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In 1946 it became a one-party socialist state as part of the Soviet-led Eastern Bloc.
In December 1989 the ruling Communist Party allowed multi-party elections, which subsequently led to Bulgaria's transition into a democracy and a market-based economy.
The Treaty of San Stefano was signed on 3 March 1878 by Russia and the Ottoman Empire, and included a provision to set up an autonomous Bulgarian principality roughly on the territories of the Second Bulgarian Empire.
The other Great Powers immediately rejected the treaty out of fear that such a large country in the Balkans might threaten their interests.
The country's current political structure dates to the adoption of a democratic constitution in 1991.
Up to 30,000 Bulgarians were killed as Ottoman authorities put down the rebellion.