Last modified: March 5, 2018


Bulgaria’s lands were inhabited from prehistoric times and were part of several ancient civilizations.

Here is Bulgaria’s History in brief:

681 Khan Asparuch, the Proto-Bulgarian leader, defeated the defending Byzantine army at the Danube and took over the territory south to the Danube river. He founded the First Bulgarian Kingdom, with its capital Pliska.
855 Cyril and Methodius created the first Slavonic alphabet, thus making the Bulgarian language the fourth literary language in Europe.
866 Tsar Boris I converted to Christianity and began the convertion of the Bulgarian people.
893 Tsar Simeon I came to power and moved the capital from Pliska to Preslav.
927 Bulgarian Capital moved to Ochrid, in present-day Macedonia.
1018–1187 Bulgaria lost independence and was incorporated into the Byzantine Empire.
1218–1241 Bulgarian Kingdom under Tsar Ivan Assen II, with capital in Veliko Tarnovo, expanded and reached the Adriatic and Aegean Seas.
1392-1878 Bulgaria lost its independence and became part of the Ottoman Empire
1762 Paissy Hylendarsky wrote the Slav-Bulgarian History and marked the beginning of the National Revival period
1878 Liberation of Bulgaria from 5 century-long Ottoman domination – the Treaty of San Stefano – Bulgaria was supposed to regain its former territories;

Treaty of Berlin – the great powers took away 2/3 of the territorial gains. Prince Alexander Battenberg arrived to take charge of Bulgaria

1879 Sofia became capital
1885 Unification of Bulgaria
1886 Prince Ferdinand I of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was elected Prince
1908 Declaration of Independence, Prince Ferdinand became Tsar Ferdinand
1912 1st Balkan war: Bulgaria,Serbia,and Greece against Turkey
1913 2nd Balkan War: Bulgaria was defeated by Serbia, Greece, Romania and Turkey, lost territory on all sides.
1915 World War I
1919 Peace Treaty of Neuilly: Bulgaria lost land on all sides.
1918-1934 A time of instability under Tsar Boris III
1941 Bulgaria joined World War II on the side of the Axis Powers
1944 Soviet army crossed into Bulgaria
1946 Establishment of the Peoples Republic of Bulgaria with Soviet model of development
1954 Todor Zhivkov was elected 1st secretary of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party
1989 Todor Zhivkov was released from his responsibilities
1990 First free elections in Bulgaria
2002 Bulgaria was invited to join the EU with a probable date in 2007
2004 Bulgaria became a member of NATO
2005 Prime minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha signed the EU Treaty of Accession of Bulgaria.
2007 Bulgaria became an EU member