Thracians were the first settlers in the Bulgarian lands, and their civilisation is evidenced by the numerous archaeological finds, uncovered tombs, discovered gold and silver treasures. The long-century history of Bulgaria divides into 4 major periods: First Bulgarian Kingdom (1185-1396 AD); Second Bulgarian Kingdom (1185-1396 AD); Third Bulgarian Kingdom (1878-1945) and newest Bulgarian history.
First Bulgarian Kingdom:
681 AD.- The Bulgarian state was established, one of the first ever European states. The first Bulgarian capital was Pliska. Its tsars (khans) Asparukh, Krum the Dreadful (803-814 AD) and Omurtag (852-831 AD) turned it into a mighty power in south-eastern Europe.
855 AD.- The Saint brothers Cyril and Methodius made the Slavonic alphabet.
865 AD. - Prince St. Boris (852-907 AD) did away with paganism and introduced East-Orthodox Christianity as the official religion in Bulgaria. In 865 AD he moved the capital from Pliska to Veliki Preslav (Great Preslav). The Byzantine Empire recognised him as tsar of the Bulgarians.
893-927 AD.- Under the reign of tsar Simeon (the Great), son of tsar Boris I, the Bulgarian Kingdom became the biggest in territory and the most powerful in Europe. The ‘golden age” of bulgarian culture set in.
1018 AD.- Emperor Basil II conquered Bulgaria and turned it into a province of the Byzantine Empire.
Second Bulgarian Kingdom:
1185-1396.- The era of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom, which came to being after a successful uprising by the Bulgarian aristocracy. The reign started os Assen dynasty. They proclaimed the town of Tirnovo as capital. Ivan-Assen II (1218-1241) was the best-known and powerful ruler of this period.
1396.- Bulgaria fell entirely under Otoman domination. In the course of long 5 centuries Bulgaria was a province of the Ottoman Empire. In the process of conquering the aristocracy was destroyed, the Bulgarian administration was done away with, the Bulgarian Church was deprived of patriarchical rang and was placed under the Constantinople patriarchy.
1652.- The beginning of the Bulgarian National Revival. Monk Paisii of the Hilendar Monastery (on Mount Athos) wrote “The Slavonic-Bulgarian History”.
1870.- Starts the organised national-liberation movement.
1876.- The April uprising of the enslaved Bulgarian people burst out.
1877-1878.- The Russian-Turkish Liberation war.
Third Bulgarian Kingdom:
1878. The Third Bulgarian State had its start with the San Stefano peace agreement signed on March 3th. On the force of that agreement Bulgaria was restored on the territory of the three historic and ethnic Bulgarian regions- namely Misia, Thrace and Macedonia. Bulgaria became the biggest Balkan country.
July 13th 1878.- The treaty of Berlin was signed on the force of which the newly liberated Bulgaria was divided into the Principality of Bulgaria and Eastern Rumelia and a large portion of the Bulgarian lands was cut away to remain under Ottoman domination.
April 16th 1879.- The Tarnovo Constitution was passed solemnly by the First Grand National Assembly.
June 26th 1879.- Alexander Battenberg became prince of Bulgaria, and Sofia -the capital of the new Bulgarian state.
September 6th 1885.- Unification of the Principality of Bulgaria and Eastern Rumelia (the real-term liberation of Bulgaria).
September 22nd 1908.- King Ferdinand I proclaimed Bulgaria’s full independence from Turkish rule.
New Bulgarian History:
After restoring the national statehood in 1878 Bulgaria was a constitutional monarchy with a democratic government and a quickly developing economy. The processes of successful growth were discontinued in result to the wars against Serbia, Montenegro, Greece, Turkey and Romania at the same time and of 1918 (warring against the Entente countries).
1923 and 1934.- Democratically elected governments were toppled via coups d’Etat that brought to power authoritarian regimes.
1941.- Bulgaria entered World War II on the side of the Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis. Bulgaria was the only ally of Hitler Germany, which did not allowed the killings of its Jewish citizens. It was thanks to king Boris III and to the Bulgarian governments that no hostilities were waged on this country’s territory.
1944.- After World War II, in result to the Yalta agreements between the Great Powers, Bulgaria chanced in the field of influence of the Soviet Union.
1953-1989.- Years of the communist rule of Todor Zhivkov who headed both the party and the state.
November 10th 1989.- Under the pressure of domestic and international circumstances Todor Zhivkov was forced to resign. Bulgaria once again takes the road of democratic development.
1989.- December 7th: The Union of Democratic Forces (UDF) was formed as a unification of 13 opposition organisations.
1990. June 10-17: First free parliamentary elections.
1991.- July 12th: A new democratic Constitution was passed.
Since January the 1st 2007 Bulgaria is member of the EU.