1185-1393 1760-1848

Bulgaria 1393-1760

In 1393 the Ottoman Turks conquered the Bulgarian capital TRNOVO; by 1396 the entire country was subdued. The Bulgarian state was annexed into the Ottoman Empire; it formed a part of the Ottoman province of RUMELIA. In 1397 the Bulgarian Church was abolished, the Bulgarian Christians placed under the administration of the Greek Orthodox patriarch in Constantinople. For most of the time, SOFIA was the capital of the province of Rumelia.
In connection with the Ottoman conquest, Bulgarian population losses are estimated at 600,000 killed and 1.5 million abducted into slavery. In addition, a considerable number of Bulgarians fled to adjacent christian countries, for instance to Serbia.
Ottoman rule brought a number of changes. While the far majority of the Bulgarians stuck to their christian belief, conversions to Islam happened. Muslim Turks settled in certain areas, for instance the southern Dobrudja, which they dominated.
Following the second siege of Vienna in 1683, Habsburg armies liberated Hungary and penetrated across the Danube into Serbia. In 1688 a Bulgarian rebellion erupted, centered on Chiprovtzi, a mining town with a Catholic community. The rebellion was brutally suppressed by Janissaries.
Although the Bulgarian church had been placed under the Greek Orthodox patriarch, holy mass was usually held in Old Church Slavonic, and Bulgarian priests were appointed in Bulgarian communities. Monasteries were the centers of christian knowledge and education. Greeks tended to look down upon the Bulgarians, and called upon the latter to assimilate into the Greek culture. This inspired monk Paissi of Hilendar to write his History of the Bulgarians in 1760.

Library of Congress, Country Studies : Bulgaria
Bulgarian History Timeline, from timelines.ws
Chiprovtzi, from OMDA
DOCUMENTS Historical maps of the Balkans, from Perry Castaneda Library, UTexas
Article Bulgarien, from Zedlers Universallexikon (1732), posted by Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, in German, 18th century font
List of Walis of Vidin 1597-1865, from World Statesmen, scroll down
REFERENCE R.J. Crampton, A Concise History of Bulgaria, Cambridge Concise Histories 1997; KMLA Lib.Sign. 949.7 C889a
Article : Bulgaria, pp.623-636, in : Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th edition, Macropaedia vol.14, KMLA Lib.Sign. R 032 B862n v.14
Raymond Detrez, Historical Dictionary of Bulgaria, Lanham Md. : Scarecrow 2006, KMLA Lib.Sign. R 949.9003 D 483h

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First posted in 2000, last revised on November 7th 2004

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