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Bulgarian Empire
ц︢рьство бл︢гарское
1185 - 1396
Flag of king Kaloyan Imperial Coat of arms
Bulgaria during the reign of Simeon the Great, 10th century
Capital Pliska
Vidin & Nikopol
Languages Bulgar, Greek
Old Bulgarian
Middle Bulgarian
Religion Tengrism, Paganism
Bulgarian Orthodox
Bulgarian Orthodox
Roman Catholic
Bulgarian Orthodox
Government Autocracy
 -  681–700 Asparukh (first)
 -  1396-1422 Constantine II (last)
Historical era Middle Ages
 -  Established 681
 -  Disestablished 1018
1185 - 1396
Today part of

In the medieval history of Europe, Bulgaria's status as the Bulgarian Empire (Bulgarian: Българско царство, Balgarsko tsarstvo [ˈbəlɡɐrskʊ ˈt͡sarstvʊ]), wherein it acted as a key regional power (particularly rivaling Byzantium in Southeastern Europe[1]) occurred in two distinct periods: between the seventh and eleventh centuries, and again between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries. The two "Bulgarian Empires" are not treated as separate entities, but rather as one state restored after a period of Byzantine rule over its territory.

First Bulgarian Empire[edit]

Kanasubigi Omurtag (814-831)

The First Bulgarian Empire was established on the territory both north and south of the lower course of Danube River, and is usually described as having lasted between 681[2][3][4] and 1018, when it was subjugated by the Byzantine Empire and Kievan Rus' despite Samuel's fierce resistance. It gradually reached its cultural and territorial apogee in the 9th century and early 10th century under Boris I and Simeon the Great, when it developed into the cultural and literary centre of Slavic Europe, as well as one of the largest states in Europe.

Second Bulgarian Empire[edit]

Tsar Ivan Alexander (1331-1371)

The medieval Bulgarian state was restored as the Second Bulgarian Empire after a successful uprising of two nobles from Tarnovo, Asen and Peter, in 1185, and existed until it was conquered during the Ottoman invasion of the Balkans in the late 14th century, with the date of its subjugation usually given as 1396. The Empire became vassal of the Mongolian Empire, particularly Golden Horde, in the 13-14th century.[5][6] Under Ivan Asen II in the first half of the 13th century it gradually recovered much of its former power, though this did not last long due to internal problems and foreign invasions.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ War in the Balkans, 1991-2002 - R. Craig Nation - Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2012-06-28. 
  2. ^ A Concise History of Bulgaria, R. J. Crampton, Cambridge University Press, 2005, ISBN 0521616379, pp. 8-9.
  3. ^ The New Cambridge Medieval History: Volume 1, c.500-c.700, Paul Fouracre, Cambridge University Press, 2005, ISBN 0521362911, p. 301.
  4. ^ Мутафчиев, П. Гюзелев. В, История на българския народ 681-1323. Българска Академия на науките, 1986. стр. 106-108.
  5. ^ Peter Jackson The Mongols and the West, p.204
  6. ^ Denis Sinor, "The Mongols in the West", Journal of Asian History v.33 n.1 (1999).
  7. ^ Map of late 9th century eastern central Europe

Further reading[edit]

  • Zlatarski, Vasil N. (2006) [1918]. Medieval History of the Bulgarian State (in Bulgarian). Sofia: Science and Arts Publishers, 2nd Edition (Petar Petrov, Ed.), Zahari Stoyanov Publishers, 4th Edition, 2006. ISBN 978-954-739-928-0. 
  • Бакалов, Георги; Милен Куманов (2003). Електронна издание – История на България (in Bulgarian). София: Труд, Сирма. ISBN 978-954-528-613-1. 
  • Делев, Петър; Валери Кацунов; Пламен Митев; Евгения Калинова; Искра Баева; Боян Добрев (2006). История и цивилизация за 11. клас (in Bulgarian). Труд, Сирма. 
  • Българите и България (in Bulgarian). Министерство на външните работи на България, Труд, Сирма. 2005. 
  • Fine, Jr., John V.A. (1991). The Early Medieval Balkans. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. ISBN 978-0-472-08149-3. 

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3 news items

Focus News
Thu, 17 Jul 2014 06:30:00 -0700

The date of July 17 is marked as an anniversary of the fall of Veliko Tarnovo and the Second Bulgarian Empire on July 17, 1393, which were conquered by the Ottoman Empire. Veliko Tarnovo, in particular, fell after a siege of about 3 months. The ...


Sun, 20 Jul 2014 03:24:33 -0700

With its name translated as "Great Tarnovo", it was the capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire (1185-1396). Culture » Be a reporter: Write and send your article. Tags: Veliko Tarnovo, UNESCO World Heritage, Second Bulgarian Empire, Yantra, arbanasi.
Huffington Post UK
Wed, 02 Jul 2014 01:16:04 -0700

Bulgaria? Why visit Bulgaria? Bulgaria is a beautiful country, with majestic mountains, sandy beaches, picturesque villages, good food, and hospitable people. And, it's incredibly affordable. If you don't know anything about Bulgaria, here are ten ...

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