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Climate Continental climate with hot summers and cold winters. Territory: 110 994 sq. km. Population: 7 640 000 (2007) Capital: Sofia Official language: English Religion: Eastern Orthodox Political system: parliamentary republic National currency: Lev (1 lev = ˆ 0511) Time Zone: GMT +2 Bulgaria is a country in Southeastern Europe. Located in the eastern part of the Balkan Peninsula. Bulgaria has an important role in the spread of Christianity, literature and culture among the peoples of Eastern Europe. At the beginning of the 15th century the country was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire and remains a part of it for five centuries. Russo-Turkish war of 1877-1878 years led to the creation of the Third Bulgarian State. After the Second World War the country became part of the Eastern Block and it is established communist regime. In 1990 Bulgaria was restored parliamentary democracy and today the country is a member of the European Union and NATO.