Chronography of Bulgaria

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Demography of Bulgaria


2007, Bulgaria joined the EU.

2004, Bulgaria joined NATO.

24 July 2001, Simeon Saxe Coburg Gotha, who as a child had been the last Tsar of Bulgaria, was sworn in as the elected Bulgarian Prime Minister.

1993, Major privatisation programme began.

19 January 1992, Zhelyu Zhelev was elected President of Bulgaria.


Fall of Communism in Bulgaria

14 October 1991 Communist rule ended in Bulgaria.

15 December 1989, In Bulgaria, 50,000 demonstrators outside Parliament demanded the end of Communist rule.

26 November 1989. The Bulgarian government voted to disband the secret police.

3 November 1989. Political unrest in Bulgaria.

10 November 1989, The rule of Bulgarian President, Todor Zhikov ended after 35 years in power, as Soviet support for him fell away. The Berlin Wall had collapsed the day before. Zhikov was later sentenced to 7 years house arrest for embezzlement of State funds, but was acquitted by the Bulgarian Supreme Court of inciting racial hatred (see 10 May 1989). He died in 1998.


10 May 1989, 300,000 Bulgarians of Turkish ethnicity left Bulgaria for Turkey. Bulgaria had begun a process of �Bulgarisation� against its ethnic minorities such as the Roma and Pomak communities in 1984, encouraging (or forcing) them to adopt Bulgarian surnames. From 1985 onwards, the Bulgarian military stepped up �assimilation� efforts, including assault, rape, imprisonment and even execution of those who resisted. Then on 10 May 1998 Bulgaria relaxed exit restrictions and on 29 May 1989 the Bulgarian President, Todor Zhikov, asked Turkey to accept all Bulgarian Muslims who wished to emigrate.

1 February 1950, In Bulgaria, Viko Chervenkov became Prime Minister on the death of Vasil Kolarov


Communists take control in Bulgaria

21 November 1946, Bulgarian Communist Georgi Dimitrov returned from Moscow to become President of Bulgaria.

27 October 1946, General elections for the Bulgarian Parliament gave the Communists control of Government.

16 September 1946, King Simeon and the Queen Mother left Bulgaria.

15 September 1946, The Bulgarian People�s Republic was proclaimed.

10 September 1946, A referendum in Bulgaria gave a 92% vote in favour of a Republic.

8 September 1946. Communists took control in Bulgaria.

9 November 1945, Martial law ended in Bulgaria and demobilization began.


For more events of World War Two in Europe see France-Germany

28 August 1943, Boris III, Tsar of Bulgaria, died. Succeeded by his 6-year-old son, Simeon II.


Militant fascism in Bulgaria

15 September 1939, Bulgaria declared its neutrality and attempted to remain out of the Second World War.

19 May 1934. In Bulgaria, Fascists seized power in a coup aided by King Boris.

1930, The Balkan Entente was set up. It included Greece, Romania, Turkey and Yugoslavia; it was essentially a defensive alliance against the expansionist aims of Bulgaria, which was seeking to regain territories lost to Greece and Yugoslavia under the Treaty of Neuilly (1919). In the 1930, as authoritarian regimes gained power in all members of the Balkan Entente, the entire region moved politically closer to Germany and Italy.


3 March 1935, Zhelyu Zhelev, 1st President of Bulgaria, was born in Veselinovo, Bulgaria (died 2015)

6 January 1935, Queen Margarita of Bulgaria was born, in Madrid, Spain

13 January 1928. Allied military control in Bulgaria ended.

4 January 1926, In Bulgaria a moderate Government took power, and offered an amnesty to all political prisoners except Communists.

14 June 1923, ex-Prime Minister Stamboliski of Bulgaria was shot whilst trying to �escape�. On 9 June 1923 he had been ejected in a coup, after his policies had antagonised the military.

27 November 1919. Bulgaria signed the Treaty of Neuilly, recognising the independence of Yugoslavia.Western Thrace was ceded to Greece, thereby cutting off Bulgaria from the Mediterranean, and two small regions were ceded to Yugoslavia.The southern Dobruja wasretained by Romania.Bulgaria was liable to pay reparations and its army limited to 20,000 men.

3 October 1918, Tsar Ferdinand of Bulgaria abdicated, following the defeat of the Bulgarian Army the previous month in Macedonia. He was succeeded by his 22-year-old son, Boris I.

17 October 1915. Russia and Italy followed Britain and France in declaring war on Bulgaria.

16 October 1915. The Allies blockaded Bulgarian ports.France declared war on Bulgaria.

15 October 1915. Britain declared war on Bulgaria. France declared war on Bulgaria on 16 October 1915.

14 October 1915. Bulgaria and Serbia each declared war on the other.

12 October 1915. The UK government broke off relations with Bulgaria.

22/ September 1915. Bulgaria mobilised its army and declared war on Serbia.

For main European events of World War One see France-Germany

16 September 1915, Bulgaria formed an alliance with Germany.

6 September 1915. Bulgaria signed a military accord with Germany and Austria.Bulgaria was seeking territory held by Greece and Serbia that it felt should be Bulgarian, see 10 August 1913.See 15 September 1915.

10 August 1913. The Third Treaty of Bucharest ended the Second Balkan War.Rumania gained the fertile area of Southern Dobruja, which had been Bulgarian since 1878, whilst Serbia and Greece divided Macedonia between them; againterritory that Bulgaria wanted.Greece received Salonika, a major port.Bulgaria merely received the mountainous areas of Pirin and Dospat, and two small Mediterranean ports called Dedeagach and Lagos; Bulgaria was left resentful.Turkey�s possession in Europe were limited to the area around Constantinople and Adrianople.Albania was created.See 6 September 1915.In the First World War, the losers by this Treaty (Turkey and Bulgaria) fought on the German side; the gainers (Greece, Romania, Serbia, and Montenegro) fought on the Allied side.


Balkan Wars

29 June 1913. Bulgaria launched a surprise attack on Serbia and Greece, thereby starting the Second Balkan War.Bulgaria was then invaded by Romania and Turkey.See 10 August 1913.

30 May 1913. Turkey signed a peace treaty with the Balkan League (the Treaty of London), ending their war.Under this Treaty Salonika was formally assigned to Greece. The Great Powers formally recognised Albanian sovereignty.

18 October 1912. The Ottoman Turks agreed to cede Tripoli and Cyrenaica (now Libya) to Italy, at the Peace of Lausanne.Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia declared war on Turkey. The Greek Army had been well-equipped under Venizelos, and the Turks were pushed back, to the point where Istanbul itself was threatened; the city was only saved by bad weather making the roads impassable and a cholera outbreak, halting military operations.

14 August 1912, As a pretext for war with the Ottoman Empire, Bulgaria demanded autonomy for Macedonia.

13 March 1912, Under Russian influence (wanting to undermine Austro-Hungary), Serbia and Bulgaria buried their territorial rivalries for the time being (but see 29 June 1913), and, along with Greece and Montenegro, formed the Balkan League. Originally directed against the large multi-ethnic Austro-Hungarian Empire (which contained many ethnic Serbs within its borders), the League redirected its efforts against Ottoman Turkey, ultimately aiming to oust the Turks entirely from all its European territories. Serbia and Bulgaria signed a mutual defence pact. Balkan nationalism was on the rise. The pact also divided northern Macedonia between them. It was assumed that southern Macedonia would be divided between Bulgaria and Greece. On 30 May 1913 the Treaty of London divided up the Balkans amongst the members of the Balkan League, leaving Ottoman Turkey with only a sliver of European territory immediately west of Istanbul.


Emergence of independent Bulgaria (from Ottoman Empire)

21 February 1909, Ferdinand I of Bulgaria visited Russia to obtain the financial aid he needed to pay Ottoman Turkey an indemnity for Bulgarian independence.

5 October 1908. Prince Ferdinand declared Bulgaria independent of Ottoman Turkey. Russia wanted Turkey weak so as not to block its plans for expansion.

11 March 1907, The Bulgarian Prime Minister was assassinated by a disaffected youth, who had been dismissed from a job in one of the country�s agricultural posts.

19 February 1896, Russia �recognised� Bulgaria as an independent state following the conversion of Crown Prince Boris, son of Ferdinand I of Bulgaria, to Orthodox Christianity. De facto, however, Bulgaria remained as part of the Ottoman Empire.

15 November 1885, The Union of Rumelia and Bulgaria caused anxiety for Serbia, and Serbia declared war on Bulgaria.

18 September 1885, Eastern Rumelia, formerly a province of Turkey, proclaimed its unity with Bulgaria to its north.

3 January 1879, Sofia was designated the capital of Bulgaria.

4 January 1878, Sofia was captured, by Russian troops, from the Ottoman Empire.

16 April 1876, Start of Bulgarian uprising against ottoman rule, which led to Bulgarian independence in 1878.

26 February 1861, Ferdinand I, King of Bulgaria, was born.

5 April 1857, Alexander of Battenberg, First Prince of Bulgaria, was born (died 23 October 1893).


25 September 1396, Battle of Nicopolis. Alarmed by Ottoman expansion into Europe, an army composed of contingents from France, Germany and Hungary marched on the Ottoman-held fortress of Nicopolis, Bulgaria. They were led by King Sigismund of Hungary. However the Christian army was ill equipped for the venture, divided by national factionalism, and only reached the fortress in late summer, then had to enforce a long siege. Hearing that an Ottoman relief army under Bayezid was only hours away, the French knights insisted on a frontal charge, despite not knowing the size of the force they were up against. Bayezid arrived and counterattacked, and outflanked the Christian force. Sigismund himself escaped but most of his army was taken prisoner and slaughtered.

17 July 1394, Turkish troops took Trnovo, a town in Bulgaria 124 miles ENE of Sofia.

1366, The last Bulgarian Tsar, Ivan Shishman III, was obliged to send hois sister to join the Ottoman Sultan�s harem and to declatre himself an Ottoman vassal.

28 June 1330, Bulgarian Tsar Michael Shishman was killed by the Serbs. However Serbian hegemony in this region was to be short-lived; on 15 June 1389 at vthe �Field of Blackbirds�, Kosovo, the Ottomans crushed Serbian forces.

1277, Constantine Asen, King of Bulgaria, was killed by a peasant usurper after a 19-year reign.

8 November 1204, Kaloyan was crowned King of Bulgaria by a Papal Legate, after agreeing to accept the authority of the Catholic Church.

1185, Insurrection in Bulgaria against Byzantine rule, due to corrupt taxation agents practising extortion. The local Greek population was practically exterminated.

See also Ottoman Empire

1019, Byzantine Emperor Basil II completed his comnquest of Bulgaria

1014, Tsar Samuel of Ochrida was defeated at Belasitza by Greek forces, ending the Western Bulgarian Empire.

6 July 1014, The Byzantine Emperor Basil II defeated the Bulgarian army, after a 28-year war, under Tsar Samuel, then ordered the defeated 15,000 men to be blinded. Basil arranged for one eye of every hundredth man to be spared so the army could find its way back to the Tsar.

987, Samuel became King of Bulgaria.

976, Samuel of Bulgaria began a war of indeoendence from Byzantium, early 976, folloeing the death of Byzantine Emperor John I Tzimisces.

23 April 971, Byzantine Emperor John I Tzimisces expelled Svyatoslav of Kiev from Bulgaria and the Crimea. The First Bulgarian Empire was overthrown.

27 May 927, Bulgar King Simeon (ruled 893-927) died. He fixed the Bulgarian capital at Preslav; the Bulgarian Empire now extended from the Adriatic to the Black Sea. He was succeeded by his son Peter, who signed a peace agreement with Byzantium that restored Byzantine control of Serbia.

927, Death of Simeon

2 May 907, King Boris I of Bulgaria died.

861, The Bulgarians conquered southern Albania. However Durazzo, on the Adriatic, remained under Byzantine rule.

13 April 814, Death of Tsar Krum (ruled 802-814). Under his rule, Bulgaria invaded Adrinaople and central Macedonia. He was succeeded by Omortag, who made peace with Byzantium.

26 July 811, Battle of Pliska. In May 811 Nicephorus and his son Stauracius led a Byzantine Army into Bulgaria, to curb the rising power of the Bulgarians, which Constantinople saw as a threat. Tsar Krum was unable to meet such an army head on and attempted negotiations, but Byzantium spurned this offer, intent on crushing the Bulgarians. Pliska fell easily to Nicephorus. The Byzantines then terrorised the region, massacring people, and destroying crops and animals. Having taught the Bulgarians a lesson, Nicephorus then turned back home. His route took him through the narrow Verbiza pass, which Nicephorus neglected to scout out first. The Bulgarians had laid a trap here; they sealed both ends of the gorge, then fell upon the Byzantines.and on 26 July massacred them at this point. Only a few returned to Constantiniple, and Nicephoirus was killed. Stauracius had to be carried home, paralysed by a neck wound, and .he died of this after six months agony.

9 April 809, The Bulgars captured Sofia.

681, The Byzantine Empire ceded land to the Bulgars, who established the First Bulgarian Empire.

3,500 BCE, Earliest copper mines sunk, in Yugoslavia and Bulgaria.


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