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Vidin ( , also spelled as Widdin in English) is a port town on the southern bank of the Danube in northwestern Bulgariamarker. It is close to the borders with Serbiamarker and Romaniamarker, and is also the administrative centre of Vidin Provincemarker, as well as of the Metropolitan of Vidin (since 870). An agricultural and trade centre, Vidin has a fertile hinterland renowned for its wines.

Geography and population

Vidin is the westernmost important Bulgarian Danube port and is situated on one of the southernmost sections of the river. A ferryboat complex, linking Vidin with Calafatmarker on the opposite side of the river, is located 2 km from the town. The complex is to be replaced by the Calafat-Vidin Bridgemarker.

Vidin is the 19th town by population in Bulgaria, but serious demographic problems have been experienced in the area since World War II.

There are also some Vlachs (Romanians) who live in Vidin and to the north of it. The old Romanian name of the town is Diiu.


Vidin emerged at the place of an old Celtic settlement known as Dunonia. The name itself meant "fortified hill" with the typically Celtic dun found frequenty in Celtic place names. The settlement evolved into an 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 northwestern Bulgaria and eastern Serbiamarker. Roman rule lasted until 46 AD.

When Slavs settled in the area, they called the town Badin or Bdin, where the modern name comes from.
The central streets of Vidin
Orthodox Cathedral of St Demetrius

Vidin's main landmark, the Baba Vidamarker 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 (1185–1396) 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. 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, a united Slavic Bulgarian empire drove out the Hungarian military, but in 1393 the whole of Bulgaria, along with the rest of the surrounding region, fell to the Ottoman Empire. This brought an end to Bulgaria's medieval state empire.

The Ottomans

The Ottomans went on to conquer the despotates of Dobrudzha, Prilepmarker and Velbazhdmarker as well. Vidin's independence did not last long. In 1396, Stratsimir contributed soldiers to assist the Slavic nations' bid to overturn the Ottoman Empire. Following defeat at the hands of the Ottomans outside the city of Nicopolismarker, Vidin finally fell under the sphere of the Ottomans, led by Bayezid I, as a punishment for their role in the hostilities.

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

Modern rule

During the Serbo-Bulgarian War (1885), the town was besieged by a Serbian army. Although vastly outnumbered, the Bulgarians defeated the enemy who suffered a humiliating defeat.


Vidin boasts two well-preserved medieval fortresses, Baba Vidamarker and Kaleto, as well as many old Orthodox churches such as St Pantaleimon, St Petka (both 17th century), and St Greatmartyr Demetrius (19th century), a Jewish synagogue (1894), a mosque and a library of Osman Pazvantoğlu, the late 18th century Turkish ruler of northwestern Bulgaria, the Krastata Kazarmamarker of 1798, and a number of old Renaissance buildings.

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


Near Vidin, there is since 1973 a powerful mediumwave broadcasting station, whose signals can be easily received in the whole of Europe. It works on 576 kHz and on 1224 kHz with a power of 500 kW. For transmission on 576 kHz a 259 metres tall guyed mast equipped with a cage antenna at its lower part is used. For the transmission on 1224 kHz 4 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 Islandmarker in the South Shetland Islandsmarker, Antarcticamarker is named after Vidin.


File:Vidin-danube-photo.jpg|A view of the Danube from VidinFile:Vidin-elegant_house.JPG|Elegant fin de siècle houseFile:Vidin-Konak-Museum1.JPG|"Konaka"-Museum in an 18th century buildingFile:Vidin-Sky_house.JPG|Old building

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Vidin is twinned with:

Partner towns



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