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Coat of arms of Vidin.svg
Coat of arms
Vidin Province, Bulgaria.jpg
Location of Vidin Province in Bulgaria
Bulgaria location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location of Vidin
Coordinates: 44°00′N22°52′E / 44.000°N 22.867°E / 44.000; 22.867 Coordinates: 44°00′N22°52′E / 44.000°N 22.867°E / 44.000; 22.867
Country Bulgaria
  MayorOgnyan Tsenkov
  Town63.218 km2 (24.409 sq mi)
34 m (112 ft)
 (Census February 2011) [1]
  Density760/km2 (2,000/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Vidinite
Time zone UTC+2 (EET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal Code
Area code(s) 094
Website Official website

Vidin (Bulgarian : Видин, pronounced  [ˈvidin] ) is a port town on the southern bank of the Danube in north-western Bulgaria. It is close to the borders with Romania and Serbia, and is also the administrative centre of Vidin Province, as well as of the Metropolitan of Vidin (since 870).

Bulgarian language South Slavic language

Bulgarian, is an Indo-European language and a member of the Southern branch of the Slavic language family.

Danube River in Central Europe

The Danube is Europe's second longest river, after the Volga. It is located in Central and Eastern Europe.

Romania Sovereign state in Europe

Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe. It borders the Black Sea to the southeast, Bulgaria to the south, Ukraine to the north, Hungary to the west, Serbia to the southwest, and Moldova to the east. It has a predominantly temperate-continental climate. With a total area of 238,397 square kilometres (92,046 sq mi), Romania is the 12th largest country and also the 7th most populous member state of the European Union, having almost 20 million inhabitants. Its capital and largest city is Bucharest, and other major urban areas include Cluj-Napoca, Timișoara, Iași, Constanța, Craiova, and Brașov.


An agricultural and trade centre, Vidin has a fertile hinterland renowned for its wines.


The name is archaically spelled as Widdin in English. Old name Dunonia itself meant "fortified hill" in Celtic with the typically dun found frequently in Celtic place names. [2]

Celtic languages Language family

The Celtic languages are a group of related languages descended from Proto-Celtic. They form a branch of the Indo-European language family. The term "Celtic" was first used to describe this language group by Edward Lhuyd in 1707, following Paul-Yves Pezron, who made the explicit link between the Celts described by classical writers and the Welsh and Breton languages.

A historical Romanian name of the city is Diiu.


Vidin is the westernmost important Bulgarian Danube port and is situated on one of the southernmost sections of the river. The New Europe Bridge, completed in 2013, connects Vidin to the Romanian town of Calafat on the opposite bank of the Danube. Previously, a ferry located 2 km (1 mi) from the town was in use for that purpose.

New Europe Bridge road and rail bridge between the cities of Calafat, Romania and Vidin, Bulgaria

The New Europe Bridge, previously known as the Danube Bridge 2, and informally called the Calafat-Vidin Bridge, is a road and rail bridge between the cities of Vidin, Bulgaria and Calafat, Romania. It is the second bridge on the shared section of the Danube between the two countries. It is a cable-stayed bridge and was built by the Spanish company Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas, at the cost of €226 million. It was officially opened with a ceremony held on 14 June 2013. The first vehicles were allowed to cross the bridge after midnight, on 15 June 2013.

Calafat Municipality in Dolj County, Romania

Calafat is a city in Dolj County, Romania, on the river Danube, opposite the Bulgarian city of Vidin, to which it is linked by the Calafat-Vidin Bridge, opened in 2013. After the destruction of the bridges of late antiquity, for centuries Calafat was connected with the southern bank of the Danube by boat and later on by ferryboat.


Vidin emerged at the place of an old Celtic settlement known as Dunonia. The settlement evolved into a Roman fortified town called Bononia. The town grew into one of the important centres of the province of Upper Moesia, encompassing the territory of modern north-western Bulgaria and eastern Serbia.

Celts Ethnolinguistic group

The Celts are an Indo-European ethnolinguistic group of Europe identified by their use of Celtic languages and cultural similarities. The history of pre-Celtic Europe and the exact relationship between ethnic, linguistic and cultural factors in the Celtic world remains uncertain and controversial. The exact geographic spread of the ancient Celts is disputed; in particular, the ways in which the Iron Age inhabitants of Great Britain and Ireland should be regarded as Celts have become a subject of controversy. According to one theory, the common root of the Celtic languages, the Proto-Celtic language, arose in the Late Bronze Age Urnfield culture of Central Europe, which flourished from around 1200 BC.

Ancient Rome History of Rome from the 8th-century BC to the 5th-century

In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, encompassing the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and Roman Empire until the fall of the western empire. The civilization began as an Italic settlement in the Italian Peninsula, conventionally founded in 753 BC, that grew into the city of Rome and which subsequently gave its name to the empire over which it ruled and to the widespread civilisation the empire developed. The Roman Empire expanded to become one of the largest empires in the ancient world, though still ruled from the city, with an estimated 50 to 90 million inhabitants ) and covering 5.0 million square kilometres at its height in AD 117.

Moesia historical region of the Balkans

Moesia was an ancient region and later Roman province situated in the Balkans south of the Danube River. It included most of the territory of modern-day Central Serbia, Kosovo and the northern parts of the modern North Macedonia, Northern Bulgaria and Romanian Dobrudja.

When Slavs settled in the area, they called the town Badin or Bdin, where the modern name comes from. Similarly, Anna Komnene refers to it as Vidynē (Βιδύνη) in the Alexiad.

Slavs Indo-European ethno-linguistic group living in Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Southeast Europe, North Asia and Central Asia

Slavs are an Indo-European ethno-linguistic group who speak the various Slavic languages of the larger Balto-Slavic linguistic group. They are native to Eurasia, stretching from Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe all the way north and eastwards to Northeast Europe, Northern Asia (Siberia), and Central Asia, as well as historically in Western Europe and Western Asia. From the early 6th century they spread to inhabit the majority of Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe. Today, there is a large Slavic diaspora throughout North America, particularly in the United States and Canada as a result of immigration.

Anna Komnene Byzantine historian

Anna Komnene, commonly latinized as Anna Comnena, was a Byzantine princess, scholar, physician, hospital administrator, and historian. She was the daughter of the Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos and his wife Irene Doukaina. She is best known for her attempt to usurp her brother, John II Komnenos, and for her work The Alexiad, an account of her father's reign.

<i>Alexiad</i> 12th century Byzantine history by Anna Komnene

The Alexiad is a medieval historical and biographical text written around the year 1148, by the Byzantine historian and princess Anna Komnene, daughter of Emperor Alexios I Komnenos.

The central streets of Vidin Center street in v galleryfull.jpg
The central streets of Vidin
Orthodox Cathedral of St Dimitar (St Dimitrius) Vidin St Demetrius Cathedral 1.jpg
Orthodox Cathedral of St Dimitar (St Dimitrius)

Vidin's main landmark, the Baba Vida fortress, was built in the period from the 10th to the 14th century. In the Middle Ages Vidin used to be an important Bulgarian city, a bishop seat and capital of a large province. Between 971 and 976 the town was the center of Samuil's possessions while his brothers ruled to the south. In 1003 Vidin was seized by Basil II after an eight-month siege because of the betrayal of the local bishop. Its importance once again rose during the Second Bulgarian Empire (1185–1422) and its despots were influential figures in the Empire and were on several occasions chosen for Emperors. From the mid 13th century it was ruled by the Shishman family.

Baba Vida fortress

Baba Vida is a medieval fortress in Vidin in northwestern Bulgaria and the town's primary landmark. It consists of two concentric curtain walls and about nine towers of which three are preserved to their full medieval height, including the original battlements, and is said to be the only entirely preserved medieval castle in the country. Baba Vida is 39 metres (128 ft) above sea level.

Middle Ages Period of European history from the 5th to the 15th century

In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. The Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, and the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early, High, and Late Middle Ages.

Basil II Byzantine Emperor from the Macedonian dynasty

Basil II, nicknamed the Bulgar Slayer, was a Byzantine Emperor from the Macedonian dynasty who reigned as senior emperor for almost 50 years, having been a junior colleague to other emperors since 960. Basil was born during the reign of his grandfather Constantine VII. Constantine died in 959 and was succeeded by his son Romanos II. Romanos named his sons Basil and Constantine as his co-emperors before his mysterious death in 963; according to primary sources, he may have been poisoned by his wife Theophano. The throne went to two generals, Nikephoros Phokas then John Tzimiskes, before Basil II became senior emperor. Basil's influential great-uncle Basil Lekapenos was the de facto ruler of the Byzantine Empire until 985. Basil II then held power for forty years before he was succeeded by his brother Constantine VIII.

By early 1290s Serbia expanded towards the vicinity of Vidin. Threatened by Serbian expansion, Shishman failed to repel the brothers forces, and accepted Serbian suzerainty. [3] In practice, Shishman continued to be largely independent and dealt mainly with Bulgaria. Serbian suzerainty lasted until Serbian king Stefan Milutin´s death, in 1321. As Milutin left no testament, after his death, in Serbia occurred a period of civil war with Stefan Dečanski, Stefan Konstantin and Stefan Vladislav II fighting for power. Shishman took advantage of this situation, set free from Serbian rule, and returned to the Bulgarian sphere. In 1323 Shishman was chosen to be the Bulgarian tsar. Shishman made an anti-Serbian treaty with the Byzantines, however, after Serbian victory over Bulgarians in the Battle of Velbazhd in 1330, Bulgaria lay militarily crippled and politically subordinated to Serbia's interests. [4]

In 1356, Bulgarian Tsar Ivan Alexander isolated Vidin from the Bulgarian monarchy and appointed his son Ivan Stratsimir (1356–1396) as absolute ruler of Vidin's new city-state - the Tsardom of Vidin (Bdin / Badin).

Hungarian occupation of Vidin

In 1365, the Tsardom of Vidin was occupied by Magyar crusaders. Under Hungarian rule, the city became known as Bodony, but the occupation was short-lived. In 1369, the Second Bulgarian empire drove out the Hungarian military, but in 1396 Vidin was occupied by a foreign force again.

The Ottomans

The Ottomans went on to conquer the despotates of Dobrudzha, Prilep and Velbazhd as well. Vidin's independence did not last long. In 1396, the Ottomans invaded and turned Vidin into a sanjdak.

In the late years of Ottoman rule, Vidin was the centre of Turkish rebel Osman Pazvantoğlu's breakaway state.

In 1853, The Times of London reported that Widdin, as it was called, was

a considerable town, with a population of about 26,000, and a garrison of 8,000 to 10,000 men. Widdin is one of the important fortified places of the military line of the Danube. It covers the approaches of Servia, commands Little Wallachia, the defiles of Transylvania, and, above all, the opening of the road which leads through Nissia and Sophia on to Adrianople. Its form is an irregular pentagon; it is strongly bastioned, possesses a fortified castle, with two redoubts in the islands, and its defences are completed by an extensive marsh. [5]

Modern rule

During the Serbo-Bulgarian War (1885), the town was besieged by a Serbian army.


Vidin has a humid subtropical climate transforming to temperate continental climate. In the winter months, inversions are very common. The average annual temperature is 12.2 °C (54.0 °F).

Climate data for Vidin, Bulgaria
Average high °C (°F)4.1
Daily mean °C (°F)0.2
Average low °C (°F)−3.6
Average rainfall mm (inches)41
Source: [6]


Vidin is the 20th town by population in Bulgaria, but serious demographic problems have been experienced in the area during the last two decades. The number of the residents of the city reached its peak between 1988 and 1991 when the population exceeded 65,000. [7] As of 2011, the town had a population of 48,071 inhabitants. [1] The following table presents the change of the population after 1887.

Highest number 68,164 in 1991
Sources: National Statistical Institute, [7] [8], [9], [10] Bulgarian Academy of Sciences [11]

Ethnic, linguistic and religious composition

According to the latest 2011 census data, the individuals declared their ethnic identity were distributed as follows: [12] [13]

Total: 48,071

There is minor number of Gypsies within the city limits. There are 3,335 in the city and 3,753 in the municipality, while the Bulgarians are 40,550 in the city and 54,546 in the municipality.


The Vidin Synagogue, deserted after Jewish emigration to Israel(historic Palestine ). Vidinsibnagoga.jpg
The Vidin Synagogue, deserted after Jewish emigration to Israel(historic Palestine ).

Vidin maintains two well-preserved medieval fortresses, Baba Vida and Kaleto, as well as many old Orthodox churches such as St Pantaleimon, St Petka (both 17th century), and St Dimitar (Demetrius of Thessaloniki) (19th century), the Vidin Synagogue (1894), the Osman Pazvantoğlu Mosque and library, the late 18th-century Turkish ruler of north-western Bulgaria, the Krastata Kazarma of 1798, and a number of old Renaissance buildings. Also remarkable is the theatre building which was the first Bulgarian theatre in "European model" and was built in 1891.

Another tourist attraction in the Vidin area is the town of Belogradchik, famous for its unique and impressive rock formations, the Belogradchik Rocks and the medieval Belogradchik Fortress and also the nearby Magura Cave with its beautiful prehistoric cave paintings.


Danube Bridge II at Vidin Most-Vidin.jpg
Danube Bridge II at Vidin

In Vidin is a border-station to neighbouring Romania via the Danube river. It was operated by ferryboats only until 14 June 2013 when the Vidin–Calafat Bridge opened. Crossing by ferry was possible only every ½ hour with just five trucks per ferry. Ticket prices were €50 per truck and €12 per car.

The city has an airport (ICAO code LBVD) a few kilometres to the north-west; as of 2014, there is no scheduled service, and the buildings are in a state of disrepair.


Close to the town lies a powerful medium wave broadcasting station (since 1973) whose signals can be easily received throughout Europe. It works on 576 kHz and on 1224 kHz with a power of 500 kW each. For transmission on 576 kHz a 259-metre-tall (850 ft) guyed mast equipped with a cage antenna at its lower part is used. The transmission of 576 kHz Radio Hristo Botev is on hold for now, because of the world financial crisis and it is unknown when it will resume broadcasting. A powerful FM transmitter on 88.2 MHz provides good coverage for Hristo Botev radio. Only 1224 kHz Radio Bulgaria remains atm. For the transmission on 1224 kHz four guyed masts, insulated against ground, which are each equipped with a cage antenna are used, which allows a switchable directional pattern.


Vidin Heights on Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica is named after Vidin.

International relations

Twin towns — sister cities

Vidin is twinned with:

Partner towns

Related Research Articles

Provinces of Bulgaria

The provinces of Bulgaria are the first level administrative subdivisions of the country.

Vidin Province Province in Bulgaria

Vidin Province is the northwesternmost province of Bulgaria. It borders Serbia to the west and Romania to the northeast. Its administrative centre is the city of Vidin on the Danube river. The area is divided into 11 municipalities. As of December 2009, the province has a population of 108,067 inhabitants.

Nikopol, Bulgaria town in Bulgaria

Nikopol is a town in northern Bulgaria, the administrative center of Nikopol municipality, part of Pleven Province, on the right bank of the Danube river, 4 kilometres downstream from the mouth of the Osam river. It spreads at the foot of steep chalk cliffs along the Danube and up a narrow valley. As of December 2009, the town has a population of 3,892 inhabitants.

Belogradchik Place in Vidin, Bulgaria

Belogradchik is a town in Vidin Province, Northwestern Bulgaria, the administrative centre of the homonymous Belogradchik Municipality. The town, whose name literally means "small white town," is situated in the foothills of the Balkan Mountains just east of the Serbian border and about 50 km south of the Danube River. The town is close to the Belogradchik Rocks, which cover an area of 90 square kilometers and reach up to 200 meters in height. As of December 2009, it has a population of 5,334 inhabitants.

Michael Asen III, ruled as tsar of Bulgaria from 1323 to 1330. The exact year of his birth is unknown but it was between 1280 and 1292. He was the founder of the last ruling dynasty of the Second Bulgarian Empire, the Shishman dynasty. After he was crowned, however, Michael used the name Asen to emphasize his connection with the Asen dynasty, the first one to rule over the Second Empire.

Belogradchik Fortress

The Belogradchik Fortress, also known as Kaleto, is an ancient fortress located on the north slopes of the Balkan Mountains, close to the northwestern Bulgarian town of Belogradchik and is the town's primary cultural and historical tourist attraction, drawing, together with the Belogradchik Rocks, the main flow of tourists into the region. It is one of the best-preserved strongholds in Bulgaria and a cultural monument of national importance.

Bulgarian–Ottoman wars Bulgar-Osmanli savashlari

The Bulgarian–Ottoman wars were fought between the kingdoms remaining from the disintegrating Second Bulgarian Empire, and the Ottoman Empire, in the second half of the 14th century. The wars resulted with the collapse and subordination of the Bulgarian Empire, and effectively came to an end with the Ottoman conquest of Tarnovo in July 1393, although other Bulgarian territories, such as the Tsardom of Vidin, held out slightly longer. As a result of the wars the Ottoman Empire greatly expanded its territory on the Balkan peninsula, stretching from Danube to the Aegean Sea.

Belogradchik Municipality Municipality in Vidin, Bulgaria

Belogradchik Municipality is a municipality (obshtina) in Vidin Province, Northwestern Bulgaria, located in the western parts of the so-called Fore-Balkan area. It is named after its administrative centre - the town of Belogradchik. To the west and southwest, the municipality borders on Republic of Serbia.

Gramada Municipality Municipality in Vidin, Bulgaria

Gramada Municipality is a small municipality (obshtina) in Vidin Province, Northwestern Bulgaria, located in the Danubian Plain about 8 km southwest of Danube river. It is named after its administrative centre - the town of Gramada.

Kula Municipality, Bulgaria Municipality in Vidin, Bulgaria

Kula Municipality is a municipality (obshtina) in Vidin Province, Northwestern Bulgaria, located in the Danubian Plain about 10 km southwest of Danube river. It is named after its administrative centre - the town of Kula. The area borders on the Republic of Serbia to the west.

Bregovo Municipality Municipality in Vidin, Bulgaria

Bregovo Municipality is a frontier municipality (obshtina) in Vidin Province, Northwestern Bulgaria, located along the right bank of Danube river in the Danubian Plain. It is named after its administrative centre - the town of Bregovo. The area borders on the Republic of Serbia to the west and Romania beyond the Danube to the north and it is the most northwestern part of the country.

Vidin Municipality Municipality in Vidin, Bulgaria

Vidin Municipality is a municipality (obshtina) in Vidin Province, Northwestern Bulgaria, located along the right bank of Danube river in the Danubian Plain. It is named after its administrative centre - the city of Vidin which is also the capital of the province.

Shishman was a Bulgarian nobleman (boyar) who ruled a semi-independent realm based out of the Danubian fortress of Vidin in the late 13th and early 14th century. Shishman, who was bestowed the title of "despot" by Bulgarian emperor George Terter I, was a Cuman, and may have been established as lord of Vidin as early as the 1270s.

Highways in Bulgaria Wikimedia list article

Highways in Bulgaria are dual carriageways, grade separated with controlled-access, designed for high speeds. In 2012, legislation amendments defined two types of highways: motorways and expressways. The main differences are that motorways have emergency lanes and the maximum allowed speed limit is 140 km/h (87 mph), while expressways do not and the speed limit is 120 km/h (75 mph). At the end of 2018 a total of 800.8 kilometers of motorways are in service.

Botevgrad-Vidin expressway

The Botevgrad-Vidin expressway is a planned expressway in Bulgaria, that will link the A2 Hemus motorway with Vidin and the New Europe Bridge, at the Danube border crossing to Romania. The expressway shall provide grade-separated dual carriageway with two lanes in each direction and it shall replace or supersede the existing I-1 road.

Sanjak of Vidin

The Sanjak of Vidin or the Vidin Sanjak was a sanjak in the Ottoman Empire, with Vidin as its administrative centre. It was established after the Battle of Nicopolis in 1396 out of the territories of the Tsardom of Vidin and in mid 15th century annexed some territories that belonged to the Serbian Despotate before Ottomans captured it.


  1. 1 2 "ПРЕБРОЯВАНЕ 2011" (PDF). Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  2. Veyrenc, Charles Jacques (1981). Bulgaria Nagel's encyclopedia-guide (2 ed.). Nagel. p. 413. ISBN   978-2-8263-0560-6. In the 3rd century BC the Celts established on the site now occupied by Vidin a fortress to which they gave the name of Dunonia, "fortified hill"
  3. The Balkans: From Constantinople to Communism by D. Hupchick, page 88
  4. The Balkans: From Constantinople to Communism by D. Hupchick, page 89
  5. "The Seat of War on the Danube," The Times, December 29, p. 8
  6. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-03-01. Retrieved 2012-02-21.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  7. 1 2 [ dead link ]
  8. Archived 2010-11-13 at the Wayback Machine
  9. "Bulgaria: Major Cities - Population Statistics in Maps and Charts". Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  10. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-10-16. Retrieved 2015-06-23.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  11. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-06. Retrieved 2010-02-14.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  12. "Population on 01.02.2011 by provinces, municipalities, settlements and age" (XLS). Bulgarian National Statistical Institute. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  13. "Population by province, municipality, settlement and ethnic identification" (XLS). Bulgarian National Statistical Institute. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
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