Updated: 2019-06-23.

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.

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