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Bulgaria - 19 Centuries at the Border of Europe:
Summary of Main Historical Events lgde1.gif (1022 bytes)

Year Event
app. 190

Several Bulgarian tribes move from the highland regions of Altai in Central Asia to the European continent, settling in the plains between the Caspian and the Black sea


In the Anonymous Roman Chronograph and in Armenian Chronicler Movses Horenatzi, Bulgaria's border in the south is marked along the Caucasian ridge (see the map)


The alliance between Bulgarians and Huns is backing the Huns hegemony in Central Europe for nearly one century


Bulgarians invade and conquer all of Thrace installing their supremacy in Balkans

632 In the capital city of Phanagoria, khan Kubrat is declared the ruler of all Bulgarian tribes living in the region of the Black Sea, Azov and Caspian Sea (Bulgarian art)
642 Khan Kubrat supports the widow of his personal friend, Byzantium (Eastern Roman Empire) emperor Heraclius, Martina and their children, in their battle for the throne
651 After Kubrat's death, the State is divided between his five sons; the youngest, khan Asparukh establishes the new Bulgarian capital in the South of the delta of Danube (Ongula) (map)
660 The second son of Kubrat, khan Kotragh moves to the North-East and sets up the Volga Bulgaria (capital Bulgar, nowadays Kazan in Tatarstan, Russia)
681 First Bulgarian Kingdom headed by Khan Asparouh, who spread the rule over vast territories north and south of the Danube River, is recognised by Byzantium that agreed to pay an annual tax guaranteeing its borders (see the map)
700-718 Under the reign of Khan Tervel Bulgaria expands in territory (adding Zagore region, 706) and ascents to a higher political standing (see the map)
718 Arab cavalry treads over Byzantium Empire and threatens Bulgaria. Khan Tervel defeats Arabs ending their attempts to penetrate into Europe via Balkans.
803-814 Khan Krum releases Slav population in Balkans from Byzantium repression; westward he sets up Pest (part of present Budapest, capital of Hungary) to stop the advance of Charlemagne’s empire; eastward Bulgarian troops besiege Constantinople (map)
865 Boris I Mikhail (852-889) overcomes the internal rejection and adopts Christianity as official state religion;  he negotiates with Pope Nicholas I (858-67) trying to move Bulgaria to Catholicism (Responses of Pope) (see the map)
893 - 927 Golden Age of Bulgaria: Simeon the Great (b.864; 893-927) accomplishes the greatest cultural achievements and territorial power with an outlet to the three seas - the Aegean, Black and Adriatic; in 913 he is crowned as the 'Emperor of the Bulgarians and Romans' by Patriarch Nicholas in Constantinople (map)
921 The king of Volga Bulgaria Almus invites a mission from the Caliph of Baghdad al-Muktadir for explaining Islamic laws; Ibn Fadlan heads the mission and presents the king with gifts; the account of his journeys with the embassy, Risala; and the legend of the trip, the 13th warrior
976-1014 Tsar Samuel, pushes Bulgaria's borders further to the South and to the West, and make Ohrid the new capital (the third Bulgarian capital after Pliska and Preslav)(map)
1018 After long-lasting wars Bulgaria is included into the Byzantium Empire
1040 Peter Delyan, grandson of Samuel is proclaimed Bulgarian tsar in Belgrade (present capital of Serbia). After liberating Bulgarian lands, he is treacherously blinded by one of his relatives (miniature)
1054 Break of relations between the two main centres of Christianity: Constantinople and Rome: Bulgaria is increasingly isolated in the acute rivalry between East and West
1072 Georgi Voiteh is proclaimed Bulgarian tsar in the town of Skopje (present capital of Macedonia). After two years of fighting the revolt is put down by the Byzantine
1185 The brothers Asen and Petar declare the establishment of Second Bulgarian Kingdom with Turnovo as a capital city thus ending the Byzantium rule
1197-1207 Tsar Kaloyan restores the mighty power of Bulgaria; it stands out again as a major power in East Europe; the army of the Latin emperor Baldwin of Flanders is crushed near Adrianople (1204) and he is taken as a prisoner (chronique of G. Villehardouin)
1218-1241 Under tsar Ivan Assen II Bulgaria reaches its highest efflorescence establishing political supremacy in East Europe, expanding its borders, pushing forward economical and cultural development (see the map)
1223 The king of Volga Bulgaria Gabdula Chelbir defeats the Mongol hordes of Ghengis Khan nearby Samarskaya Luka
1277 Suffering at the hands of 'the Tartars Golden Horde' Bulgarian peasants rise in massive mediaeval peasant war - beating off the Tartars and imposing their leader, the swineherd Ivailo, on the throne (see the map)
1330 Tsar Michael Shishman dies in a disastrous battle against Serbia. Aggressive Serbian imperialism destroys the unity of Christian states in Balkans. The Ottoman Turks take great advantage of this conflict, invading and spreading rapidly over Balkans
1396 After the dramatic Battle of Nicopolis, Bulgaria tumbles down under the oppressive Ottoman domination for almost 5 centuries (See Jean Froissart's picture, Brugge, XVth)
1444 The last Christian Crusade against the assault of Islam invading Europe; the Battle of Varna and the defeat of Christian army of Wladyslaw III Jagelo, young King of Poland who dies in the battle
1408-1799 Numerous significant uprisings of Bulgarian people, proclaiming the independence of Bulgaria, are suppressed with inhuman atrocities
1722-1773 Pagisios of Chiliandar kindles the spark of the Bulgarian National Revival; he authoress the "Historiae Sclavo-Bulgaricus": the first work of modern Bulgarian letters
1799-1871 Doctor Peter Beron, National Revival scientist, Renaissance Man, reformer and brilliant linguist with nine languages contributes greatly to the modernisation of education, and creates the foundations of the modern Bulgarian grammar
1860s-70s Vassil Levski establishes a strong network of local committees in hundreds of Bulgarian towns and villages thus organizing a national liberation revolution
1876 Bulgarian revolutionaries launch the April uprising indirectly leading to the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878 and the foundation of independent Bulgarian state
1854-1895 Stefan Stambolov, resolute and uncompromising Bulgarian statesmen grasps the historic task of modernising the nation; Chairman of Parliament, Regent, and Prime Minister, he puts Bulgaria upon the map of European statesmanship
1908 Tsar Ferdinand Saxe-Coburg Gotha (elected to the throne in 1887) declares the Independence of Bulgaria
1912 Bulgaria, along with its allies, forces Turkey to hand back its remaining Balkan territories in First Balkan War
1913 Bulgaria is attacked by Serbia, Romania, Montenegro, Turkey and Greece and loses its possessions in the Second Balkan War
1914 Bulgaria allies with Central Powers during the First World War (1914-1918)
1925 Bomb planted in the roof of the cathedral Sveta Nedelya in Sofia by the Communist party kill more than 120 people. After the bombing martial law is declared, thousands of left wing activists, intellectuals and journalists are detained or killed
1939-1944 Bulgaria collaborates with Germany during the Second World War; in spite of German coercions save all Jewish population and refuse military assistance
1944 The Soviet Union declares war on Bulgaria while at the same time a Communist-led coalition, called the Fatherland Front, seizes power in Sofia
1947 Bulgaria becomes a "People's Republic" and all opposition to communist rule is eliminated
1954 Todor Zhivkov takes the control of the Communist Party leadership and imposes the rule of terror and Soviet style spying and manipulation
1955 On 14 December Bulgaria becomes a member of the United Nations with population of 8.4 millions
1989 Zhivkov is removed from power by the economic elite of Communist party; the era of political and economic transition begins
1990 The Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) wins the first free post-war elections
1991 The coalition Union of Democratic Forces (UDF) and the Movement for Democratic Freedom wins elections, thus replacing the communists for the first time since 1944
1992 UDF government is removed following a fallout within the coalition, and replaced by a government of 'independent experts' led by Mr. Lyuben Berov
1994 Berov is replaced by a caretaker government; in December elections the Democratic Left is voted back into power headed by the BSP leader Z.Videnov
1994 Bulgaria beats Germany to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup in the USA
1996 Mr Videnov and his government resign in the face of growing macroeconomic instability, financial crisis and popular protests
1996 Petar Stoyanov, UDF's candidate, is triumphant in the presidential election on 27 October 1996
1997 The Union of Democratic Forces coalition comes to power following early elections and embarks upon a series of far-reaching reforms, with the support from parliament
2001 In strange election absurdity, Bulgarian voters, frustrated over poverty and corruption, elect Simeon II Saxe-Coburg Gotha, ex-monarch, as a Prime Minister, and Georgi Parvanov (ex-communist and BSP leader) to be the president. (see elections' results)
2003 Widespread corruption and overwhelming mafia supported by incompetent and incapable government officials push down Bulgaria as one of the least developed country in Europe
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