Have questions? We're here.

Bulgaria’s Ancient History

Talk with an expert
Customize any aspect of your Bulgaria trip. 1.800.344.6118
Help Me Plan My Trip
Ask a Question
Many ancient civilizations have molded the 1300 year-old history of the state of Bulgaria. Khan Asparouh founded the first Bulgarian Kingdom in 681. This Kingdom consisted of peoples from the ancient Bulgarian state that was situated on the Volga River, as well as the Slavs from the Byzantium Empire. This initial kingdom was located at modern-day northeast Bulgaria.

In 863, two brothers, Cyril and Methodius created the Slavonic alphabet. This, in combination with the establishment of Christianity (East Orthodox) as a
state religion in 864, greatly contributed to the development of Bulgarian
nationality and created an environment primed for literature and culture to flourish. During Bulgaria travel today, visitors will still observe a rich local culture. Bulgaria remained in the Byzantium Empire from 1018 until 1185. In 1185 the Second Bulgarian Kingdom was declared after the end of Byzantium rule and oppression. After a long war and fierce resistance, the country fell under Turkish control in 1393.

At first the Turks oppression was substantial, but by the 18th century hostility and resentment began to grow with the burden of unsuccessful Turkish wars against the Austrians and the Russians. The Turks began introducing reforms attempting to assimilate the Bulgarians, but it was too late. In the early 19th century popular customs and folklore blossomed in the National Revival, while underground revolutionaries plotted against the Turks. The Turks suppressed a premature revolt that broke out in April 1876 at Koprivshtitsa, with severe brutality. In addition, the Turks spread the work throughout Europe of 'Bulgarian atrocities'. Outraged European allies, primarily Russia, came to Bulgaria's rescue in the late 1870s. When the Russian army had advanced to within 50km (31mi) of Istanbul, Turkey ceded 60% of the Balkan Peninsula to Bulgaria.

Want to Go?

destination
The sprawling canals of Venice
Europe
country
Town in eastern Europe
Bulgaria

Why Travel With Adventure Life

More Reasons
Us with our Maasai guide Dennis
Tailored to You
Tell us your travel interests, dreams and desires, then let our experts tailor the perfect trip for you!
Monks conversing in a Buddist temple
Peace of Mind
You can have confidence in our experts' dedication to traveler safety, comfort, & providing a seamless trip.
A pair of friendly sea lions
Responsible Travel
We are fully committed to low impact travel that not only preserves but gives back to the amazing places we visit.
A man photographs a King Penguin at only a few feet away.
Insider Access
Our personal expertise & experience, local partners in our destinations, & access to over 150 small ships are all invaluable to designing your unique journey.

Awards and Accolades

All News