BURIAL CHURCHES OF BULGARIAN SOVEREIGNS FROM A TO Z

 

AGIOS AHILLIOS (GREECE)

BURIED IN THE BASILICA OF ST ACHILLES (Limni Mikri Prespa, Vasilikis tou Agiou Ahilleiou):

 

1. Czar SAMUEL (+1014)

Royal remains were found in 1965 and are kept in secret location in Greece.

 

2. Czar IVAN LADISLAUS (+1018)

The tomb has not been preserved.

 

Photo by P. Vasiliadis

 

 

ASSISI (ITALY)

BURIED IN THE CEMETERY OF ASSISI (Assisi, Cimitero comunale, Via degli Episcopi):

 

Czarina GIOVANNA OF SAVOY (+2000), consort of Czar Boris III

 

 

COBURG (GERMANY)

BURIED IN ST AUGUSTIN’S CHURCH (Coburg, Stadtpfarrkirche St. Augustin, Festungsstr.):

 

Czar FERDINAND I (+1948)

 

 

CONSTANTINOPLE (TURKEY)

BURIED IN THE CONVENT OF KYRA MARTHA (now Fenari Isa Mosque; Istanbul, Molla Fenâri Îsâ Câmîi, Halıcılar Cd. 90-92):

 

Czarina THEODORA OF BYZANTIUM (+after 1342), consort of czars Theodore Svetoslav and Michael Shishman

 

 

IVANOVO (BULGARIA)

BURIED IN THE ROCKY CHURCHES (Skalnite Tserkvi pri Ivanovo):

 

Czar GEORGE I TERTER (+c. 1308)

 

 

IVANOVO (BULGARIA)

BURIED IN THE CAVE KRUSHTIALNATA  (Ivanovo, Krushtialnata Peshtera):

 

Czar SMILETS (+1298)

 

 

MARYAN (BULGARIA)

BURIED IN THE MONASTERY OF HOLY TRANSFIGURATION OF GOD (Maryan, Manastir Sveto Preobrajenie Gospodne):

 

Prince BORIS I (+907)

 

The church was demolished in the past.

 

 

PLOVDIV (BULGARIA)

BURIED IN THE CATHEDRAL OF ST LOUIS  (Plovdiv, Tserkva Sveti Ludvig, Bul. Knyaginya Maria Luiza):

 

Princess MARIE LOUISE OF BOURBON-PARMA (+1899), consort of Prince Ferdinand I

 

 

PRESLAV (BULGARIA)

BURIED IN THE GOLDEN CHURCH (Preslav, Tserkva Sveti Ioan, Zlatnata Tserkva):

 

1. Czar SIMEON I THE GREAT (+927)

2. Czar PETER I (+970)

 

The church was demolished in the past, only partly reconstructed ruins exist. The tombs were lost.

 

 

RILA (BULGARIA)

BURIED IN THE CHURCH OF THE BIRTH OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN (Rilski Manastir, Tserkva Rojdestvo Bogorodichno):

 

Czar BORIS III (+1943)

The urns containing Czar’s heart and viscera were reburied in his tomb in 1993 after being removed from Vrana. The whereabouts of Czar’s corpse are unknown, as the royal tomb near Vrana Palace in Sofia, where Boris III had been reburied in 1946, was despoiled by the communists in 1954 and Czar’s remains were removed.

 

 

SOFIA (BULGARIA)

BURIED IN THE BATTENBERG MAUSOLEUM (Sofia, Mavzolei na Kniaz Batenberg, Bul. Vasil Levski):

 

Prince ALEXANDER I BATTENBERG (+1893)

 

 

SOFIA-BOYANA (BULGARIA)

BURIED BY THE CHURCH OF SAINTS NICHOLAS AND PANTELEIMON (Sofia, Boyanskata Tserkva Sv. Sv. Nikola i Panteleimon, ul. Boyansko Ezero):

 

Czarina ELEONORE OF REUSS-KÖSTRITZ (+1917), consort of Czar Ferdinand I

 

 

STARO NAGORIČANE (MACEDONIA)

BURIED IN THE CHURCH OF ST GEORGE (Staro Nagoričane, Tserkva Sveti Georgi):

 

Czar MICHAEL SHISHMAN (+1330)

 

 

TURNOVO (BULGARIA)

BURIED IN THE CHURCH OF ST DEMETRIUS (Veliko Turnovo, Tserkva Sveti Dimitar, ul. Patriarh Evtimiy):

 

1. Czar IVAN ASEN I (+1196)

 

2. Czar PETER II (+1197)

 

 

TURNOVO (BULGARIA)

BURIED IN THE CHURCH OF ST PETKA (ST PARASKEVA) (Veliko Turnovo, Tserkva Sveta Petka/Sveta Paraskeva):

 

1. Czar IVAN ALEXANDER (+1371)

2. Czarina THEODORA, consort of Czar Ivan Alexander

 

The church and the tombs were demolished in the past.

 

 

TURNOVO (BULGARIA)

BURIED IN THE THE HOLY FORTY MARTYRS' CHURCH (Veliko Turnovo, Tserkva Sveti Chetirediset Muchenitsi, ul. Sv. Kliment Ohridski/Zhk. Asenov):

 

1. Czar KALOYAN (+1207)

 

2. Czar IVAN ASEN II (+1241)

 

3. Czarina ANNA MARIA OF HUNGARY (+1237), consort of Czar Ivan Asen II

 

4. Czarina IRENE OF EPIRUS, consort of Czar Ivan Asen II

 

LIST OF BULGARIAN SOVEREIGNS 852-1946

 

FIRST BULGARIAN MONARCHY

BULGARIAN KHANATE TO 865:

HOUSE OF KRUM

852-865: BORIS I (Prince from 865)

 

 

PRINCIPALITY OF BULGARIA 865-919:

HOUSE OF KRUM

865-889: BORIS I

Born in ?

Father: Khan Presian of Bulgaria.

Married MARIA. Burial place unknown.

His issue who reigned:

-VLADIMIR,

-SIMEON I (*c. 866,+927).

Abdicated in 889 and became a monk.

Died in 907.

Buried in the Monastery of the Holy Transfiguration of God at Maryan.

 

 

889-893: VLADIMIR

Born in ?

Father: Prince Boris I of Bulgaria. Mother: Maria.

Deposed in 893. Burial place unknown.

 

 

893-919: SIMEON I THE GREAT (Simeon I Veliki; Czar from 919)

 

 

KINGDOM OF BULGARIA 919-971:

HOUSE OF KRUM (CZARS)

919-927: SIMEON I THE GREAT (Simeon I Veliki)

Born in c. 866.

Father: Prince Boris I of Bulgaria. Mother: Maria.

Married twice.

He was crowned in 913 outside Constantinople.

His issue who reigned: PETER I (+970).

Died in 927.

Buried in the Golden Church at Preslav (demolished).

 

 

927-969: PETER I (Petur I)

Born in ?

Father: Czar Simeon I of Bulgaria.

Married in 927 in Constantinople Princess MARIA IRENE of Byzantium (+c. 963). Burial place unknown.

His issue who reigned:

-BORIS II (*before 931,+984/86),

-ROMAN (*c. 930,+997/98).

Abdicated in 969 and became a monk.

Died in 970.

Buried in the Golden Church at Preslav (demolished).

 

 

969-971: BORIS II

Born before 931.

Father: Czar Peter I of Bulgaria. Mother Czarina Irene of Byzantium.

Married an unknown woman.

Deposed in 971 and lived in captivity in Constantinople.

Died in 977 (killed). Burial place unknown.

 

 

971-977: BYZANTINE RULE

 

 

KINGDOM OF BULGARIA 977-1018:

HOUSE OF KRUM (CZARS)

977-997: ROMAN

Born in c. 930.

Father: Czar Peter I of Bulgaria. Mother Czarina Irene of Byzantium.

Unmarried.

He was crowned in 978 at Vidin.

Taken prisoner by the Byzantinians in 991.

Died in 997 in Constantinople. Burial place unknown.

 

 

HOUSE OF KOMITOPUL (CZARS)

997-1014: SAMUEL (Samuil)

Born in c. 958.

Married in the 970s Agatha of Durazzo (*in Larisa, Greece). Burial place unknown.

He was crowned in 997 in the Basilica of St Achilles on the Lake Mikri Prespa.

His issue who reigned: GABRIEL RADOMIR (*c. 970,+1015).

Died in 1014 at Prilep (now Macedonia).

Buried in the Basilica of St Achilles on the Lake Mikri Prespa (now Greece). No tomb.

 

 

1014-1015: GABRIEL RADOMIR (Gavril Radomir)

Born in c. 970.

Father: Czar Samuel of Bulgaria. Mother Czarina Agatha of Durazzo.

Married firstly c. 973 a Hungarian princess, daughter of Duke Géza. Repudiated.

Married secondly IRENE (+1015).

Died in 1015 (murdered). Burial place unknown.

 

 

1015-1018: IVAN LADISLAUS (Ivan Vladislav)

Born in ?

Father: Prince Aron of Bulgaria.

Married MARIA. Burial place unknown.

His issue who reigned: Catherine (Empress of Byzantium).

Died in 1018 in the Battle of Durazzo (Durrës, Albania).

Buried in the Basilica of St Achilles on the Lake Mikri Prespa (now Greece). No tomb.

 

 

1018-1185: BYZANTINE RULE

 

 

SECOND BULGARIAN MONARCHY

KINGDOM OF BULGARIA 1185-1396:

HOUSE OF ASEN (CZARS)

1185-1197: PETER II (Petur II)

Born in ?

Father: a Wallachian nobleman.

Crowned in 1185 in the Church of St Demetrius at Turnovo.

Died in 1197.

Buried in the Church of St Demetrius at Turnovo.

 

 

1190-1196: IVAN ASEN I

Born in ?

Father: a Wallachian nobleman.

Crowned in 1186 in the Church of St Demetrius at Turnovo.

His issue who reigned: IVAN ASEN II (*c. 1190,+1241).

Died in 1196 (murdered).

Buried in the Church of St Demetrius at Turnovo.

 

 

1197-1207: KALOYAN

Born in c. 1170.

Father: a Wallachian nobleman.

Married a Cuman princess.

He was crowned in 1204 in the Church of St Demetrius in Turnovo.

His issue who reigned: Maria (+after 1216; Empress of Constantinople).

Died in 1207 (murdered).

Buried in the Holy Forty Martyrs' Church in Turnovo.

 

 

1207-1218: BORIL

Born in ?

Mother: a Bulgarian princess.

Married the widow of Czar Kaloyan.

Deposed in 1218 and kept in a monastery. Burial place unknown.

 

 

1218-1241: IVAN ASEN II

Born in c. 1190.

Father: Czar Ivan Asen I of Bulgaria.

Married firstly ANNA. Burial place unknown.

Married secondly in 1221 Princess ANNA MARIA of Hungary (*1204,+1237).

Married thirdly in 1237/38 Princess IRENE of Epirus.

His issue who reigned:

-Beloslava (+after 1285; Queen of Serbia; daughter of Anna).

-Elena (*c. 1224,+c. 1254; Empress of Nicaea; daughter of Maria),

-KOLOMAN I (*c. 1232,+1246; son of Maria).

-MICHAEL ASEN (*c. 1238,+1257; son of Irene),

-Anna; Maria (Czarina of Bulgaria; daughter of Irene).

Died in 1241.

Buried with his second and third consorts in the Holy Forty Martyrs' Church at Turnovo.

 

 

1241-1246: KOLOMAN I

Born in c. 1232.

Father: Czar Ivan Asen II of Bulgaria. Mother: Czarina Maria of Hungary.

Died in 1246. Burial place unknown.

 

 

1246-1256: MICHAEL ASEN (Mihail Asen)

Born in c. 1238.

Father: Czar Ivan Asen II of Bulgaria. Mother: Czarina Irene of Epirus.

Married in 1255 Princess ELIZABETH of Chernihiv (+c. 1272/98). Burial place unknown.

Died in 1256 (murdered). Burial place unknown.

 

 

1256: KOLOMAN II

Born in ?

Father: Prince Alexander of Bulgaria.

Married a princess of Kiev.

Deposed in 1256 and murdered. Burial place unknown.

 

 

1256-1257: MITSO ASEN

Born in ?

Father: ?

Married Princess MARIA of Bulgaria. Burial place unknown.

His issue who reigned:

-IVAN ASEN III (*1259/60,+c. 1302),

-Kira Maria (Czarina of Bulgaria).

Deposed in 1257 and exiled in Byzantium-Nicaea.

Died in c. 1277/78. Burial place unknown.

 

 

1257-1277: CONSTANTINE I* (Konstantin I)

Born in ?

Father: Tih of Skopje. Mother: a Serbian princess.

Married firstly an uknown woman.

Married secondly in 1258 Princess IRENE of Byzantium-Nicaea (+1269/70). Burial place unknown.

Married thirdly in 1269/70 MARIA Kantakuzena (+c. 1280). Burial place unknown.

Issue of his first marriage: one daughter married to Czar Smilets of Bulgaria.

Died in 1277 (murdered). Burial place unknown.

 

*not a member of the dynasty

 

 

1277-1279: IVAILO*

Born in ?

Married in 1278 Dowager Czarina MARIA of Bulgaria (+c. 1280).

Deposed in 1279 and exiled in the domains of the Golden Horde.

Died in 1279/80 (murdered). Burial place unknown.

 

*not a member of the dynasty

 

 

1279-1280: IVAN ASEN III

Born in c. 1259/60.

Father: Czar Mitso Asen of Bulgaria. Mother: Czarina Maria of Bulgaria.

Married in 1278 Princess IRENE of Byzantium. Burial place unknown.

Deposed in 1280 and exiled in Byzantium.

Died in c. 1302. Burial place unknown.

 

 

HOUSE OF TERTER (CZARS)

1280-1292: GEORGE I TERTER (Georgi I Terter)

Born in ?

Married firstly Princess KIRA MARIA of Bulgaria.

Married secondly MARIA (?) Burial place unknown.

He was crowned in 1280 in the Church of St Demetrius in Turnovo.

His issue who reigned:

-THEODORE SVETOSLAV (+1321),

-Anna (+after 1304; Queen of Serbia),

-one daughter married to Bulgarian Czar Chaka.

Exiled in Byzantium from 1292.

Died in c. 1308.

Buried in the Rocky Churches at Ivanovo.

 

 

1292-1298: SMILETS*

Born in ?

Married a daughter of Czar Constantine Asen.

His issue who reigned: Theodora (+1322; Queen of Serbia).

Died in c. 1298.

Buried in the Cave Krushtialnata at Ivanovo.

 

*not a member of the dynasty

 

 

1299-1300: CHAKA*

Born in ?

Father: Nogai Khan. Mother: Alaka.

Married firstly a daughter of Czar George I Terter of Bulgaria.

Deposed and imprisoned in 1300.

Died in 1300 (strangled). Burial place unknown.

 

*not a member of the dynasty

 

 

1300-1322: THEODORE SVETOSLAV (Todor Svetoslav)

Born in ?

Father: Czar George I Terter of the Bulgarians.

Married firstly EUFROSINA Mankus (+1306). Burial place unknown.

Married secondly in 1308 Princess THEODORA of Byzantium.

He was crowned in 1300 in the Church of St Demetrius in Turnovo.

His issue who reigned: GEORGE II TERTER (*before 1307,+1323; son of Eufrosina).

Died in 1322. Burial place unknown.

His second consort Czarina Theodora was buried in the Convent of Kyra Martha at Constantinople.

 

 

1322-1323: GEORGE II TERTER (Georgi II Terter)

Born before 1307.

Father: Czar Theodore Svetoslav of the Bulgarians. Mother: Czarina Eufrosina.

Probably unmarried.

Died in 1323. Burial place unknown.

 

 

HOUSE OF SHISHMAN (CZARS)

1323-1330: MICHAEL SHISHMAN (Mihail Shishman)

Born in ?

Father: Shishman.

Married secondly in c. 1300 Princess ANNA of Serbia (+after 1346). Repudiated in 1324.

Married thirdly in c. 1324 THEODORA of Byzantium, second consort of Czar Theodore Svetoslav.

His issue who reigned: IVAN STEPHEN (+c. 1373).

Died in 1330.

Buried in the Church of St George in Staro Nagoričane, Macedonia.

His third consort Czarina Theodora was buried in the Convent of Kyra Martha at Constantinople.

 

 

1330-1331: IVAN STEPHEN (Ivan Stefan)

Born in ?

Father: Czar Michael Shishman of the Bulgarians.

Married.

Left for Naples in 1331.

Died in c. 1373 at Naples. Burial place unknown.

 

 

1331-1371: IVAN ALEXANDER (Ivan Aleksandr)

Born in ?

Father: Sratsimir. Mother: Princess Kereza Petriza of Bulgaria.

Married firstly in c. 1320 Princess THEODORA of Wallachia (+1371). Repudiated in 1340. Burial place unknown.

Married secondly SARAH (Theodora).

His issue who reigned:

-IVAN SRATSIMIR (+after 1396; son of Theodora),

-Kera Tamara (married Sultan Murat I of Turkey; daughter of Theodora),

-IVAN SHISHMAN (+1395; son of Sarah),

-Keratza (*1348,+1390; Empress of Byzantium; daughter of Sarah).

Died in 1371.

Buried with his second consort Czarina Theodora in the Church of St Petka in Turnovo (demolished).

 

 

1371-1393/95: IVAN SHISHMAN (Czar of Tarnovo-Bulgaria)

Born in ?

Father: Czar Ivan Alexander of the Bulgarians. Mother: Czarina Theodora.

Married firstly Maria.

Married secondly Princess DRAGANA of Serbia (*after 1348,+1395).

Captured by the Turks in 1393 and imprisoned at Phillippopolis (Plovdiv).

Died in 1395 at Phillippopolis (Plovdiv). Their burial place is unknown.

 

 

1356-1396: IVAN SRATSIMIR (Czar of Vidin-Bulgaria)

Born in ?

Father: Czar Ivan Alexander of the Bulgarians. Mother: Czarina Theodora of Wallachia.

Married before 1369 Princess ANNA SLAVA of Wallachia.

He was crowned in 1356 at Vidin.

His issue who reigned: Doroslava (c. 1390; Queen of Bosnia).

Died in c. 1396. Their burial place is unknown.

 

 

1396-1878: OTTOMAN RULE

 

 

THIRD BULGARIAN MONARCHY

PRINCIPALITY OF BULGARIA 1878-1908 (TURKISH FIEF):

HOUSE OF BATTENBERG

1879-1886: ALEXANDER I BATTENBERG (Aleksandr I Batenberg)

Born in 1857 in Verona.

Father: Grand Duke Alexander of Hesse. Mother: Countess Julia Hauke.

Married in 1889 in Menton Johanna Loisinger (*1865 Bratislava,+1951 Vienna).

Elected Prince of Bulgaria in 1879 in Turnovo.

He was never crowned.

Abdicated in 1886 in Sofia and exiled in Austria.

Died in 1893 in Graz, Austria.

Buried firstly at the Church of St George in Sofia. In 1898 his remains were translated to the Battenberg Mausoleum in Sofia.

His wife Countess Johanna was buried in St Leonhard Cemetery in Graz, Austria.

 

 

HOUSE OF SAXE-COBURG-GOTHA

1887-1908: FERDINAND I (Czar of the Bulgarians from 1908)

 

KINGDOM OF BULGARIA 1908-1946:

HOUSE OF SAXE-COBURG-GOTHA

1908-1918: FERDINAND I

Born in 1861 in Vienna.

Father: Prince August of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Mother: Princess Clementine of Orléans.

Married firstly in 1893 in Villa Pianore Princess MARIE LOUISE of Bourbon-Parma (*1870 Rome,+1899 Sofia).

Married secondly in 1908 in Coburg (Catholic wedding) and in Gera (Protestant wedding) Princess ELEONORE of Reuss-Köstritz (*1860 Trebschen,+1917 Evksinograd near Varna).

He was never crowned.

His issue who reigned: BORIS III (*1894,+1943; son of Marie Louise).

Deposed in 1918 and exiled in Germany.

Died in 1948 in Coburg.

Buried at St Augustin's Church in Coburg, Germany.

His first consort Princess Marie Louise was buried in the Catholic Cathedral of St Louis in Plovdiv.

His second consort Czarina Eleonore was buried outside Boyana Church on Sofia's outskirts.

 

 

1918-1943: BORIS III

Born in 1894 in Sofia.

Father: Czar Ferdinand I of the Bulgarians. Mother: Czarina Marie Louise of Bourbon-Parma.

Married in 1930 in Assisi, Italy Princess GIOVANNA of Savoy (*1907 Rome,+2000 Estoril, Portugal).

He was never crowned.

His issue who reigned: SIMEON II (*1937).

Died in 1943 in Sofia (probably poisoned on Hitler's order).

Buried in Rila Monastery (his tomb was despoiled by the communists).

His consort Czarina Giovanna was buried in the cemetery in Assisi, Italy.

 

 

1943-1946: SIMEON II

Born in 1937 in Sofia.

Father: Czar Boris III of the Bulgarians. Mother: Czarina Giovanna of Savoy.

Married in 1962 in Vevey, Switzerland Margarita Gómez-Acebo y Cejuela (*1935 Madrid).

He was never crowned.

Issue of marriage: Kardam (*1962); Kyril (*1964); Kubrat (*1965); Konstantin-Asen (*1967); Kalina (*1972).

Deposed in 1946 and exiled in Egypt (1946-1951) and in Spain (1951-1996).

In 1996 Czar Simeon II returned from his exile to Bulgaria. He was Bulgaria's Prime Minister 2001-2005.

 

 

REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA FROM 1946

 

The tomb of Czar KALOYAN in the Holy Forty Martyrs' Church in Turnovo (Bulgaria)

 

Photo courtesy of Mr Stoyan Popov

 

The tomb of Prince ALEXANDER I in the Battenberg Mausoleum in Sofia (Bulgaria)

FOREIGN ROYAL BURIALS IN BULGARIA:

SOFIA

Stephen Uroš II Milutin, King of Serbia

VARNA

Ladislaus of Varna, King of Hungary and Poland

BULGARIAN REGALIA

 

The Second Bulgarian Monarchy (1185-1396) had its own regalia consisting of a crown, a scepter and a royal standard. These were presented by Pope Innocent III in 1204 to Czar Kaloyan of Bulgaria and brought to Turnovo by a Papal legate. The fate of the regalia is unknown.

 

The Third Bulgarian Monarchy (1878-1946) did not possess national regalia, although a small diamond crown was made for the first wife of Ferdinand I, Princess Marie Louise in late 19th century (used later also by Czarina Eleonore, the second wife of Czar Ferdinand I). The whereabouts of the crown are unknown.

 

 

BULGARIAN CORONATIONS IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER

(Year, venue, name of the crowned):

913 outside CONSTANTINOPLE: Simeon I the Great

978 VIDIN: Roman

997 AGIOS AHILLIOS: Samuel

1185 TURNOVO: Peter II

1186 TURNOVO: Ivan Asen I

1204 TURNOVO: Kaloyan

1280 TURNOVO: George I Terter

1300 TURNOVO: Theodore Svetoslav

1356 VIDIN: Ivan Sratsimir

 

BULGARIAN CORONATION CHURCHES

 

AGIOS AHILLIOS, BASILICA OF ST ACHILLES/GREECE (ISLAND OF ST ACHILLES ON THE LAKE MIKRI PRESPA)/Limni Mikri Prespa, Vasilikis tou Agiou Ahilleiou).

 

Here was crowned:

997: Samuel

 

TURNOVO, CHURCH OF ST DEMETRIUS (Veliko Turnovo, Tserkva Sveti Dimitar, ul. Patriarh Evtimiy).

 

Here were crowned:

1185: Peter II

1186: Ivan Asen I

1204: Kaloyan

1280: George I Terter

1300: Theodore Svetoslav

Select Bibliography

Burke's Royal Families of the World, vol. I: Europe and Latin America, London 1977

Album des pavillons nationaux et des marques distinctives, Paris 1923

Flaggen Aller Staaten der Erde, Leipzig [1934/37?]

Flaggenbuch, Berlin 1905

Flags of All Nations, London 1930

Lord Twining: European Regalia, London 1967