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Bulgaria

History of Bulgaria


Bulgaria was established in 681 by Khan Asparuh. The region is one of the first settled in Europe, because of its attractive geographic location. Traces from civilizations older than those in Mesopotamia and Egypt were found in the territory of Bulgaria. Archaeological findings prove the sophisticated taste and very well developed craft skills of the local settlers. The Varna Necropolis Treasure is considered to be the oldest cultivated gold in the world. Numerous tribes that inhabited the region during the different epochs have left notable traces until present days.

The Thracians are considered to be the oldest tribe ever inhabited the territory of Bulgaria. According to the ancient historian Herodotus: they were the second numerous people in the Ancient World. The main sources of information for the Thracian culture and life are the tombs and necropolises. The magnificent frescos in the Kazanlak tomb, the Panagurishte, Valchitran and Rogozen treasures are just a small prove for the Thracian art achievements.
Some Thracian gods as Dionissius, Bendida, Asklepius and etc. were worshiped by the ancient Greeks and Romans.
The mythical singer Orpheus is also Thrace and if you happen to find yourself in the venerable forests of his home - The Rodope Mountains, you will believe that he is still strolling lonely around with his harp, grieving for his love Eurydice.

During the 7- 6 century BC the Bulgarian Black sea coast is colonized by Hellenic tradesmen and sea - farers. In the 4th century BC the territory of contemporary Bulgaria is conquered by the Macedonians lead by Philip II and his son Alexander the Great. During the first century AC these lands become Roman provinces. After the 4th century the Balkan Peninsula is under Byzantium rule. This hegemony however was soon altered, when in 681, the Bulgarians lead by khan Asparuh united with the slaves, who had previously settled in the region and defeated the Byzantium army in the great battle in Ongal, by the delta of the Danube River.

This marked the establishment of Bulgaria with its first capital Pliska.
Bulgaria becomes a Christian country in 865 AC, when Khan Boris - Mihail governed it. His ancestor Simeon the Great stays in the history as the reign of "The Golden Age". The Slavic writing was accepted as official in the country. Literature schools, imposing temples and monasteries were built. Bulgaria was an outlet on three seas - the Black sea, Aegean Sea and the Adriatic.
The capital was moved to Veliki Preslav, which during that period could be compared with the beauty and glory of Constantinople.

In 1018 after severe defence Bulgaria falls under Byzantine rule until 1187, when the brothers Asen and Petar from Veliko Tarnovo gained the independence of Bulgaria and established the Second Bulgarian Kingdom. The capital city of the new kingdom became Veliko Tanovo.
The country received serious political progress during the rule of Tzar Kaloyan. He was a great army leader and defeats the unconquerable army of the Latin crusaders.
This fast progress continues until the reign of Tzar Ivan Asen II, when Bulgaria gets back to the grandeur of Tzar Simeon the Great. After the death of the great governor the country suffers severe crises. 100 years later, in 1393, the capital Veliko Tarnovo was conquered by the ottomans and Bulgaria suffers 5 dark centuries under Ottoman rule. The systematic attempts of the ottomans to assimilate the local people could not crush the Bulgarian spirit. Rebellions and uprisings became the expression of the live Bulgarian strive to freedom and independence.

Despite of the Ottoman rule, Bulgaria went through its Revival. The epoch of the Bulgarian revival starts in 1762, when Paisii of Hilendar wrote "History of the Slav - Bulgarian people" a manuscript with unique cultural- historical and psychological effect.
National self-consciousness emerges, trade and crafts thrive, and churches, schools and public buildings were constructed. The financial and cultural progress leads to the birth of a national - liberation movement. It reaches its peak during the April uprising in 1876. The uprising was suppressed and took numbers of innocent victims. The "Bulgarian Issue" occupied the headers of the press in Europe and worldwide.

Just one year after that the Russian troops crossed the Danube and start the Russian - Turkish Liberation war with the participation of Bulgarian volunteers.
On March 3d 1878 the San Stefano Peace Treaty was signed and Bulgaria becomes independent country. The national pride was smashed by the Berlin congress, which separated the independent lands of Bulgaria to Principality of Bulgaria and Eastern Roumelia- under the political and military domination of the Ottoman Empire. Bulgaria unites the divided territories on September 6th 1885.

The first decades after the Liberation the country developed capital and was modernized. After the Second World War, the country becomes part of the ex - socialist block. In 1989, the political changes transform Bulgaria into a Democratic country, part of the European family.

Cultural- historic heritage and natural resources of Bulgaria, transform it into attractive tourism destination. Wherever you go in this picturesque country, you will be hearty welcomed by warm and hospitable people. Welcome to Bulgaria a land with beautiful mountains and warm golden beaches, a land of legends.
VisitBulgaria team will help you feel the magic of Bulgaria.

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