Bulgaria Key Dates

c 2500 BC    Thracian civilisation established in south east of Balkan peninsula.
c 600 BC    Thrace colonised by Greeks.
c 100 BC    Thrace becomes part of Roman Empire.
15 AD    Moesia (northern Bulgaria) becomes part of Roman Empire.
c 500 AD    Slavic tribes begin to settle Thrace and Moesia (modern Bulgaria).
c 600 AD    Nomadic Asiatic Bulgars invade and become ruling elite. They later absorb Slavic language and culture.
680 AD    First Bulgarian Empire under Khan Asparuhk stablished.
864    Christianity introduced.
893    Empire reaches its zenith under Tsar Simeon – controlling Macedonia & Serbia.
969    Russians invade Bulgaria.
976    Byzantine Empire drives Russians from Bulgaria.
1018    Bulgaria becomes part of Byzantine Empire.
1185    Successful revolt against Byzantine rulers. Second Bulgarian Empire established.
1330    Bulgaria defeated by Serbs – made a tributary.
1389    Ottoman Turks invade.
1396    Bulgaria becomes part of Ottoman Empire.
1850s    Revolutionary movement for national independence grows.
1876    Revolt against Ottoman rule – 15,000 killed by Turks in reprisals.
1877    Russia invades Balkans to protect Bulgarian Christians. Start of Russo-Turkish War.
1878    Russo-Turkish War ends after several Turkish defeats. Russia occupies large parts of Ottoman territory.
3 March 1878    Treaty of San Stefano – Turks agree to independence for Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, autonomy for Bulgaria and to cede territory to Russia.
13 July 1878    Treaty of Berlin – European powers re-write Treaty of San Stefano to reduce Russian gains.
1878    Autonomous principalities of Bulgaria and Eastern Rumelia established within the Ottoman Empire.
6 September 1885    Eastern Rumelia (South Bulgaria) incorporated into the autonomous Bulgarian principality.
13 November 1885    Serbo-Bulgarian War begins when Serbia tries to oppose annexation of Rumelia. War ends 13 March 1886 after Serbia defeated.
5 October 1908    Independent Kingdom of Bulgaria established.
March 1912    Alliance beween Serbia and Bulgaria agreed.
June 1912    Alliance between Greece and Bulgaria agreed.
8 October 1912    Montenegro declares war on Ottoman Empire – starting First Balkan War.
18 October 1912    Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece join the First Balkan War. [5 Oct, Julian calendar]
16 December 1912    Armistice in First Balkan War agreed by Ottoman Empire. [3 Dec, Julian calendar]
3 February 1913    First Balkan War resumes after change of government in the Ottoman Empire. [21 Jan, Julian calendar]
26 March 1913    Ottoman fortress of Adrianople falls to Bulgarian forces. [13 Mar, Julian calendar]
19 April 1913    Armistice agreed following victory over the Ottoman Empire.
30 May 1913    Peace Treaty signed following First Balkan War.
1 July 1913    Start of Second Balkan War – led by the country allies from the First Balkan War (Serbia, Greece, Bulgaria) with the aim of ruling Macedonia. [16 June, Julian calendar]
30 July 1913    Armistice ends Second Balkan War.
10 August 1913    Peace treaty signed in Bucharest – the territory of Macedonia was partitioned into three parts among Bulgaria, Serbia and Greece.
24 August 1915    Bulgaria signs a military pact with Germany and Austro-Hungary.
14 October 1915    Bulgaria declares war on Serbia, entering the First World War on the side of Germany. [1 Oct, Julian calendar]
29 September 1918    Bulgaria surrenders to the Allies.
late 1918    Peasant led ‘Agrarian’ government takes control.
27 November 1919    Bulgaria signs humiliating peace treaty in Neuilly.
June 1923    Bloody military coup deposes Agrarian government.
1934    Government of ‘national regeneration’ installed by military coup.
1935    Czar Boris establishes quasi-fascist royal dictatorship.
15 September 1939    Bulgaria declares neutrality in World War Two.
7 September 1940    Craiova Agreement – Romania cedes South Dobrudja to Bulgaria.
21 September 1940    Bulgarian Army enters South Dobrudja.
1 March 1941    Bulgaria signs Axis Tripartite Pact.
6 April 1941    German forces invade Greece and Yugoslavia from Bulgarian bases.
24 April 1941    Bulgaria declares war on Greece and Yugoslavia.
late April 1941    Bulgarian military forces occupy Macedonia and Aegean Thrace.
13 December 1941    Bulgaria declares war on Britain and the USA.
26 August 1944    Bulgaria declares itself neutral in WW2 – not recognised by Allies.
30 August 1944    German troops withdraw from Bulgaria.
5 September 1944    USSR declares war on Bulgaria.
6 September 1944    Bulgaria declares war on Germany.
8 September 1944    Soviet troops enter Bulgaria unopposed.
9 September 1944    Armistice signed with USSR.
9 October 1944    Anti-German offensive in Yugoslavia launched.
28 October 1944    Armistice with Britain, USA and USSR signed.
2 December 1944    Anti-German advance into Southern Serbia and Macedonia concluded.
1945    Control of Macedonia transferred to Yugoslavia, of Thrace to Greece and of South Dobruja to Romania
October 1946    Communists ‘win’ government elections and take control.
15 September 1947    Formal peace treaty with USSR signed
1947    People’s Republic of Bulgaria established
10 November 1989    Communist Party leadership replaced by pro-democracy supporters.
February 1991    First non-Communist government elected in Bulgaria.
14 February 1994    Bulgaria joins the NATO Partnership for Peace programme.
mid 2001    Supporters of the former King Simeon of Bulgaria win government elections
November 2002    Bulgaria invited to join NATO.
2 April 2004    Bulgaria joins NATO

Note: Bulgaria switched to the Gregorian calendar when 31 March 1916 was followed by 14 April 1916.

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