Description of Bulgaria
(in Bulgarian, България), officially the Republic of Bulgaria, is a
sovereign country member of the European Union located southeast of
the European continent. It borders Romania to the north (largely
separated by the Danube), Serbia and the Republic of Macedonia to
the west, and with Greece and Turkey to the south. The Black Sea is
located in the east of the country.
With a territory of 110
879 km², Bulgaria is ranked 15th in Europe for its surface, with
several mountainous areas defining the landscape, notably the Stara
Planina (the Balkans) and the Ródope mountains, as well as the Rila
mountains, which include the highest peak in the Balkan region, the
Musala. On the contrary, the Danube plain in the north and the
Thracian high plain in the south, are the lowest and most fertile
regions of Bulgaria. The 354 km of coasts in the Black Sea
constitute the entire eastern limit of the country.The capital and
largest city is Sofia, with a permanent population of 1,270,284
The appearance of an ethnic group and a unified
Bulgarian state date back to the seventh century. All the Bulgarian
political entities that emerged later conserve the traditions (the
name of the ethnic group, the language and the alphabet) of the
First Bulgarian Empire (681-1018), which came to encompass most of
the Balkans and logically became a cultural center for the Slavs in
the Middle Ages With the fall of the Second Bulgarian Empire
(1185-1396 / 1422), its territory fell under Ottoman rule for almost
five centuries. The Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878) led to the
creation of the autonomous Principality of Bulgaria in 1878, which
gained full sovereignty in 1908. In 1945, after the Second World
War, it became a socialist state and was part of the East Block,
until the political changes in Eastern Europe in 1989 and 1990, when
the Communist Party allowed multi-party elections and Bulgaria made
a transition to parliamentary democracy and capitalist free market
economy with mixed results.
Bulgaria functions as a
parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic. In
addition to being a member of the European Union, NATO, the United
Nations and the World Trade Organization, it has a high human
development index of 0.794, the 56th highest in 2016.
Travel Destinations in Bulgaria
Blagoevgrad Province (Bulgaria)
Pirin National Park is a located in the southwest Bulgaria
and encompasses the larger part of the Pirin Mountain.
Rozhen Monastery and village below got its name from
Bulgarian word for “birth” referring to the main church of
Holy Jesus' Birth.
Burgas Province (Bulgaria)
Nesebar is one of the most beautiful and unique cities in
Bulgaria. Situated on the Black sea coast it lies on the
island connected with the mainland by a small artificial
Gabrovo Province (Bulgaria)
Bacho Kiro/ Drayanovski Monastery
Monastery is functional Orthodox monastery located 5 km from Dryanovo.
This medieval complex was constructed next to a cave Bacho Kiro
that was inhibited by humans since the Stone Age.
Etar is an architectural ethnographic museum situated near city
of Gabrovo in Central Bulgaria.
Sokolski Monastery is Bulgarian Orthodox Monastery found
in 1833 and named after its founder Yosif Sokolski.
Tryavna is a historic Bulgarian city in Central Bulgaria
situated in the Tryavna river valley.
Kardzhali Province (Bulgaria)
Perperikon is an ancient settlement located
15 km northeast of Kardzhali in the Western Rhodopes.
Kyustendil Province (Bulgaria)
The monastery of Saint John of Rila also known as Rila Monastery
is the largest and most visited monastery in Bulgaria.
Ezera (Seven Lakes)
Ezera or Seven Lakes is located in the
mountains at the altitudes between 2100 and
Lovech Province (Bulgaria)
Lovech is one of the oldest cities in Bulgaria. Signs of human settlements
date back to prehistoric times.
Glozhene Monastery was named after its founder, Russian knyaz Georgi Glozh
who managed to flee Kievan Rus after it was overrun by the Mongol hordes
Monastery of the Dormition of the Most
Holy Mother of God or simply Troyan Monastery as it is widely known is one
of the largest and most important monasteries in Bulgaria.
Pazardzhik Province (Bulgaria)
Snezhanka Cave or Snowflake Cave is located in the South
Bulgaria, 5 km from a town of Peshtera.
Pernik Province (Bulgaria)
Zemen Monastery is a medieval monastery lost in the Bulgarian
wilderness. The monastery was found in the 11th century.
Plovdiv Province (Bulgaria)
Bachkovski Monastery is the second largest monastery in
and one of the oldest Orthodox
Central Balkan National Park
Central Balkan National Park is situated in the Central Bulgaria
and it covers 71,670 hectares with other half covered by virgin
Plovdiv is the second largest city in Bulgaria and
one of the oldest cities with a history of settlement dating
back to 6000 BC.
Ruse Province (Bulgaria)
Cherven Castle or Red Castle in Bulgarian was constructed in the
11th through 14th century.
Shumen Province (Bulgaria)
Madara Rider or Horseman
Madara Horseman is named after Madara plateau located near
was sacred since the time of the Thracians.
Historical city of Pliska was a first
capital of Danubian Bulgrian also known as The First Bulgarian Kingdom
between years 681 and 893 AD.
Shumen Fortress is a medieval walled city situated on a high
plateau just outside of Shumen in the Shumen Province of North-
Veliki Preslav served as a capital of the First
Bulgarian Empire: 893- 972 AD.
Smolyan Province (Bulgaria)
Mostove (Wonderful bridges) are located at in the South of Bulgaria in the
mountains, one of the few wilderness untouched by man in the
Western Rhodopes is one of the most isolated regions of
Bulgaria. Famous for its traditional throat singing the region
keeps its unique culture and traditions.
Sofia Province (Bulgaria)
Borovets resort is the oldest resort in Bulgaria that is open
all year for thousands of tourists. It is within one hour drive
from Bulgarian capital of Sofia.
Koprivshtitsa is a
small town in
located in the
River in the heart of the Sredna Gora mountains.
Sofia is the largest city in Bulgaria and also its capital. Although often
overlooked by foreigners it is one of the nicest cities in Eastern Europe.
Located just miles from a Bulgarian capital of Sofia Vitosha
National Park is easily accessed by public transport.
Stara Zagora Province (Bulgaria)
Shipka Pass of the Stara Planina (Old Mountain) is a historic
site of a battle between Russian and Bulgarian armies against
the Turkish forces.
Varna Province (Bulgaria)
Aladzha Monastery is a medieval Bulgarian Orthodox Monastery
carved in the cliff side.
Veliko Tirnovo (Bulgaria)
Emen Gorge is natural canyon that is a nice destination for a
half day trip.
Nikopolis ad Nestum
Ruins of Nikopolis ad Nestum (ad
Mestum) are all that remains from a ancient Roman border fortifications.
Tarnovo is famous for its three- walled citadel in the middle of the
city called Tsarevets.
Vidin Province (Bulgaria)
First sections of the Belogradchik
Fortress or Kaleto (from Turkish "kale"- fortress) as it is widely known
locally was constructed by the Romans in the first century.
Magura Cave is famous site of prehistoric human settlement those
inhabitants left paintings on cave sides.
Vidin Castle or Baba Vida (grandma Vida) as it often called is a
medieval castle that was built in the end of the 10th century.
Vratsa Province (Bulgaria)
Ledenika Cave in Bulgarian means "icy" cave.
It lies in the Northwest part of Vratsa mountains, which are part of the
Stara Planina (Old Mountain) range.
Yambol Province (Bulgaria)
Kabile Archaeological Park was first settled
around 10th- 6th century BC.
Geography of Bulgaria
Bulgaria is a states in the South- Eastern Europe in the eastern
part of the Balkan Peninsula. It borders Romania in the North,
Macedonia, Serbia in the West and Turkey, Greece in the South.
The eastern part of the country borders with a Black Sea. The
country has mostly mountainous terrain with ridges Stara Planina,
Middle Mountain, Rila, Pirin and Rhodopes. The highest peak is
Mount Musala at a height of 2925 meters.
Bulgaria is a parliamentary republic. The head of the state is
the president who gets elected every five years.
Religion in Bulgaria
More than 85% of the country are Eastern Orthodox. About 12% are
Sunni Muslims who usually live in the south part of the country.
Jews make up 0.8%, Roman Catholics 0.5% and Protestants 0.5%.
Additionally they are many cults and charismatic movements that
were usually found around Christianity or Eastern Religions.
Among these the woman who is believed by some to be a prophet,
Vanga is probably most famous in Bulgaria and abroad.
Bulgarians are probably the only people in the World who shake
their head in agreement and nod their heads in denial.
Language in Bulgaria
The official language in the country is Bulgarian. Most people
are fluent in English, German, French. Older generations usually
speak Russian as a second language.
Road assistance 146
Telephone information: 144
Traffic police: +359 2/ 982
72 823, 866 50 60
History of Bulgaria
The oldest constantly inhabited city in Europe is
the Bulgarian 6-thousand-year-old city of Plovdiv. The most ancient
population of the modern territory of Bulgaria, about which reliable
information is available, were the Thracians, Indo-European tribes
who lived here at least from the 1st millennium BC. e. By the 1st
century BC e. Thracian lands became part of the Roman Empire and
were divided between the provinces of Thrace and Moesia. Several
centuries earlier, Greek colonies appeared on the coast, from which
the Thracians as a result adopted the ancient Greek language. After
the division of the Roman Empire in 395 into the Western and
Eastern, both provinces passed into the Eastern Roman Empire. From
the 7th century, as a result of the Great Migration of Peoples, the
southern Slavs began to settle on the Balkan Peninsula, gradually
assimilating the remains of the Thracians.
Bulgarian state, about which accurate historical information was
preserved, was Great Bulgaria, a state that united the
Proto-Bulgarian tribes and other tribes in the Black Sea and Azov
steppes for several decades. The capital of the state is Fanagoria,
and its founder and ruler was Khan Kubrat.
After the death of Khan Kubrat, the state broke up and
some tribes migrated in different directions: Khan Batbayan blocked
the departure of his brothers; Kotrag Khan at the mouth of the Kama
and Volga (Itil) founded the Volga Bulgaria (66? –1237); Khan
Asparuh went to Lesser Scythia (the mouth of the Danube), and from
here headed to the Balkans, establishing the Bulgarian Khanate.
There is a legend that before his death, Khan Kubrat bequeathed to
his sons to be one, like a bunch of arrows, but the Khazars managed
to include Great Bulgaria in the Khazar Khaganate. The Bulgarians
made many raids in the Balkans in the VI - early VII century, so
they were well acquainted with the Balkans (Marcellin Komit in
491-498, the first raid; Zabergan in 558). On the territory of
Byzantium north of the Balkan Mountains, Slavic tribes were
numerous, but because of their fragmentation, they could not resist
the well-organized Byzantine forces. The Slavs did not have horse
troops, the militia consisted only of infantry, and they needed an
alliance with the horse people. And the Bulgarians had one of the
best cavalry of the time - among the Bulgarians, the “horse riding”
started at the age of 3-4 years old. In the territory of modern
northern Bulgaria there was an alliance of Seven Slavic tribes -
from the Timok River to the west, the Balkan Mountains to the south,
the Black Sea to the east and the Danube to the north - these were
the Slavic tribes with whom the Bulgarian khan Asparuh made an
alliance. This union was mutually beneficial, although until the
baptism of Bulgaria in 863, the Bulgarians constituted the
aristocracy and the supremacy of the army. The official reference
point for the existence of the First Bulgarian Khanate is the
signing of an agreement between the Bulgarians and Byzantium after
the military defeat of the last (680-681 year) at the mouth of the
Danube, according to which Byzantium undertook to pay tribute to the
Bulgarians. The capital of the state was the city of Pliska. The
state included Turkic-speaking Proto-Bulgarians, Slavs and a small
part of the local Thracians. Subsequently, these ethnic groups
formed the Slavic Bulgarian people, who received the name of the
country and spoke the language from which modern Bulgarian
originated. At the beginning of the 9th century, the territory of
the state expanded significantly due to the conquered Avar Haganate.
Until 865, the rulers of Bulgaria wore an unknown title ("khanas
yuvigiy" - the great khan, military leader and priest; "sarakt" -
the state). Under (Prince) Boris I, the country officially adopted
Christianity (at that time the church was not yet divided into
western and eastern branches) and the rulers began to bear the title
of prince and then king. Under Tsar Simeon, the state reached its
geopolitical peak and included the territories of modern Bulgaria,
Romania, Northern Macedonia, Serbia, the eastern part of modern
Hungary, as well as southern Albania, part of continental Greece,
southwestern Ukraine and almost the entire territory of European
Turkey. Preslav became the capital, as opposed to the former pagan
capital. During the time of Boris and Simeon, the Bulgarian state
also experienced an unprecedented cultural heyday, which began with
a change in the then existing writing of the initial letters Cyril
and Methodius for the translation of Christian books, due to a
misunderstanding of some Slavic letters that were abolished and the
introduction of several Greek, later named Cyrillic, was created
huge corps of medieval Bulgarian literature. Bulgarian literature -
the oldest of the Slavic originated in 886, with the advent of the
Preslav book school. And the Old Bulgarian language, also known as
"Church Slavonic", had a powerful influence on the Christianization
of many Slavic countries (especially Kievan Rus) and the development
of Slavic culture.
Very often, the Bulgarian kingdom was forced to
fight with Byzantium. After successful wars and conquests, the
ambitions of the educated Simeon grew so much that he believed that
he should become the emperor of Byzantium, conquering it, and also
sought international recognition of the status of an empire
(kingdom) for his state and independent church. His dreams came true
partly during the reign of his son, but Simeon was mistaken in
appointing his second son, Peter I, as his heir, who believed that
his calling was to be a monk, not a king. At the end of Peter's
reign, the empire of the Bulgarians began to crumble under the blows
of Byzantium and the Hungarians, and the final blow was the campaign
of the Kiev prince Svyatoslav, who with the help of a not very large
army temporarily captured the capital and part of the territory. The
future tsar and commander Samuel managed to regain most of the
empire’s territory, but the capital and Thracian territories, which
made up the “heart of the country”, as well as the northwestern
territories that were left to the Magyars, were lost.
1018, after the death of Samuel, Bulgaria was conquered by Byzantium
and ceased to exist for almost two centuries. From 1018 to 1187, the
territory of Bulgaria was a province of Byzantium, although the
autonomy of the Bulgarian church (Archbishop of Ohrid) was
confirmed. The country experienced two unsuccessful revolts during
this time, Peter II Delyan and Konstantin Bodin. In the XI century,
Bulgaria as part of Byzantium was consistently threatened by the
Normans, Pechenegs and Hungarians. In 1185-1187, an uprising led by
the brothers Ivan Asen I and Peter IV led to the liberation of the
country from Byzantine rule and the establishment of the Second
Second Bulgarian Kingdom
of the Asen clan, who lived in Tarnovo, in 1185 sent an embassy to
the Byzantine emperor Isaac Anel with a request to confirm their
possessions. Arrogant refusal and beating of the embassy became a
signal for rebellion. In a short time, an uprising swept the
territory from the Balkan Mountains to the Danube. Since then, the
union of the Bulgarians with the Polovtsians, known in Bulgaria as
the Cumans, began - the Polovtsians repeatedly fought alongside the
Bulgarians against the Byzantines.
The second Bulgarian
kingdom existed from 1187 to 1396, the city of Tarnovo became the
new capital. In 1197, Asen I was killed by the rebellious boyar
Ivanko, who switched to the side of Byzantium. Peter, the middle of
the brothers, also fell at the hands of the killers. In southern
Bulgaria, there were two independent states - headed by the governor
Dobromir Chrys in the current city of Melnik, and the despot Slav in
the Rhodope Mountains, his fortress Tsepina now does not exist. The
new king Kaloyan, who took the throne in 1197, firmly crushed the
opposition and began the rapid expansion of Bulgaria. The last
stronghold of Byzantium in northern Bulgaria, Odessos (now Varna),
was taken by storm on March 24, 1201, on Easter Sunday. The entire
Byzantine garrison was killed, and buried in the moats of the
fortress. Kaloyan, who during the reign of his brother Asen I was a
hostage in Constaninople, received a good Greek education. However,
he earned the nickname "Romeo Killer." According to the Byzantine
chronicler Georgy Acropolitan, “He avenged the Romans for the evil
that Emperor Vasily I did to the Bulgarians and called himself
Romeo-killer ... Indeed, no one else did the Romans so much grief!”
Using the defeat of Byzantium by the crusaders, he inflicted several
major defeats The Latin Empire, defeating the troops of the IV
Crusade, and extended its influence to most of the Balkan Peninsula.
After the capture of Constantinople by the troops of the fourth
crusade, Kaloyan began correspondence with Pope Innocent, and
received the title “emperor” from him. In 1205, shortly after the
crusaders were defeated, Bulgarian forces crushed the Byzantine
uprising in the city of Plovdiv - the leader of the uprising, Alexei
Aspieta, was hanged head down.
After the death of Kaloyan,
Bulgaria lost a significant part of the territory, but then reached
its highest power under Tsar Ivan Asen II (1218–1241), who
controlled almost the entire Balkan Peninsula. In 1235, the
Bulgarian patriarchy was restored, but Ivan Asen II maintained his
relations with the Catholic countries throughout his reign. In the
last year of his reign, he defeated the Mongols who came from
After the death of Ivan Asen II, the state began
to weaken. The Mongols nevertheless ravaged him in 1242, and
Bulgaria was forced to pay tribute to them. In the XIII century,
Bulgaria again lost most of its territories, which passed to Hungary
and the heirs of Byzantium, and also lost control of Wallachia. The
Asenian Dynasty was interrupted in 1280. Tsar Theodore Svyatoslav
from the next dynasty, Terters, in 1300 signed an agreement with the
Tatars, according to which he received Bessarabia and stopped paying
tribute. In 1322, he also signed an agreement with Byzantium, ending
a long period of wars.
The further history of Bulgaria is a
constant war with Hungary and Serbia. A brief heyday falls on the
beginning of the reign of Tsar John Alexander (1331–1371), when
Bulgaria was able to defeat the Serbs and establish control over the
Rhodopes and the Black Sea coast. At this time also accounted for
the rise of culture, called the "second golden age."
the Turks crossed over to Europe, taking Plovdiv in 1362, Sofia in
1382, and Veliko Tarnovo in 1393, after a three-month siege. After
the death of John-Alexander, Bulgaria split into two states - with
the capitals in Vidin and Veliko Tarnovo - and could not provide the
Ottomans with any resistance. The last city of the Tarnovo kingdom,
Nikopol, was taken by the Turks in 1395, and the Vidin kingdom in
1396. The second Bulgarian kingdom ceased to exist.
economy of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom was based on agriculture
(Danube plain and Thrace) and ore mining and smelting of iron. Gold
mining was also developed in Bulgaria.
the fall of the Tarnovo kingdom in 1395 and the conquest of the
Vidin kingdom in 1396, Constantine II Asen, son of Ivan Sratsimir,
ascended the throne of Vidin. He ruled both as a vassal of the
Turkish Sultan, then as a Hungarian king, and also declared
independence for a while, but nevertheless his power extended to at
least a part of the former Vidin kingdom. In the period from 1396 to
1422, these remnants of the Vidin kingdom were Bulgaria. The dispute
between Tarnovo and Vidin was gone. A number of foreign states
recognized Constantine II Asen precisely as the ruler of Bulgaria.
In this form, Bulgaria continued to exist until 1422, when, after
the death of Constantine II Asen, the Vidin kingdom ceased to be
mentioned in the sources (apparently it was finally eliminated by
At the end of the 14th century,
Bulgaria was conquered by the Ottoman Empire. At first she was in
vassal dependence, and in 1396, Sultan Bayazid I annexed her after
defeating the crusaders at the Battle of Nikopol. The result of five
hundred Turkish rule was the complete ruin of the country, the
destruction of cities, in particular fortresses, and a decrease in
population. Already in the XV century, all Bulgarian authorities at
a level higher than the communal (villages and cities) were
dissolved. The Bulgarian church lost its independence and was
subordinate to the Patriarch of Constantinople. The period from 1396
to 1878 in Bulgarian history is known as the period of the Turkish
The land formally belonged to the Sultan as the
representative of Allah on earth, but in reality they received it
for use by the Sipahs, who were supposed to put cavalry in wartime
on the orders of the Sultan. The number of troops was proportional
to the size of land ownership. For the Bulgarian peasants, this
system of feudal land tenure was at first easier than the old feudal
Bulgarian, but the Turkish government was deeply hostile to all
Christians. Despite the fact that those peasants who lived on land
owned by Islamic religious institutions - the waqif - possessed some
privileges, all the Bulgarians were in disempowered status of the
so-called "paradise". Literally translated, this word means the same
as the Christian clergy has the word "flock" (as historians have
established, some Muslims also entered the paradise, especially
peasants, artisans and other poor and vulnerable segments of the
medieval population of the empire). The freedom of the Bulgarians
living in the Ottoman Empire was limited, as the Turks attributed
them to "second-class citizens." The rights of the indigenous
Bulgarian population in the occupied lands were considered not equal
to the rights of the Turks, including due to religion. The testimony
of Christians against the Turks was not accepted by the court.
Bulgarians could not carry weapons, ride horses, their houses could
not be higher than the houses of Muslims (including non-Turks), and
also had many other legal restrictions. Most of the Bulgarians
remained Christians, who forcibly converted to Islam Bulgarians -
the so-called. Pomaks, mainly in the Rhodope Mountains, preserved
the Bulgarian language and many traditions.
The Bulgarians resisted and raised numerous
uprisings against the Ottoman Empire, the most famous of which were
the uprising of Konstantin and Fruzhin (1408-1413), the First
Turnovskoy uprising (1598), the Second Turnovskoy uprising (1686),
the Karposz uprising (1689). They were all crushed.
XVII century, the Sultan power, and with it the institutions
established by the Ottomans, including land tenure, began to weaken,
and in the XVIII century went into crisis. This led to the
strengthening of local authorities, sometimes establishing very
strict laws on their lands. At the end of the 18th and the beginning
of the 19th centuries Bulgaria actually fell into anarchy. This
period is known in the history of the country as Kurdjalism
according to the gangs of Kurdzhali who terrorized the country. Many
peasants fled from rural areas to cities, some emigrated, including
to the south of Russia.
At the same time, the 18th century
was marked by the beginning of the Bulgarian Renaissance, associated
primarily with the names of Paisius Hilendarsky, who wrote Bulgarian
history in 1762, and Sophronius Vrachansky and with the national
liberation revolution. This period continued until Bulgaria gained
independence in 1878.
The Bulgarians were recognized as a
separate national religious group in the Ottoman Empire (before
that, they were administratively considered as members of the
millet-i-room, uniting all the Orthodox subjects of the Sultan under
the supervision of the Ecumenical Patriarch) due to the Sultan
firman under the vizier Aali-Pasha, proclaimed on February 28, 1870
which established the autonomous Bulgarian exarchate.
Principality of Bulgaria
Part of Bulgaria received administrative
autonomy rights as part of the Ottoman Empire after the defeat of
Turkey in the war with Russia in 1877-1878 (See the articles San
Stefano Peace and Berlin Congress). The origins of modern Bulgarian
statehood were the Russian administration, which ruled Bulgaria. The
borders of the new state were determined by the Berlin Congress of
1878, greatly curtailed liberated Bulgaria in favor of the Ottoman
Empire and other neighboring states. In 1879, a fairly liberal
constitution was adopted by the Constituent Assembly in the medieval
Bulgarian capital Tarnovo, which established a constitutional
monarchy in the young state with the new capital, the city of Sofia.
The state became a principality led by Prince Alexander
Battenberg (prinz Alexander Joseph von Battenberg). After the
abdication of Prince Alexander Battenberg in 1886 and the regency
period in 1887, Ferdinand I entered the throne (the prince from July
7, 1887 to September 22, 1908, when the Principality of Bulgaria was
declared independent of the Ottoman Empire - the king from September
22, 1908 to October 3 1918). The annexation of September 6, 1885 by
the Principality of Bulgaria autonomous as part of the Ottoman
Empire, the region of Eastern Rumelia caused the start of the
Serbian-Bulgarian War of 1885 on November 14, which ended with the
victory of the Principality of Bulgaria. The Bucharest Peace Treaty
of February 19, 1886 recognized the international recognition of the
act of reunification of the Principality with Eastern Rumelia.
Third Bulgarian Kingdom
During the next weakening of the
Ottoman Empire and the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina by
Austria-Hungary, the Bulgarian prince Ferdinand I, taking advantage
of the moment and by prior secret agreement with Vienna, proclaimed
on September 22, 1908 the independence of the principality and its
transformation into a kingdom. The adoption of the title of king
expressed the actual status of full legal independence and complete
sovereignty over Eastern Rumelia. The necessary constitutional
amendments were introduced by the V Grand National Assembly in 1911.
In 1912-1913 she participated in the Balkan wars, as a result of
which she gained territorial acquisitions in Macedonia and Thrace at
the expense of the Ottoman Empire and access to the Aegean Sea.
During the first world war
At the beginning of the war,
Bulgaria declared neutrality, but soon the Bulgarian government
decided to take the side of the Central Bloc powers. Bulgaria
entered the First World War on October 14, 1915, declaring war on
Serbia. Bulgarian troops participated in operations against Serbia
and Romania, fought on the Thessaloniki front. During the war,
Bulgarian troops occupied a significant part of the territory of
Serbia, Romania and Greece. In September 1918, the Allied forces
managed to break through the front of the Bulgarian army, and on
September 29, 1918 Bulgaria was forced to sign a truce with the
countries of the Entente. In 1919, the Neuilly Treaty was concluded,
according to which Bulgaria, as a losing side in the war, lost a
significant part of its territory and access to the Aegean Sea. On
October 2, 1918, Tsar Boris III ascended the throne after the
abdication of his father, Tsar Ferdinand. After 1920, Bulgaria
became one of the largest centers of Russian white emigration. Until
1944, the 3rd Division of the Russian All-Military Union operated in
Bulgaria. In the periods between the wars, Tsar Boris III
successfully repelled the attacks of various governments that tried
to take power from the monarch and make the monarchy purely formal.
During the Second World War
By the beginning of
World War II, Tsar Boris III sought to ensure the neutrality of
Bulgaria. The government of Bogdan Filov (1940-1943) refused to
accept the proposal of the USSR to conclude a Soviet-Bulgarian
agreement on friendship and mutual assistance.
1940, Bulgaria filed territorial claims of Romania, demanding the
return of the southern part of the Dobrudja Highlands, lost as a
result of the defeat in the Second Balkan War in 1913. On September
7, 1940, the Craiova Agreement was signed, according to which
Bulgaria received back the required territories.
1941, the first units of German troops entered the territory of
Bulgaria (German security teams in the uniform of military personnel
of the Bulgarian army). On February 2, 1941, Bulgaria and Germany
signed a protocol on the deployment of German troops in Bulgaria.
On March 1, 1941, an agreement was signed in Vienna on the
accession of Bulgaria to the Berlin Pact;
On April 6, 1941,
the German invasion of Yugoslavia and Greece began. Bulgaria
provided its territory for the deployment of German troops and
aircraft, but the Bulgarian armed forces did not take part in the
hostilities. On April 19–20, 1941, in accordance with the agreement
between Germany, Italy and the Bulgarian government, parts of the
Bulgarian army crossed the borders with Yugoslavia and Greece
without declaring war and occupied territories in Macedonia and
December 13, 1941 Bulgaria declared war on
Great Britain and the USA.
At the beginning of 1943, the
Nazis demanded the deportation of 48 thousand Bulgarian Jews, but
the government did not comply with this requirement because of
protests from the public and the church, Tsar Boris III in 1943 also
condemned the German deportation requirement.
At the same
time, Bulgaria extradited Nazi Germany to 11,343 Jews who lived in
the territories occupied by Bulgaria that did not belong to it until
In 1943, after the defeats of the Germans at El Alamein
(October 23 - November 4, 1942) and Stalingrad (November 19, 1942 -
February 2, 1943), Tsar Boris began to seek contact with
Anglo-American circles. This aroused Hitler's suspicions. Boris was
called to Hitler’s headquarters for explanation and died on August
28, 1943, while returning to Sofia.
On May 18, 1944, the
government of the USSR demanded that the government of Bulgaria stop
providing assistance to the German army.
On August 12, 1944,
the government of the USSR repeatedly demanded that the government
of Bulgaria stop providing assistance to the German army.
August 26, 1944, the Bagryanov government announced the complete
neutrality of Bulgaria and demanded the withdrawal of German troops
from the country.
In early September 1944, Bulgaria broke off
relations with Germany (the new government of Muravyov), preparing
to declare war of the latter by September 7-8.
5, the USSR government regarded the activities of the Bulgarian
government as a continuation of cooperation with Germany (as of
September 5, 1944, there were 30,000 German troops in Bulgaria) and
announced that it was at war with Bulgaria.
On September 8,
1944, Red Army troops entered Bulgaria, and in the evening of the
same day the Communist opposition carried out a coup against the
government, establishing the government of the Patriotic Front. On
October 28, 1944, representatives of the USSR, Great Britain and the
USA signed an armistice agreement with Bulgaria in Moscow. In
accordance with it, parts of the Bulgarian army together with the
Red Army participated in operations to liberate the territory of
Yugoslavia, Hungary and Austria from the German troops. In battles
against the German bloc, 33,000 Bulgarian soldiers died.
People's Republic of Bulgaria
After the king’s death, his
six-year-old son Simeon II entered the throne. In fact, the state
was governed by its regents. The reign of the young king was
short-lived - he had to flee with his family to Egypt, and then to
Spain, since the People’s Republic of Bulgaria was proclaimed after
the referendum of September 15, 1946.
February 10, 1947
Bulgaria signed the Paris Peace Treaty.
developed along the socialist path until the end of 1989, when the
country emerged from the influence of the USSR.