Bulgaria: History & Timeline

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Here is a brief timeline of important events that have shaped the country 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.

  • First Bulgarian Empire
    681 CE
    Bulgarian state founded as the First Bulgarian Empire begins.
  • Byzantine Empire
    1018 - 1185
    Bulgaria is under the Byzantine Empire.
  • Treaty of San Stefano
    1878
    Russia and Turkey recognize an autonomous Bulgaria.
  • Eastern Rumelia Merged with Bulgaria
    1886
    Adds a sizable portion to the country, including the city Plovdiv.
  • Bulgarian Declaration of Independence
    1908
    Independence from the Ottoman Empire was proclaimed on 5 Oct.
  • World War I
    1914 - 1918
    Bulgaria is on Germany’s side during WWI.
  • Free Elections
    1990
    First free elections after Soviet rule.
  • Becomes Member of NATO
    2004
  • Becomes Member of European Union
    2007
  • Schengen Membership Needs Work
    2010 - Present
    Some European countries, specifically France and Germany, block Bulgaria from joining the Schengen Are until corruption and organized crime drops way down.
flag of Bulgaria

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