Here is a brief timeline of important events that have shaped Bulgaria and its people; the focus here will be geared towards recent events (from 100 years ago or so), located towards the bottom, but we’ll begin with more ancient events first.
681 CE – First Bulgarian Empire, Bulgarian state founded as the First Bulgarian Empire begins.
1018-1185 – Byzantine Empire: Bulgaria is under the Byzantine Empire.
1878 – Treaty of San Stefano, Russia and Turkey recognize an autonomous Bulgaria.
1886 – Eastern Rumelia Merged with Bulgaria, Adds a sizable portion to the country, including the city Plovdiv.
1908 – Bulgarian Declaration of Independence, Independence from the Ottoman Empire was proclaimed on 5 Oct.
1914-1918 – World War I, Bulgaria is on Germany’s side during WWI.
1990 – Free Elections, First free elections after Soviet rule.
2004 – Becomes Member of NATO
2007 – Becomes Member of European Union
2010-Present – Schengen Membership Needs Work, Some European countries, specifically France and Germany, block Bulgaria from joining the Schengen Area until corruption and organized crime drops way down.