Morphology. – According to recent measurements, M. Mus Allah, in the Rila group, reaches 2925 m., That is the maximum height of the Balkan Peninsula (El Tepe, in Pirin, 2920 m; Olympus, 2918 m.).
Administrative division. – After 9 August 1934 the territory of the kingdom is divided into 7 regions (oblasts), having an almost equal area and a not very different number of residents and minor administrative partitions (okolii), instead of the 16 provinces (okrãzi) of a time; the municipalities were reduced on the same date from 2651 to 931. Here are the data of the last population census (1934), compared with the corresponding figures of 1926:
This administrative subdivision, maintained until September 1935, was suspended on January 1, 1936 and replaced with a new division into 10 oblasts, due to the addition of the new oblasts of Gorna Džumaja, Kărdžali and Tărnovo (Tirnova), constituted the first to expenses of those of Sofia and Plovdiv, the second of that of Stara Zagora and the last of those of Burgaz and Pleven. There were then various changes in the attribution of municipalities to the various oblasts.
The capital, Sofia, counted in 1934, 287,976 residents (330 thousand with the suburbs); Philippopolis had 100,485. Only one center exceeded 50,000 residents, Varna (70,183); nine cities followed (Ruse [Rustciuk], Burgaz, Pleven, Sliven [Slivno], Stara Zagora, Haskovo, Shumen, Jambol and Pazardžik) with over 20 thousand residents each. 1106 inhabited localities have replaced their name, mostly Turkish, with another purely Bulgarian, or older one, or taken from the memories of national history. So among the capitals of okolii: Pomorie (Anhiolo), Sredec (Kara Bunar), Asenovgrad (Stanimaka), Devin (Diovlen), Zlatograd (Dară Dere), Smoljan (Pašmakla), Botevgrad (Orhanie), Ardino (Ejrí Dere), Ivailovgrad (Orta Kioi), Krumovgrad (Košu-Kavak), Momčilgrad (Măstanli), Isperih (Kemanlar), Kubrat (Balbunar), Omortag (Osman-Pazr), Targovište (Eski-Džumaia).
Economic conditions . – The value of exports fell in 1934 by 60% compared to 1929, that of imports by 73%. The trade balance has closed in surplus since 1933, but the exchanges must be regulated due to the strong imbalance in prices between exported products (agriculture) and imported ones (manufactured goods). Agriculture is in crisis, and economic activity is generally reduced. However, the effort towards autarchy is evident in the same trend towards a reduction in consumption, which decisively limits purchases of products and raw materials abroad.
Civil avation. – The airlines currently in service are the following: Belgrade-Sofia, managed in collaboration between Luft-Hansa and Air France; Bucharest-Sofia, managed by the LOT; Sofia-Thessaloniki, operated by LOT in collaboration with Luft-Hansa.
Military aviation. – It was formed in 1937. Currently, under an aviation directorate, it includes 5 aviation groups out of 15 squadrons (bombing, fighter, reconnaissance and school) with a complex of 150 aircraft. The transformation of the groups into regiments and the increase of the personnel to 400 aircraft are planned for 1940. For Bulgaria military, please check militarynous.com.
Finance. – The recovery that began in the second half of 1935 developed rapidly in 1936 and 1937. However, the balance sheet is not yet in equilibrium.
As of December 31, 1937, the external debt (not including that for reparations, the share of Ottoman debt, and the debt to Bulgarians abroad for assets seized in England) was 13.8 billion, and the internal debt was 8 billion. 4 (of which 6.2 consolidated).
The pre-war golden content of lev (0.290323 g) was reduced by the stabilization law of 28 November 1928 to 0.010870 and has not changed since then; however, since December 1933 the National Bank of Bulgaria has been granting premiums on export exchanges up to a maximum limit of 35%. The control over the changes in force since 1918 was tightened in October 1931.
The National Bank of Bulgaria, created in 1926 and modified in 1937, has a monopoly on the issuance of tickets (convertible into currencies only for amounts exceeding 50,000 leva) and the obligation to hold a reserve in gold and currencies equal to 33⅓% of tickets and other commitments on demand. At December 31, 1937, the circulation was made up of 2.6 billion in notes and 1.3 billion in coins and the reserve amounted to 2.0 billion in gold and 0.6 in currencies.
The main credit institutions are the Agricultural and Cooperative Bank (resulting in 1934 from the merger of the two state agricultural and cooperative banks) and the Bulgarian Credit (born in 1934 from the merger of 8 banks, and which in 1935 also absorbed the International Bank Bulgarian).