The Republic of Bulgaria (formerly the Peoples Republic of Bulgaria), a Balkan country on the Black Sea in southeastern Europe, has an area of 42,855 sq. mi. (110,993 sq. km.) and a population of 8.31 million. Capital: Sofia. Agriculture remains a key component of the economy but industrialization, particularly heavy industry, has been emphasized since the late 1940?s. Machinery, tobacco and cigarettes, wines and spirits, clothing and metals are the chief exports. ,The area now occupied by Bulgaria was conquered by the Bulgars, an Asiatic tribe, in the 17th century. Bulgarian kingdoms continued to exist on the peninsula until it came under Turkish rule in 1395. In 1878, after nearly 500 years of Turkish rule, Bulgaria was made a principality under Turkish suzerainty. Union seven years later with Eastern Rumelia created a Balkan state with borders approximating those of present-day Bulgaria. A Bulgarian kingdom fully independent of Turkey was proclaimed Sept. 22, 1908.,, ,During WWI Bulgaria had been aligned with Germany. After the Armistice certain land concessions were granted to Greece and Romania. In 1934 King Boris III suspended all political parties and established a dictatorial monarchy. In 1938 the military began rearming through the aid of the Anglo-French Ioan. As WWII developed Bulgaria again supported the Germans but Boris protected its Jewish community. Boris died mysteriously in 1943 and Simeon II became king at the age of six. The country was abolished and Simeon was ousted by plebiscite in 1946, and Bulgaria became a People?s Republic in the Soviet pattern. Following demonstrations and a general strike, the communist government resigned in Nov. 1990. A new government was elected in Oct. 1991. Rulers:, ,Alexander I, 1879-1886 ,Ferdinand I, as Prince, 1887-1908 ,Ferdinand I, as King, 1908-1918 ,Boris III, 1918-1943 ,Simeon II, 1943-1946 Monetary System:, ,1 Lev = 100 Stotinki ,Silver Lev = Lev Srebro ,Gold Lev = Lev Zlato

BULGARIA P-20b AU, ND, 1916, 100 LEVA, LILAC+VIOLET, ORNAMENT BLUE,' 85 Front Side Back Side