Bulgarian Shopluk

The Bulgarian Shopluk is a cultural region that is part of the greater Shopluk region in the eastern heights of Serbia and Macedonia and the western mountains of Bulgaria.


Culturally the wider Shopluk is very homogeneous: the traditions and the temper of the Shopi (the Shopluk locals) in Serbia, Bulgaria and Macedonia are the same. The Bulgarian Shopluk, however, is in itself uneven because of the big city of Sofia in it.

The Bulgarian capital is the largest city in the country combining the functions of economical, administrative and population centre of Bulgaria. Thus, the environment in Sofia is sharply distinct from that of the area. The city has grown immensely in the past 30 years accommodating over a third of the country's population during the day for business purposes, and with a fifth of Bulgaria's population being permanently settled in it there are lots of non-locals around. Sofia is "the big village" of Bulgaria with inhabitants from all over the country.

The true cultural Bulgarian Shopluk starts from the outskirts of the capital city. The mountains around modern urban megalopolis keep their traditional character unchanged. Towns such as Botevgrad and Etropole in the Western Balkan, Samokov in Rila, Kyustendil in the foot of Osogovo Mountain, and Pernik surrounded by the mountains Vitosha, Golo Brdo and Lyulin are typical Shopluk settlements.


Because of the differences between the city and the rest of the region, and the differences between certain aspects of the mountains (such as height, formation processes as well as influences from neighbouring cultural regions) Shopluka (the local for the Shopluk) in Bulgaria can be further subdivided into areas:


Other destinations


Rila monastery

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