Bulgaria History

Bulgaria includes part of the region of ancient Thrace, whose inhabitants had their distinctive culture which could be seen in the many archeological sites they have left behind.  Later on in the second century A.D., the Bulgars came to Europe from their old homeland in the Hindu Kush mountains of northern Afghanistan.  They first established a settlement along the northern coast of the Black Sea in the early 7th century, but in 681 AD, they moved further south and west and formed a state in present-day Bulgaria. 

 

Bulgaria had been an Eastern Orthodox community a century longer than Russia.  Boris I, king of the Bulgaria, was baptized in AD 865 and brought his people to the faith five years later. 

 

For the next 1100 years, Bulgaria was free from foreign domination periodically for less than 400 years in total.  It was mainly during the periods of indepdence that Bulgaria had the opportunity to develop its own art and culture. 

 

From 893 AD, during the reign of Tsar Simeon I, of the first Bulgarian Kingdom, Bulgarian culture flourished.  Around that period Bulgaria replaced its old alphabets with the Glagolitic alphabets which was devised by the Saint Cyril in the 850s.  The language evolved further in the 10th century into the Cyrillic alphabets.  (Nowadays the Bulgarian is written in the Cyrillic script which became the third official set of alphabets of the EU when the country entered the EU).

 

The Byzantine Empire conquered Bulgaria in 1018, but the Bulgarians broke free in 1185 and established the second Bulgarian Kingdom which founded a number of monasteries.  However, independence did not last long as in 1242 Mongols invaded, followed soon afterwards by the Ottomans.  In 1396 Bulgaria became part of the Ottoman Empire. During the five centuries of brutal Ottoman rule, most of Bulgaria's indigenous cultural and religious centers were destroyed. 

 

When the Ottomans began to decline in the mid-19 th century, a number events eventually led to the liberation of Bulgaria in 1908.  These included the uprising of 1876 in the Balkans against the Ottomans, and the Russo-Turkish War (1877-78) which ended with the Treaty of San Stefano (March 3, 1878, the date of Bulgaria's national holiday).

 

In the 20th century, Bulgaria was largely unstable, either because of its direct participation in wars (First and Second Balkan Wars in 1912 and 1913), or its alliance with the belligerents during WW I and WW II.  After WW II, the Soviet Union took control of the country until the Cold War ended in 1990 and fully democratic election was held in 1991.  From January 2007, Bulgaria became a member of the European Union.

Last edited Dec 4, 08 5:26 PM. Contributors: Andrew W.

Travel Tips for History of Bulgaria

Varna, Black Sea Coast, Bulgaria
Varna is a nice city to visit. The beaches there are really awesome to visit!! You can rent appartments, go to resorts or hotels. The beaches are nice and it is generally warm enough to swim in. For history lovers, there are museums with lots of remains of the Thracians. This is a lovely city to go!!!
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Veliko Turnovo, Northern Bulgaria, Bulgaria
Veliko Turnovo The gratest city of Bulgaria So far I have been there 3 times, the city is really impressive comparing to the rest of Bulgaria. The houses, stacked one above the other, situated on the slopy hills of the town show a remarkable, unique architectural style. For me it looks sometimes like a small „San Francisco”.The streets going up and down. The bridges, unexpectedly flying over the river, palaces and towers, spectacular museums, ancient columns with writings left by our proud rulers, monasteries with unique murals and the Arbanassi fortress-houses. Not only Veliko Turnovo by itself it’s worth to see. About 30 km from it there are ruins of the Roman Empire in the village Nikipolis ad Istrum. A lot of foreign archeology students are coming there every year. City is full of students, there is something going on every night, a lot of bars , pubs and restaurants are open late at night. Food is great, with lot of fresh vegetable, „shopska” salad is a must to try when you go to Bulgaria. Meat is served usually with delicious spices. The prices can vary, it depends where you will go, in the centre of the city everything is more expensive. One of the biggest attractions in Veliko Turnovo is „Tsaravets” – the castle sourrounded by river and the „sound and light show”. Through the power of music and spectacular illumination, this programme aims to create an unforgettable and emotional image of the Tsarevets Hill and Castle treasuring up the history, grandeur and glory of the ancient capital city of Turnovgrad which has become synonymous with the Bulgarian spirit and national pride. The music, which has been composed specially for the occasion, is a leading element helping to follow the historical events and describe their invisible images. To get to Veliko Turnovo you can take a plane ( there are charter flights from Europe , Asia and Africa ). From the larger Bulgarian cities you can travel to Veliko Turnovo by bus or train. Persoanlly I prefer buses, there are much nicer, safer and comfortable. The travel by bus from Sofia is about 3 hours. One of the best things about Veliko Turnovo is that you can go everywhere by foot! If you do not feel like walking you can always use the public transport. Many regular bus lines operate into the city and to some of the nearby towns and villages. The ticket for the city bus costs only 0.50 leva and can be bought in the bus. It’s not very expensive to go and stay in Veliko turnovo. Here are examples. 1.95 Leva (BGN) = 1 Euro Price Level · 1 beer (0.5l) = 0.80- 1.50 BGN · 1 coca-cola (0.3l) = 0.70 - 1.00 BGN · 1 mineral water (0.5l) = 0.60 - 0.80 BGN · Coffee/ Tea = 0.40 - 0.60 BGN · Main course = 3.00 - 8.00 BGN Lodging · Budget: BGN 15 - 25 · Mid-range: BGN 25 - 45 · High: BGN 45 -65 · Deluxe: BGN 65+ (Cash is easily changed at numerous small exchange offices, usually for no commission. Travellers' cheques are more of a hassle as not every bank will accept them, but still you’ll find enough places to cash them for a commission of around 5%. Cash advances on credit cards might also be a bit of a problem, but ATMs are a common sight around the city. I wish to add Bulgarians are usually very polite and nice for foreigners, the only problem is most of them, especially older people do not speak English. And remember when they move their head left and right it means YES and if they move it up and down means NO. J So do not get confused. Good Luck and have a nice trip.
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Varna, Black Sea Coast, Bulgaria
The Sea Garden is the oldest and perhaps largest park in town containing an open-air theatre (venue of the International Ballet Competition, opera performances and concerts), an aquarium (opened 1912), a dolphinarium (opened 1984), the Nicolaus Copernicus Observatory and Planetarium , the Museum of Natural History, a terrarium, a zoo, an alpineum, a children's amusement park, and other attractions. The National Revival Alley is decorated with bronze monuments to prominent Bulgarians, and the Cosmonauts' Alley contains trees planted by Yuri Gagarin and other Soviet cosmonauts in the 1960s. The Garden is a national monument of landscape architecture. Varna is also an important airport on the black sea!
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Blagoevgrad, Southern Bulgaria, Bulgaria
Blagoevgrad is the youngest town in Bulgaria and the most fabulous one!
The party is in Blagoevgrad!(everyboy knows that :)
Great nightlife, great places to eat, great places to rest!
Zoo, old town part, Regional History and Nature history museum, Opera house, Drema theatre, Cinema, Bowling and etc.......
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Sofia & Surrounding Region, Bulgaria
Sofia is a Beautiful city. Go learn about the history of Bulgaria in the former communist presidents palace!! Be alert for Gypsies that like to rip you off or pick pocket do not hand any beggars money and only exchange money in banks never with anyone (even tour guides).
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