History of Bulgaria

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Prince Alexander I (1879 – 1886)

FOR FIVE CENTURIES IN SLAVERY, the Bulgarians cherished their memory of the regal images of their medieval rulers. After the liberation, on 6 July 1879, they welcomed their first ruler on the pier of Varna with enthusiasm and hope. Born…
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Stefan Stambolov (1887 – 1894)

"THE FIRST SIGN of true political wisdom has always been the ability to give up the unachievable," Stefan Zweig wrote. Of all post-liberation Bulgarian statesmen Stefan Stambolov seems to be the best example of the validity of this rule. He…
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Tsar Ferdinand (1887 – 1918)

HE WAS NOT A STUPID MAN, but he was a monarch too ready to act on his feelings. Beauty was his only ideal. Unreliable. One could not count on him taking the same stand at six o'clock as at two…
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Alexander Stamboliyski (1919 – 1923)

A PEASANT LEADER AND PRIME MINISTER of Bulgaria in the strenuous post-war years, from October 1919 to June 1923, Alexander Stamboliyski was one of the very few politicians who steadfastly pursued one definite purpose throughout his life. He was also…
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Tsar Boris III (1918 – 1943)

"POLITICS IS NOT A SCIENCE, BUT ART": these words of Bismarck, the Iron Chancellor of Germany, were often cited by Tsar Ferdinand in the presence of his sons, the crown prince Boris and Kiril of Preslav. Boris III realized what…
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Tsar Peter II and Tsar Assen I (1185 – 1197)

ON A NOVEMBER DAY in 1185 hundreds of Bulgarians amassed in front of the newly erected Church of St. Demetrius in Turnovo. They came to celebrate the church's inauguration, hut cheered even louder at the appearance of two nobles, the…
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Tsar Kaloyan (1197 – 1207)

BY FINISHING THE WAR OF LIBERATION his brothers had started, Tsar Kaloyan, who ruled from 1197 to 1207, proved himself a deserved leader. In the beginning, Tsar Kaloyan tended to avoid confrontation with Byzantium in order to subdue the splinter…
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Tsar Ivan Assen II (1218 – 1241)

MANY HISTORIANS HAVE WRITTEN of the life and deeds of Ivan Assen II and unanimous by recognize him as one of the greatest statesmen of medieval Bulgaria. He would never use a sword where reason, humaneness and patience would do,…
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Tsar Ivailo (1278 – 1280)

IN THE LAST DAYS of Ivan Assen's rule, the threat of a Tartar invasion loomed over Bulgaria. His underage sons Koloman and Mihail II Assen, from his first and second marriage respectively, ascended the throne one after the other, and…
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Tsar Teodor Svetoslav (1300 – 1321)

IN THE EARLY SPRING of 1300 a young Bulgarian was wandering about in the camp of the Tartar Golden Horde. Tsar Georgi Terter's son had been sent there as a hostage of the powerful Tartar Khan Nogay who had complete…
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