Bulgarian lands are among the oldest civilized territories in the world. They were inhabited in early days of history and since then many known and unknown tribes and peoples have crossed them. Some went further west, others stayed for a short period, and for still others these lands become part of their destiny. All of them leave traces of their presence and have a share in the rich Bulgarian cultural and historical heritage. Bulgaria has preserved many cultural strata and some of them - like the Thracian stratum - are unique. These cultural strata coexisted and interacted through the centuries in a special way offering remarkable examples of artifacts. Let us just mention some of the peoples who have lived in Bulgarian territories: Thracians, Ancient Greeks, Romans, Slavs and Proto-Bulgarians, Turks, invasions of crusaders, Russian and Tartar tribes... Bulgarian antiquity is so rich that every year more and more proofs of ancient civilizations are discovered.
Bulgaria is situated in a sensitive geographic area on the Old Continent. For that reason its history is rich in stormy and dramatic periods, cataclysms and abrupt changes. Invasions of various religions follow one after the other and the relatively short periods of peace and calm are marked by political events and important regional and world conflicts. All this inevitably puts its stamp on the life of Bulgarians. Years of economic and cultural prosperity, of territorial integrity, are replaced by periods of foreign rule. One thing stays unchanged however - Bulgarians love of freedom and their tenacity in the preservation of national identity with sword and blood, with literacy and speech, which can be followed through the pages of history. What remains unchanged is Bulgarian creative optimism and the everlasting strive for self-perfection following the best examples in the world.