Bulgaria: Balkan Heavyweight, Eurasian Lightweight

MIN READMay 1, 2016 | 13:00 GMT

The capital of Sophia, Bulgaria, while often seeking to dominate the Balkans throughout its history, more often was dominated by the great powers surrounding it.

(Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Bulgaria is Europe's oldest country -- it existed in roughly its modern form in A.D. 700, long before most of its fellow EU member states. This fact, however, is deceptive. While Bulgaria existed at an early date, it spent seven of the ensuing 13 centuries under foreign control. The country's favorable geography gives it the potential to dominate its smaller Balkan neighbors, but has also fated it to rule by three empires: the Byzantines, the Ottomans and the Soviet Union....

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