This article is from the Bulgaria FAQ, by Dragomir R. Radev email@example.com with numerous contributions by others.
(by Rossen Zlatev), last updated: 31-Dec-1991
The first Bulgarian Kingdom was founded by Khan Asparouh in 681.
It was situated in what is now north-east Bulgaria, and was inhabited by
Slavs from the Byzantium Empire, and Bulgarians who came from
an ancient Bulgarian state situated on the Volga river. The
creation of the Slavonic alphabet by brothers Cyril and Methodius
in 863 and the establishment of Christianity (East Orthodox) as a
state religion in 864 contributed to the development of the Bulgarian
nationality and created conditions for the flourishing of Bulgarian
literature and culture. From 1018 till 1185 Bulgaria remained in
the Byzantium Empire. In 1185 the Second Bulgarian Kingdom was declared
after the end of Byzantium rule and oppression. In 1393 after a long war
and fierce resistance the country fell under Turkish rule.
After an unsuccessful revolution in 1876, Bulgaria received freedom
thanks to the Russian-Turkish Liberation War (1877-1878). The state was
separated into three parts after the Berlin Conference in 1878.
In 1989, the country performed an unprecedented peaceful transition
from autocratic communist rule to a democratic system. A new
Parliament was elected in June, 1990 after the first free elections
in 50 years. This Parliament made a New Constitution said to be
one of the most democratic constitutions in Europe and the first among the
former socialist countries. The main tasks facing the New Parliament
(elected in the second free elections, October 1991) are creating laws
that will ensure a transition to a free market economy.
The geographical position of Bulgaria, on the crossroads between Europe
and Asia and North and South, is reflected in the rich and ancient history
of Bulgarian culture, architecture, cuisine, customs and clothes.