Bulgarian History

On this page you will learn something about Bulgarian History and then you can see some photos taken in my native country.

Founded in 681 A.D., Bulgaria was converted to Christianity in 865 A.D., and established itself as a state. Architecture and art are best understood within the context of the nation's rich history.

The Slav tribes and the proto-Bulgarians who founded the Bulgarian State, found remains of the millennial cultural heritage of Thracians, Romans and Byzantians in the lands of the Balkan Peninsula. During the first centuries of its existence, however, the Slav-Bulgarian state produced its own monumental civic buildings and places of worship which differed from the inherited monuments.

At the beginning of the 11th century, Bulgaria ruled over vast lands stretching from the Black Sea to the Adriatic, and from the Carpathians to the Aegean Sea. The few remaining works of the times show that the Bulgarian style of painting originated during the 9th-10th centuries and reached maturity during the 12th-14th century, of which there are many fine examples.

The Ottoman invasion of the Balkan Peninsula and Bulgaria's ultimate subjection to Ottoman rule in 1396, set her development back by centuries. The Ottoman Empire was lagging behind both culturally and economically, hampering the manifestation of Bulgaria art and architecture. The deep faith in the national spirit helped to retain the language, religion and customs. To the Bulgarians, the concept of survival lost a large part of its purely physical meaning. Already during the first centuries of Ottoman rule, houses and churches which preserved the rich building and artistic traditions of the nation, were built in the Central and Eastern Balkan Range, in the Sredna Gora and Strandja mountains.

In 1762, Paissii of Hilendar wrote his famous Slav-Bulgarian History - the first nationwide call for an uprising of the enslaved Bulgarian people in whose land the passage of time and history was slowed down. A nationwide movement for economic, social, cultural and national liberation was born.

The old national traditions, arts and crafts, were revived, and a new Bulgarian literature and theatre came into being. Homes, public buildings and places of worship were built, reflecting the new aesthetic and artistic ideal of the times - known as the National Revival.

Although differing in some respects, the 18th-19th century National Revival period towns and villages all have one thing in common - the longing for beauty in everyday life. Narrow cobblestone streets lead up to heavy, metal-studded wooden gates with iron locks and door knobs.

In nowaday the most important is that from 01 January 2007 Bulgaria become a member of European Union.

Hiding behind them are lovely gardens carpeted with flowers and fairytale-like houses with painted facades, lacework balconies and awnings. Inside, carved ceilings hover over built-in cupboards, wooden chests and shelves. Rugs and carpets in all colors of the rainbow covered the floor and window seats. Space and openness are everywhere - in the yards, on the verandas, inside the rooms - giving one a sense of freedom and of a spirit bound to the earth which gives you life.


Historical Events

6000 B.C.

Neolithic settlements on the territory of present-day Bulgaria.

2nd Millennium B.C.

Thracian civilization encompasses the region.

8th-6th century B.C.

Thracians mentioned in Greek epics.

336-323 B.C.

Alexander the Great of Macedonia creates a great Hellenic empire, which includes Bulgaria.

3rd century B.C.

Celtic invasion from Central Europe.

46 A.D.

Thrace becomes Roman province after two and a half centuries of military attacks.

5th century

Roman Empire begins to crumble in the face of invading barbarian tribes, including the Slavs and Bulgarians on the territory of present day Bulgaria.


Han Asparouh, the Bulgarians leader, defeats the defending Byzantine army, already weakened by Slav incursions, at the Danube and takes the Bulgarian territory. He goes on to establish the First Bulgarian Kingdom with its capital in Pliska.

855 or 862-863

Byzantine missionaries Cyril And Methodius create the 1st Slavic alphabet, the Glagolic to give the Slavs and Bulgarians an unified language and to assist in their adoptions of Christianity.


Boris I converts to the Christianity and begins the conversion of the Bulgarian people.


Pliska at the height under Tsar Simeon (893-927) covered not only present day Bulgaria but also Serbia and Macedonia and part of Northern Greece.
Simeon I comes to power and the capital moves from Pliska to Preslav.


Capital moves to Ohrid in present day Macedonia.


Bulgaria is incorporated into the Byzantine Empire.


The zenith of the IInd Bulgarian Kingdom under Ivan Assen II with its capital in Veliko Turnovo, when it reaches the Adriatic and Aegean Seas.


Bulgaria becomes part of the Ottoman Empire. A dark age for Bulgarian cultural development.


Beginning of the Bulgarian cultural renaissance (known as National Revival) marked by Father Paissy’s Slav-Bulgarian History. In this period Bulgarians rediscover their cultural heritage and their own language. There are many armed uprisings against the Ottomans and many massacres.


Russia declares war on Turkey.

3rd March 1878

Liberation of Bulgaria from Ottoman rule. The Treaty of San Stefano, in which Bulgaria was supported to regain its former territories including Macedonia.

13 July 1878

Treaty of Berlin in which the great powers take away 2/3 of the territorial gains accorded by the San Stefano Treaty.


Prince Alexander of Battenberg arrives to take charge of Bulgaria at the age of 22.


Sofia becomes capital.

6 September 1885

Unification of Eastern Rumelia with the Principality of Bulgaria.


Alexander Battenberg is dethroned.


Prince Ferdinand I of Saxe-Coburg Gotha is elected Prince.

22 September 1908

Declaration of Independence (from Ottoman rule). Prince Ferdinand becomes Tsar Ferdinand.

17 October 1912

East Balkan War: Bulgaria, Serbia and Greece against Turkey.


II Balkan War. Bulgaria defeated by Serbia, Greece, Romania and Turkey, Ioses territory on all sides.

10 August 1913

Peace treaty in Bucharest - the territory of Macedonia was partitioned into three parts among Bulgaria, Serbia and Greece.

24 August 1915

Bulgaria signs a military pact with Germany and Austro-Hungary.

14 October 1915

Bulgaria enters WWI on the German side, in the hope of reclaiming its lost territories.

29 September 1918

Bulgaria surrenders to the Allies.

late 1918

Peasant led 'Agrarian' government takes control.


A time of instability under Tsar Boris III.

27 November 1919

Peace Treaty of Neuilly in which Bulgaria loses land on all sides to Serbia, Romania and Greece.

June 1923

Bloody military coup deposes Agrarian government.


Government of 'national regeneration' installed by military coup.


Czar Boris establishes quasi-fascist royal dictatorship.

15 September 1939

Bulgaria declares neutrality in World War II.

21 September 1940

Bulgarian Army enters South Dobrudja.

1 March 1941

Bulgaria signs Axis Tripartite Pact. 

3 March 1941

Bulgarian bases used by German forces for the invasion of Greece.

13 December 1941

Bulgaria enters World War II on the side of Germany.


The Bulgarian military forces invade and occupy Macedonia, Thrace and South Dobrudja.


Tsar Boris dies (was virulent probably) and his son in 6 year old Simeon becomes Tsar (In present day Bulgaria Simeon Saxe-Coburg Gotha is Minister chairman).

5 September 1944

Russia declares war on Bulgaria.

6 September 1944

Bulgaria declares war on Germany.

9 September 1944

Soviet army crosses into Bulgaria: Sofia invaded by partisans who arrest the monarchy and the government.


Control of Macedonia transferred to Yugoslavia, of Thrace to Greece and of South Dobruja to Romania

9 September 1946

Establishment of People’s Republic of Bulgaria with its leader Georgi Dimitrov.

15 September 1946

8 years old Tsar Simeon and his family leave Bulgaria for exile.


People's Republic of Bulgaria established

December 1948

5th Congress of the communist Party imposes a Soviet model on the country’s future development.


Georgi Dimitrov dies and is replaced by Vulko Chervenkov.


Todor Zhivkov is elected Ist secretary of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party.

10 November 1989

Todor Zhivkov is deposed. Replaced by Peter Mladenov.

18 November 1989

UDF (Union of Democratic Forces) is formed from 16 opposition political organizations.

January 1990

Andrej Lukanov former member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, announced as Prime Minister.

October 1991

UDF wins the elections with Filip Dimitrov as Prime Minister only to resign and be replaced by a caretaker government under Lyuben Berov.

December 1994

BSP (Bulgarian Socialist Party) wins elections with Jan Videnov as PM.


Hyper inflation cripples the country. It reaches 579 %.

January 1997

Mass street protects against the government, parliament is attacked and unrest and strikes continues until February 4th when the Socialist government announces its resignation. Stefan Sofiyanski (now mayor of Sofia) manages a caretaker government.

April 1997

UDF government, led by Ivan Kostov wins parliamentary elections. A period of relative Stability ensues. Currency is Stabilized by an agreement with the IMF establishing a currency board in Bulgaria.

June 2001

There is all-round incredulity when Simeon Saxe-Coburg Gotha, Tsar in exile, arrives in the country only 2 months before the parliamentary elections and forms a party which manages to win the majority vote.

November 2002

Bulgaria receives its invitation to join NATO in 2004.

December 2002

Bulgarian receives a road map to join the EU with a probable date of 2007.

2 April 2004

Bulgaria joins NATO.

12 January 2005

Bulgaria and Romania will sign their accession treaties with the European Union on April 25. Romania and Bulgaria completed tough membership negotiations with the European Union that will bring them into the EU in April 2007, although EU leaders did not specify a date.

01 January 2007

Bulgaria become a member of the European Union.