The region has a combined area of 550000sqkm and an approximate population of 55 million people. The archaic Greek name for the Balkan Peninsula is the Peninsula of Haemus (Χερσόνησος του Αίμου, Chersónisos tou Aímou). The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains which run through the centre of Bulgaria into eastern Serbia.
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- A gay peninsula filled with sprightly people who ate peppered food, drank strong liquors, wore flamboyant clothes, loved and murdered easily and had a splendid talent for starting wars".
- A Long Row of Candles by C. J. Sulzberger
- The next great european war will begin over some damned foolish thing in the Balkans
- Otto von Bismark, attributed.