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Vidin Town Centre
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).


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]

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.


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.

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.

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.

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]

In 1859 the English traveler Samuel Baker happened to visit Vidin and spotted the 14-year old Romanian Florence Barbara Maria von Sass being sold into slavery, by some accounts destined to be owned by the Pasha of Vidin. Baker redeemed her and took her with him, she eventually became Florence Baker, his wife and partner in the exploration of Africa [6] [7] .

Old Vidin 30s of XX century BASA-VD-1217-2-12-146.jpg
Old Vidin 30s of XX century

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: [8]


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. [9] 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, [9] [10], [11], [12] Bulgarian Academy of Sciences [13]

Ethnic, linguistic and religious composition

According to the latest 2011 census data, the individuals declared their ethnic identity were distributed as follows: [14] [15]

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: [16]

Partner towns

Partner towns of Vidin: [16]



FC Bdin Purva titla s bdiiin.jpg
FC Bdin

The football team of the town - FC Bdin was established in 1923.

Related Research Articles

Calafat Municipality in Dolj, Romania

Calafat is a city in Dolj County, southern Romania, in the region of Oltenia. It lies 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 Province Province of 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.

Lom, Bulgaria Place in Montana, Bulgaria

Lom is a town in northwestern Bulgaria, part of Montana Province, situated on the right bank of the Danube, close to the estuary of the Lom River. It is the administrative centre of the eponymous Lom Municipality. The town is 162 km (101 mi) north of Sofia, 56 km (35 mi) southeast of Vidin, 50 km (31 mi) north of Montana and 42 km (26 mi) west of Kozloduy. It is the second most important Bulgarian port on the Danube after Rousse. As of December 2009, the town has a population of 24,300.

Nikopol, Bulgaria City in Pleven, 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.

Osman Pazvantoğlu Ottoman rebel

Osman Pazvantoğlu was an Ottoman soldier, a governor of the Vidin district after 1794, and a rebel against Ottoman rule.

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.

Baba Vida fortress in Bulgaria

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.

Oryahovo Place in Vratsa, Bulgaria

Oryahovo is a port city in northwestern Bulgaria, part of Vratsa Province. It is located in a hilly country on the right bank of the Danube, just east of the mouth of the river Ogosta, a few more kilometres downstream from where the Jiu flows into the Danube on Romanian territory. The town is known for the ferry service that connects it to the Romanian town of Bechet across the river. There are also plans by local private companies for a bridge across the Danube. As of December 2009, Oryahovo has a population of 5,400 inhabitants.

Belogradchik Fortress Castle in Bulgaria

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.

The Battle of Karanovasa took place on 10 October 1394 between the Wallachian army led by Voivode Mircea cel Bătrân against an Ottoman invasion led by Sultan Bayezid I. This battle is sometimes confused with the later Battle of Rovine between the same combatants, and which took place also along the valley of the Argeş River.

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 extradosed 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.

Tsardom of Vidin former country

The Tsardom of Vidin was a medieval Bulgarian state centred in the city of Vidin.

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.

Bulgarian–Serbian wars (medieval)

The Bulgarian-Serbian wars were a series of conflicts between the Bulgarian Empire and the medieval Serbian states between the 9th and 14th centuries in the western Balkans.

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.

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.

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.

This is a list of people, places, and events related to the medieval Bulgarian Empires — the First Bulgarian Empire (681–1018), and the Second Bulgarian Empire (1185–1396).

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.

The Shishmanoğlu or Shishmanov family is a notable family of Bulgaria, Ottoman, Russian and Austrian Empire, who are descend from a medieval Bulgarian Royal House of Shishman.


  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. Dorothy Middleton, 'Baker, Florence Barbara Maria, Lady Baker (1841–1916)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 5 Sept 2015
  7. Science historian chronicles true story of Lady Florence Baker, Penn State University, 3 February 2004, Retrieved 4 September 2015
  8. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-03-01. Retrieved 2012-02-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. 1 2 [ dead link ]
  10. Archived 2010-11-13 at the Wayback Machine
  11. "Bulgaria: Major Cities - Population Statistics in Maps and Charts". Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  12. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-10-16. Retrieved 2015-06-23.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-06. Retrieved 2010-02-14.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. "Population on 01.02.2011 by provinces, municipalities, settlements and age" (XLS). Bulgarian National Statistical Institute. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  15. "Population by province, municipality, settlement and ethnic identification" (XLS). Bulgarian National Statistical Institute. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  16. 1 2 "Международно сътрудничество". (in Bulgarian). Vidin. Retrieved 2019-10-31.