Bulgarian lands are among the oldest civilized territories in the world. They were inhabited in early days of history and since then many known and unknown tribes and peoples have crossed them. Some went further west, others stayed for a short period, and for still others these lands become part of their destiny. All of them leave traces of their presence and have a share in the rich Bulgarian cultural and historical heritage. Bulgaria has preserved many cultural strata and some of them – like the Thracian stratum – are unique. These cultural strata coexisted and interacted through the centuries in a special way offering remarkable examples of artifacts. Some of the peoples who have lived in Bulgarian territories: Thracians, Ancient Greeks, Romans, Slavs and Proto-Bulgarians, Turks, invasions of crusaders, Russian and Tartar tribes… Bulgarian antiquity is so rich that every year more and more proofs of ancient civilizations are discovered.
Bulgaria is situated in a sensitive geographic area on the Old Continent. For that reason its history is rich in stormy and dramatic periods, cataclysms and abrupt changes. Invasions of various religions follow one after the other and the relatively short periods of peace and calm are marked by political events and important regional and world conflicts. All this inevitably puts its stamp on the life of Bulgarians. Years of economic and cultural prosperity, of territorial integrity, are replaced by periods of foreign rule. One thing stays unchanged however – Bulgarians’ love of freedom and their tenacity in the preservation of national identity with sword and blood, with literacy and speech, which can be followed through the pages of history. What remains unchanged is Bulgarian creative optimism and the everlasting strive for self-perfection following the best examples in the world.
If you start a conversation with Bulgarians about their history you cannot miss their involvement and you will learn about the reasons for the pride as well as the sufferings of the Bulgarians. You are sure to learn about great victories on the battlefield, starting with the battle of Khan Kroum in the Vurbitza Passage, the victories of Simeon, Kaloyan, Ivan-Assen II, and finishing up with the victory of the young Bulgarian army over the Turks at Edirne in 1912. You will hear about the great deeds of the brothers Cyril and Methodius who set the foundations of a cultural development which is still alive today and about their numerous disciples. But you will inevitably also learn about the long periods of foreign oppression, the unrealized idea of national unification of all Bulgarians in a single state within their ethnic boundaries.
We hope that this site will arouse your interest in the fate of the Bulgarian people and acquaint you with the long historical development of Bulgaria.
We have also tried to be concise describing only the most important facts and events in the history of Bulgaria of many centuries. Our only goal has been to formulate a fundamental and most general concept of this history.
People come closer only when they know each other. After acquaintance comes friendship. In this sense we hope that you will become true friends of our country.