After 1878, Western influence grew rapidly, not least in the organized folk music business, which became an important element of official cultural policy around 1950. The first generation of Western-oriented composers devoted themselves mainly to choral music.
During the interwar period, Bulgarian opera and orchestral music was formed by, among other things, Ljubomir Pipkov (1904–74) and Pantjo Vladigerov (1899–1978). Later symphonics include Aleksandăr Ivanov Rajchev (1922–2003), whose son Aleksandăr Rajchev (born 1975) is a concert pianist and also active as a composer.
The opera is marked by Parashev Chadzhiev (1912–92) and within the more modernist music of Lazar Nikolov (1922–2005).
In Sofia there are Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra (formed 1928) and New Symphonic Orchestra (formed 1991). Also in Ruse and Plovdiv are philharmonic orchestras (formed in 1948 and 1945, respectively).
A popular music genre in Bulgaria is chalga, also called pop-folk, which is a dance music based in Bulgarian folk music but also in Greek, Turkish, Serbian, Roman and Arabic music. Similarities exist with Greek Laiko and Turkish Arabic. Under the communist regime, chalga was banned by the authorities, who were considered immoral because of sexual allusions in texts and obscene hip movements in the dance.
After the fall of communism in 1989, the chalga could be broadcast on the radio and in this way got a great spread through a new generation of artists. Liberalization also allowed texts and speeches with strong sexual emphasis. Chalga’s popularity has risen since the 2000’s. Among the most successful artists in the genre are Azis (really Vasil Bojanov, born 1978), Gloria (really Galina Ivanova, born 1973), Ivana (really Vania Kaludova, born 1969) and Desi Slava (really Desislava Doneva, born 1979).
In popular music, Lili Ivanova (born 1939) and Emil Dimitrov (1940–2005) became very successful from the 1960’s onwards in both Bulgaria and the Soviet Union. In the 1970’s, rock groups like Diana Express, Shturcite and FSB also joined. The punk rock also came to Bulgaria in the early 1980’s, but when all aggressive rock music was banned, the records were often recorded in Yugoslavia.
After the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, rock music, which had a slow start in the country, started in earnest. Not least heavy metal, with groups such as Epizod, Hipodil and Pantommind gained a strong foothold in Bulgaria. Less heavy rock music is represented by, among others, Balkandji which mixes Bulgarian folk music and rock. Several artists who played dance music and electronica were also launched.
Several popular musical genres have been mixed with folk music and with each other. For example, traditional chalga music has included house and electronica, among others. Successful pop artists in Bulgaria during the 2000’s include Maria Ilieva (born 1977) and Miro (actually Miroslav Kostadinov, born 1976).
The vital Bulgarian folk dance has in many cases survived from the 9th century with the dynamic, physical vigor and the rich movement material that are its hallmarks. The men and women who came to lead the classical ballet in the country have stuck to this legacy.
The Bulgarian Opera Society was formed in 1908, and the ballet was developed by three gymnastics teachers, of whom Pesjo Radoev is the most famous. Anastas Petrov, known as the Bulgarian ballet’s father, was proficient in folk dance, further studied ballet for Jevgenija Eduardova in Berlin and returned to lead the first Bulgarian ballet ensemble in Sofia. During the years 1927-61 he performed the classical works with great artistry, created his own works and nurtured ballerinas with excellent qualities and good male dancers. The classical repertoire was mainly enriched by leading Soviet choreographers. Prominent domestic composers were persuaded to create music for new ballets such as Nestinarka (“Fire Dancer”) by Marin Goleminov. There are currently six permanent ballet ensembles in Bulgaria and a state ballet school.
The first international ballet competition in Varna took place in 1964, organized in collaboration with the UNESCO organization ITI (International Theater Institute). The competition, which was the first of its kind, with the support of the Soviet Union became a great success for the host country and returns every two years.
In Bulgaria’s traditional culture, elements from the many peoples who in turn inhabited the country have been mixed, but it is characterized mainly by the features it shares with other Balkan or southern slaves. The countryside, especially the mountainous regions, was long characterized by eye-catching conservatism, represented by such primitive forms as, for example. those into half-buried pit houses (uzemnitsa), which in the 1930’s were used in the country’s land of lands on the Danube plain in the north. Slavic heritage is likely to belong to the timber technology in the half-timbered buildings, while details in the residential design plan point to Turkish influence. The long Turkish dominion has left clear traces in, among other things. men’s costume, while women’s costume – especially in western Bulgaria – is considered to have preserved both Protobulgarian and Byzantine traditions; yes in some cases even byzantine. Spectacular features in the party scene are the richly crafted rituals around, among other things. weddings and funerals as well as begging at Christmas (choledari) and the sneaky mask games (kukerski igri) in connection with parties in the spring.
The Bulgarian folk poem is particularly well documented with regard to the visas. the working songs are richly educated, but also the epic songs with both mythological and heroic subjects (the visions of the hero Krali Marko, for example), in which not least the resistance to the Turks in the 1300’s is glorified. The procurement of the prose folk poem began fairly late, and the Bulgarian folk tales have so far been little available for international research. A characteristic and unusual category constitutes the “everyday stories” that are the story of the short story and the stories close and marked by a pronounced social-critical tendency.
The collection and exploration of the Bulgarian folklore took on a stronger form after the establishment of the University of Sofia in 1888, while the establishment of the State Ethnographic Museum there in 1906 had a corresponding effect for the part of material culture, among other things. the Izvestija publication series (‘Messages’; from 1921) as an important manifestation.