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Vidin (Видин)
Vidin coat of arms Map of Bulgaria, position of Vidin highlighted
Basic data
State : BulgariaBulgaria Bulgaria
Oblast : Vidin
Residents : 42,801  (December 31, 2016)
Coordinates : 43 ° 59 '  N , 22 ° 53'  E Coordinates: 43 ° 59 '28 "  N , 22 ° 52' 56"  E
Height : 34 m
Postal code : 3700
Telephone code : (+359) 094
License plate : bra
Administration (status: since 2011)
Mayor : Gergo Gergow
Ruling party : Bulgarian Socialist Party
Website :
City center

Widin [ ˈvidin ] ( Bulgarian Видин , Romanian Diiu , common transcription Vidin , in the 19th century and sometimes still today as Widdin ) is a town in the far northwest of Bulgaria and the administrative center of the Vidin Oblast and the municipality of Vidin. Vidin is also the seat of the Bulgarian Orthodox Diocese of Vidin .

The city developed from the Celtic settlement of Dunonija . Later, the Romans built their Bononia fortress nearby. It became an important city in the Roman province of Moesia ( Moesia ). This province comprised the area of ​​today's north-west Bulgaria and Serbia . In the centuries that followed, various rulers took turns, including the Ottomans and the Bulgarian tsars. The socialist transition period in the 20th century was followed in 1990 by membership of the democratic Republic of Bulgaria. Via the Bononia Fortress , the city has indirectly named the Bononia Cove , a bay on Nelson Island in Antarctica, since 2012 .


Vidin in Bulgaria. Neighboring towns: Lom , Montana , Calafat , Negotin , Zaječar , Craiova , Turnu Severin

Vidin is located on the border between Bulgaria and Romania on the right bank of the Danube and until 2013 had an important border crossing to Romania with the Vidin- Calafat ferry connection located two kilometers northeast of the city center . A little further outside the second Danube Bridge ( Danube Bridge 2 ), after the Friendship Bridge in Russe , was built between the two countries. Construction began in spring 2008, and the opening took place in June 2013.

There is a trunk road and a direct train line to the capital Sofia .

The city is semicircular and oriented towards the Danube. There are three ports:

  • Widin-Nord (Danube kilometers 793,500 to 793,800),
  • Widin-Zentrum (passenger terminal) (Danube kilometers 789,900 to 791,300),
  • Widin-Süd (Danube kilometers 785 to 785,200).

The port in Vidin is a free port .


City name

The Byzantines called the city Widini , the Bulgarians Badin (Bulgarian Бъдин) or Bdin ( Bulgarian Бдин ), the Slavs Pidin , the Magyars Budin . A Roman travel guide also uses the name Ad Malum , which means solid or good fortress. The names Widin , Pidin , Bidin , Bodin , Bodony , Kiradenum or Bischiteri can still be found on geographical maps from the 15th and 16th centuries .

First settlements from the Stone Age

A settlement from the end of the Stone Age and the Copper Age (5000-3000 BC) was discovered 1.5 km northwest of Vidin, near the former ceramic factory "Katyusha".

The Thracian tribe of the Moesi lived on the banks of the Danube . Finds from the Thracian period were made in Vidin at a depth of 5 to 6 meters in the old town ( Kaleto district - the central district of Vidin). These finds date from the 6th century BC. The Thracians lived in the region during the Bronze and Iron Ages . Their settlement was at the highest point of today's city, on the banks of the Danube.

The campaign of the Macedonian king Philip II (around 382–336 BC) against the Moesi was unsuccessful, he suffered a defeat. However, his son Alexander the Great was more successful and subjugated the Danube region.

First documented mention as Dunonia and conquest by the Romans

The first written mention of the city comes from the 3rd century BC. When the area was owned by the Celts and Thracians. At that time the settlement was called Dunonia , which means "high and fortified place". Later, in the 1st century AD, the Roman fortifications and the city of Bononia were built on this site . Obviously the Romans only modified the Celtic name of the settlement. Even then there was a fortress made of solid stone. The city successively belonged to the Roman provinces Moesia , Moesia superior , (Upper Moesia ) and Dacia ripensis .

The Romans conquered the Thracian territories north of the Balkan Mountains up to the Danube at the turn of the ages. The construction of the Danube Limes and the establishment of a Danube fleet began in the middle of the 1st century .

For strategic reasons, the province of Moesia was divided into the provinces of Moesia superior and Moesia inferior (Lower Moesia ) in 86 . A turning point for the Romans was the victorious conclusion of the Dacian Wars in the 2nd century. This shifted the border of the Roman Empire further north, across the Danube and away from it. A relatively stable period began that came to be known as the Pax Romana . This period lasted until the 3rd century when the invasions of the Huns and Avars began. Rome could not hold the areas north of the Danube and under Emperor Aurelian the Romans lost power over Dacia in the year 272. The border of the Roman Empire shifted south again to the Danube. Various military and administrative reforms were carried out under Emperor Diocletian (reign 284–305). One of the newly formed provinces was Dacia ripensis with the capital Ratiaria in the Vidin region. The province was large-scale. To the north it reached as far as the Danube, including the area around the town of Drobeta Turnu Severin , to the south the province extended to the Balkan Mountains, to the west it was bordered by the watershed of the Timok and March rivers and to the east by the Vit ( lat. Utus ). Numerous troops were stationed in the province of Dacia ripensis and the Roman Danube fleet ( Classis Pannonica ) was reorganized. According to the Notitia dignitatum , the fortresses Bononia and Dorticum (near the village of Wraw , Bulgarian Връв) were converted into permanent military camps and equipped with cavalry. The measures taken to protect the Danube area showed certain successes. The Vidin region became one of the empire's granaries.

In late antiquity (4th to 6th centuries) many tribes invaded the Roman province via the Danube. Invasions by the Goths shook the Byzantine Empire in the first half of the 4th century . The Slavs who later settled south of the Danube were also involved in the incursions . The attempt by Emperor Justinian I (527-565) to stop them by rebuilding the destroyed fortresses along the border proved unsuccessful. The Avars devastated the province of Dacia ripensis in 586/587 and destroyed many fortresses. These included the fortresses Ratiaria and Bononia .

Early Middle Ages Vidin as part of the First Bulgarian Empire

Until the 11th century the city was called Badin and then Bdin ( Bulgarian Бъдин Badin ). The first known ruler of Bdin was Glad. He had the title of Tarkhan or a Come . It was of Proto-Bulgarian origin and ruled a large area on both sides of the Danube, up to the Mureș River (now in Hungary). He lived at the beginning of the 10th century and was mentioned in connection with armed conflicts between the Bulgarians and the Hungarians in the period 903-907. In the anonymous chronicle “The Deeds of the Hungarians” military clashes between Glad and the Hungarians are described. The chronicle shows that Glad fought alone with his troops, without the support of the central power, and that he was empowered to independently conclude peace treaties.

Before Samuil became Tsar of the Bulgarians, he was very likely ruler of the Bdin region, as the following indications speak for:

  • When Boris II and Roman , the sons of Peter I , fled from Constantinople to Bulgaria in 976, Tsar Boris II was slain on the border with Bulgaria because he was wearing Byzantine clothing and was not recognized while Roman was following Vidin could save. At that time Comes Nikola’s four sons were the rulers of Bulgaria. Each of them ruled part of Bulgaria ( First Bulgarian Empire ). The brothers Mojsej and Dawid ruled in the south and south-west. Aron ruled the Sofia region. Hence, it is very likely that Samuil reigned in Vidin and that Roman sought protection with the sons of Nikola.
  • According to a Byzantine chronicler, Samuil was the ruler of the Vidin region.

There is no telling what happened after Roman reached Vidin. After a certain time, however, Samuil became Tsar of the Bulgarians. He had good diplomatic relations with the Hungarian Kingdom. His son Gawril Radomir was married to the daughter of the Hungarian king Géza .

In 1003, Vidin survived an 8-month siege by the troops of the Byzantine emperor Basil II. The defense was led by Gawril Radomir, the son of Samuil. These events were described by the Byzantine chronicler Johannes Skylitzes . Ultimately, the city was captured. Even after that, it was taken several times by foreign powers.

It is said that the residents were brave and smart in defending their city. They defended themselves against the Greek fire , a dreaded incendiary weapon, by catching it in clay pots and thus preventing it from spreading.

13th century Vidin becomes part of the Second Bulgarian Empire

In 1213 a revolt against Tsar Boril broke out in Vidin . With the help of the Hungarian King Andrew II , who sent his Župan Joakim, the uprising was put down.

Later, in the 1230s, the Russian prince Jakow Swetoslaw (d. 1275) sought refuge in Vidin after he had to flee from the attacks of the Mongols and Tatars on the Russian principalities. As a Bulgarian Boljarin he achieved a high position in Bulgarian society. In 1258/1259 he married the granddaughter of Iwan Assen II (the daughter of the Byzantine emperor Theodor II Dukas Laskaris and Elena Assenina of Bulgaria). Jakow Swetoslaw supported the Tsar Konstantin Tich Assen in his fight against the heir apparent Mizo Assen . For this support he received the title of Despot von Widin, which was the second highest title after the title of Tsar. Later he succeeded by waving in diplomatic relations with the Bulgarian tsars in Tarnowo and the Hungarian kingdom to rise to one of the most promising aspirants to the Bulgarian throne. He began to mint copper coins with the image of Saint Demetrios , the protector of the house of the Assenen . This saint was probably venerated in the city of Vidin at that time. Later the residents built a church in his honor. Prince Jakow Swetoslaw's policy was so successful that he became a threat to Maria Palaiologa (wife and co-regent of Konstantin Tich Assen, but regent after his death), who then poisoned him around 1276.

Ruled by the Schischmanids
The Kingdom of Vidin and the Tarnov Bulgarian Empire at the time of Tsar Ivan Alexander

In the 13th and 14th centuries Vidin was the capital of the house Shishman , one of the Bulgarian Boljarenfamilie and Czar dynasty of the Middle Ages and a branch line of the dynasty of Assenen . They not only ruled over the Bulgarian Empire in Tarnowo, but were able to split off and establish the Kingdom of Vidin .

The dynasty of the Shishmanids descended from the Boljar Shishman I , who ruled the region around Vidin from 1280 to 1312/1313 as a despot . He was married to the granddaughter of the Bulgarian Tsar Ivan Assen II . Schischman's father was the Sebastokrator Petar, his mother Anna-Teodora was the daughter of the Bulgarian Tsar Ivan Assen II from the Assen family.

Shishman was independent from the Bulgarian tsar, but he was under the Tatar Khan Nogai . At the urging of Khan Nogai, Despot Schischman undertook a campaign against Serbia in 1292, during which they burned down the Žiča monastery (today: Okrug Raška ). This monastery was the spiritual center of the Serbian Middle Ages. Then the Serbian King Stefan Uroš II Milutin succeeded in defeating the Schischmanen and even taking Bdin. It was only through the mediation of Khan Nogai that the power of the Shishmans was restored. The peace treaty between Milutin and Schischman was reinforced by marriage policy . Khan Nogai married the daughter of a great Serbian ruler ( Župan ) and the son of Mikhail Shishman married the daughter of the Serbian king Stefan Uroš II, Anna Neda .

Chronicles from 1308 show Bdin as the capital of Bulgaria and the Danube as a river that flows through the middle of Bulgaria. At that time, the despot Schischman had his son Michail Schischman as co-ruler. Possibly his other son Belaur Schischman was co-ruler. The despot Shishman is the founder of the Bulgarian tsarist family and ruling dynasty of the Middle Ages - the house of Shishman and a branch of the Assenid dynasty .

Mikhail III Schischman Assen (born around 1280), the son of the despot Schischman from his first marriage, became co-ruler of his father in the Bdin region in 1308. He carried the title of despot , which he had probably received from the Bulgarian Tsar Theodor Swetoslaw , who was his cousin. After the end of the Terter dynasty , Mikhail III. elected Bulgarian tsar in 1323 and remained so until 1330. In order to underline the connection between his family and the Assen dynasty, he took the nickname Assen . In 1324 he separated from his wife Anna Neda and banished her to a monastery together with the children, including the heir to the throne Ivan Stefan. Afterwards Michael married the daughter of the Byzantine emperor Andronikos III. (the widow of Tsar Theodor Swetoslaw), which strengthened his position as a legitimate ruler. Tsar Mikhail III. Schischman Assen died in the battle against the Serbs on June 28, 1330 in the lost battle of Welbaschd (today Kyustendil ).

Belaur, the brother of Mikhail III. Schischman, probably became ruler of the Bdin region in 1324. He was among the Boljars who lived with the Serbian King Stefan Uroš III. Dečanski had entered negotiations after the lost battle of Welbaschd. These negotiations brought Ivan Stefan and his mother Anna Neda to the Bulgarian throne. Belaur was a proponent of Serbian influence and became the first adviser to the Bulgarian Tsar.

At the end of the winter of 1331, Ivan Alexander was crowned tsar. Belaur instigated an uprising against the new Bulgarian tsar in 1332 and wrested the Vidin region from the central power in Tarnowo in 1332. However, with the help of the Tatars, Ivan Alexander was able to restore control of the region before 1337 and put down the uprising. Nothing is known about Belaur's further life. After the uprising, Ivan Stefan, his mother Anna Neda and their other children (Michail, Schischman, Ljudowik) fled to Dubrovnik (then Serbia). Nothing is known about their further fate.

Ivan Strazimir , born around 1324/1325, was the second son from Tsar Ivan Alexander's first marriage. The overthrow of 1331 brought Tsar Ivan Alexander to the Bulgarian throne. Around 1350/1351 Tsar Ivan Alexander divorced Ivan Strazimir's mother and appointed his “firstborn” son from his second marriage as heir to the throne. This worsened his relationship with Ivan Strazimir, who then declared himself the independent ruler of Bdin in 1356 and assumed the title of "Tsar of the Bulgarians and Greeks", with the silent consent of Tsar Ivan Alexander.

The Kingdom of Vidin emerged in the second half of the 14th century

Between 1365 and 1369, the Kingdom of Bdin was conquered by the Magyars. Tsar Ivan Strazimir and his family were exiled to Humnik ( Bulgarian Хумник ) in Croatia. After he was able to return with the help of his father, he pursued his own policy, he separated Vidin from the Bulgarian Empire and became absolute ruler of the city-state Vidin. In 1369 the unified Slavic Bulgarian Empire drove the Hungarians out of Vidin by military means. Tsar Ivan Strazimir was successively a vassal of the Hungarians and the Ottomans. He joined the crusaders of the Hungarian King Sigismund V by handing over the Ottoman garrison stationed in Bdin . The defeat of the crusaders at Nikopol on September 25, 1396 led to the capture of Strazimir's land by the Ottomans in 1397. The tsar was exiled to the city of Bajasi Brusa (now Bursa ) in Asia Minor, where he probably died. During the Second Bulgarian Empire, the kingdom of Tsar Ivan Strazimir separated from the Tarnow kingdom and founded the kingdom of Widin (Kingdom of Badin). However, it lasted only 32 years - from 1364 to 1396, until this part of Bulgaria was also conquered by the Ottomans.

Under Hungarian rule the city was named Bodony . The occupation only lasted until 1393, when all of Bulgaria and the surrounding areas fell to the Ottoman Empire .

The Ottoman Vidin (1396-1878)

That meant the end of the Second Bulgarian Empire. Vidin remained the only region controlled by the Bulgarians and not by the invading Ottomans. The Ottomans continued their conquests in the domains of Dobrudscha , Prilep and Welbaschd (today Kjustendil ). Vidin’s independence did not last long, however. In 1396 Strazimir provided troops to assist the Slavic nations in their struggle against the Ottoman Empire. Since the Ottomans won the decisive battle of Nikopolis (today Nikopol ) on September 25, 1396, Vidin finally fell under Ottoman rule as a punishment.

The rule of the Bdin region, now as a vassal of the Ottomans, was entrusted to Constantine II Assen , son of Ivan Strazimir. Together with his cousin Fruschin ( Bulgarian Фружин ), son of the Tsar of Tarnowo Ivan Shishman , he tried to exploit the ten-year power struggle between the sons of Sultan Bayezid I. In 1404, Konstantin and Fruschin joined the anti-Ottoman alliance led by Sigismund V. Again in 1408 they led the Bulgarians in the former Bulgarian kingdoms of Vidin and Tarnovo to the uprising, which failed, however. Constantine retained control of the Bdin region until 1412 or 1413 (according to some sources until 1421). He died in Belgrade on November 17, 1422.

As part of the Ottoman Empire, Vidin was an important administrative and economic center. From 1400 to 1700 the place was part of the buffer zone between the Ottoman Empire and the Habsburg Empire . Vidin was taken several times by the Habsburg troops.

Widin between the 18th and 19th centuries

Vidin was the center of several uprisings between 1773 and 1850.

In the late years of Ottoman rule, Vidin was the center of a breakaway territory ruled by Osman Pazvantoğlu , the most prominent ruler of the Vidin region during Ottoman rule. He comes from a wealthy family from Vidin and was born around 1758. He was evacuated several times with his father, Jomer Paswantoglu. He succeeded in wresting a large area from the central power in Istanbul and establishing himself as an independent ruler from 1793 to 1807. At the end of the 18th century, Sultan Selim III. three campaigns against Vidin and the troops of Vidin. They besieged the city twice without success. From the time of Osman Paswantoglu, military, religious and public buildings have been preserved in Vidin. He died in Vidin in February 1807.

The economic boom in Vidin came with the increase in shipping on the Danube , when Austrian steamers with goods and passengers regularly moored in the port of Vidin from the mid-1830s. Goods were handled here for all of western Bulgaria and Macedonia .

When in 1866 the neighboring Lom was connected to the capital Sofia by a country road, Vidin fell behind. The port in Lom successfully competed with the port of Vidin and the hinterland of Vidin deteriorated noticeably economically.

Vidin as part of the Bulgarian Principality and Tsarism

Serbia tried to conquer the city in two battles ( 1885 and 1913 ) - the Serbian-Bulgarian War of 1885 and the Second Balkan War of 1913. Regardless of the political squabbles, two floods (1897 and 1942) hit the city tremendously. Many buildings have been destroyed or become uninhabitable. Today the bank is adequately secured with dams.

Vidin in the People's Republic of Bulgaria

During the socialist period, during the People's Republic of Bulgaria (1946–1990), Widin experienced an economic boom as an industrial location until the end of the planned economy in 1989. The most important work was the "Widlon" chemical combine for synthetic fibers (polyacrylic fibers) and rayon. The “Wida” car tire plant also belonged to this chemical combine. In other factories in the city, irrigation systems, pumps, cutting tools, clothing, food and furniture were manufactured, as had been the case with industrialization in the late 19th century.


Population structure and density

The population has been decreasing across Bulgaria since 1946. Vidin Oblast was particularly hard hit. From 1946 to 2008, the population in Vidin Oblast halved. Depopulation could be observed in many communities; 30 percent of the population was no longer of working age. As of 2008, the Vidin Oblast with 123,000 inhabitants had the lowest population of all 28 oblasts in Bulgaria, although it occupies 15th place among the Bulgarian oblasts in terms of area. This sharp decrease in population can be observed all over northwestern Bulgaria and is still continuing. The population density in Bulgaria is 70 people per km², while in Vidin Oblast it is 42 people per km². Only in the area of ​​the Strandscha Mountains (southeastern Bulgaria) is the population density still lower with 12 inhabitants per km².

Population development

The changing population figures partly result from the respective territorial status.

year Residents
1934 ¹ 18,740
1946 ¹ 18,759
1956 ¹ 24,170
1965 ¹ 37,128
1975 ¹ 53,529
year Residents
1985 ¹ 62,484
1992 ¹ 62,691
1994 ³ 64,428
1995 ³ 63,560
1997 ³ 61,968
year Residents
2000 ³ 59,399
2001 ¹ 57,395
2003 ³ 54,299
2007 ³ 50,547
2009 ³ 49,471
year Residents
2011 ¹ 48,071

The numbers come from:

  • Censuses (¹),
  • Estimates (²) or
  • official updates of the statistical offices (³).



City council

The city ​​council of Vidin consists of the mayor and the number of 37 city council members stipulated by the municipal code. The city council is re-elected every four years, the next election is in 2015 [out of date] . The distribution of seats in the city council has been as follows since the last local elections on October 23, 2011, with a turnout of 42.90 percent:

Composition of the City Council (2011–)
Party / coalition Election result 2011
(in percent)
+ / - *
(profit / loss)
Votes Seats + / - *
(profit / loss)
GERB 24.62 - 5.95 6,270 11 - 2nd
Coalition of Bulgarian Socialist Party and
Bulgarian People's Union of Peasants "Aleksandar Stambolijski"
19.15 −0.42 4,878 08th + 1
Coalition Association for Vidin ( Blue Coalition and
13.68 −2.64 3,484 06th - 2nd
Coalition Change for Vidin 11.03 k. A. 2,809 05 k. A.
Order, security and justice 09.83 k. A. 2,504 06th k. A.
Ataka 03.71 + 0.54 0945 02 (=)
Coalition ABW 03.53 k. A. 0900 02 k. A.

* Changes to the 2007 local elections

Community structure

The city council also functions as the local council and is responsible for overseeing all mayors of the localities. The municipality of Vidin ( Bulgarian Об gehörenина Тополовград Obschtina Topolowgrad ) also includes the city of Dunavtsi and the following villages:

Town twinning

Widin lists the following ten twin cities :

city country Type
Calafat ROU DJ Calafat CoA.svg RomaniaRomania Wallachia, Romania Twin town
Debar Dibra coat of arms.jpg North MacedoniaNorth Macedonia North Macedonia partnership
Demre TurkeyTurkey Antalya, Turkey Twin town
Hódmezővásárhely HUN Hódmezővásárhely Címer.svg HungaryHungary Southern Great Plain, Hungary Twin town
Lecco Lecco-Stemma.png ItalyItaly Lombardy, Italy partnership
Rivne Coat of arms Rivne.svg UkraineUkraine Ukraine Twin town (since 2001)
Ulm Coat of arms of Ulm, svg GermanyGermany Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany partnership
West Carrollton , Montgomery County United StatesUnited States Ohio, United States Twin town
Zaječar COA zajecar.png SerbiaSerbia Serbia Twin town

Economy and Infrastructure

In the city there is a tire factory, the sewing factory “Wida” (shirts) and the pump factory “Wipom”. The decline in the population, which has moved away particularly because of unemployment in the region, is causing problems for the economy. Since there are not enough specialized workers left here, companies that want to invest in the region have problems finding suitable workers.

Vidin Mass

The first agricultural and stockbreeding exhibition took place in Vidin in 1896. Since 1898 it has been a four-day fair that took place annually from August 15th. Cattle and goods were sold. From 1935 the fair took place every 7 to 14 days, in 1936 it was moved to autumn. From 1938 onwards, the import duty for goods from Romania and Serbia was reduced by 70 percent during the trade fair. The Messe-Widin was discontinued in 1992, but has been revived since 2007. It has since taken place in the first week of September.


Former Danube ferry Vidin-Calafat

Vidin has a train station, a large river port and a ro-ro port . Catamaran ships also operate from Widin on the Widin-Linz-Widin and Widin-Passau-Widin routes, with a loading capacity of 49 large trucks . In terms of goods handling, the port of Vidin lies behind the Bulgarian Danube ports of Ruse , Lom and Swishtov .

Bridges and roads
The construction of Danube Bridge 2 ( Bulgarian Дунав мост 2 ), which connects two of the poorest regions in the EU - Bulgaria and Romania - began in 2007. After its inauguration in June 2013, it was named “New Europe”. At 3,598 meters, it is the longest bridge over the Danube, 1,791 meters of which are directly above the river. The transport infrastructure and the economy on both sides of the bridge are in principle not yet able to cope with the high demands, which is why critics even speak of a “bridge into nowhere”. The EU had provided 106 million euros for the construction, 176 million euros were shared by the neighboring countries.

In October 2013, specialists found more than 20 defective positions. These were discovered after the first large pothole appeared. The construction work was carried out by a Spanish company whose contract did not include any recourse obligation. Bulgaria and Romania will probably have to pay for the repairs if the building is to continue to be used.

The ferry connection with Calafat shown in the second picture was discontinued after the opening of the new Danube bridge.

A third and fourth Danube bridge on the Bulgarian-Romanian border are planned in connection with the planned Danube hydropower plants at Nikopol - Turnu Măgurele and at Silistra - Călărași , each of which is to dam the Danube with a dam. [outdated]

From mid-2012, parts of the national road I / 1 , which is part of the European route 79 Vidin - Montana - Wraza - Botevgrad - Sofia , were expanded and renewed . In the future, the I / 1 is to be converted into a motorway and connect the Danube to Thessaloniki on the Aegean Sea via the A2 (near Botevgrad), A1 (near Sofia), A6 (near Pernik) motorways. This route is part of the Pan-European Transport Corridor IV . The first tenders for planning and construction work were issued in August 2011 and at the end of May 2012.

The train station in Vidin has a modern glass and concrete structure, the line is largely electrified. The expansion of the Vidin – Sofia railway line is planned for the period 2014–2020 and is to be co-financed with European funds. The project costs are estimated at over 2.5 billion euros. [outdated]

Air traffic Vidin Airport,
only about five kilometers northwest of the city center, was built after the
Second World War and was used for domestic traffic until the end of the 1980s. Since then it has been closed due to a lack of passengers.

Long-distance cycle route
The city lies on the Danube Cycle Route , an international long-distance cycle route .

Broadcasting station

AM antenna Vidin (ARRT type)

A large medium-wave radio station has been located near Vidin since 1973, which broadcast the first Bulgarian radio program, Radio Horizont, with 400 kW power on the frequency 576 kHz until May 2010. This medium wave frequency ran with 500 kW power via a tube transmitter from the Soviet Union that was put into operation in 1973 . A braced steel lattice mast, 257 meters high and insulated from earth, with an additional trap antenna of the ARRT type , acted as the antenna .

Up to April 2012 the frequency 1224 kHz was also in operation from this location, on which the international program of Radio Bulgaria was broadcast until April 2012, until this program and thus the transmission from Vidin was completely stopped. Four braced steel lattice masts, arranged in a square, insulated from earth and with an additional trap antenna of the ARRT type, served as the antenna system.

Since April 1, 2013, the 576 kHz frequency has been in operation with new 400 kW transmitter technology from the French company Thomson Broadcast, which was delivered in September 2012. Radio Horizont is broadcast , the first program of the Bulgarian Radio.

Culture and leisure

Theaters and cultural centers, museums, galleries

Mausoleum of Anthims I.

In Vidin, Sami Pascha founded a war and weapons museum based on the European model from his collection in 1854. Halberds, scimitar, swords, shotguns, cannon barrels, pistols, military uniforms, Austrian and Slavic standards, etc. issued. When Bulgaria was liberated in 1878, part of this collection was moved to Bucharest and Sinaia, another was sold to various European cities, and a third was taken to Sofia.

  • "Vladimir Trendafilow" theater
  • Chitalishte Zwyat
  • State puppet theater
  • Philharmonic 7
  • Nikola Petrov Municipal Art Gallery
  • Vidin Historical Museum (also known as the "Konaka" Museum),
  • Kasarma Krastata Museum
  • Mausoleum of Anthim I.
  • Mausoleum-Türbe by Osman Paswantoglu

Libraries and Archives

  • Regional library "Michalki Georgiev"
  • Larp Klan Bdin
  • The State Archives Directorate is one of the 27 regional directorates of the State Archivi agency in Vidin .


  • Ensemble for folk songs and dances Dunaw
  • Football club FC Bdin Widin
  • Vidabasket basketball club
  • Bdin-Vida volleyball club
  • Vidin karate club
  • Atlet athletics club
  • Georgi Benkowski Stadium
  • Velodrome

Significant structures

Fortress and military buildings

The Baba Vida Fortress is the city's most famous attraction. It is the only fully preserved medieval fortress in Bulgaria. The fortress lies on the banks of the Danube and is protected by a moat. The Romans erected the first buildings at this point. It was an observation tower on the site of a small Roman garrison , around which the fortress gradually developed. It served the local rulers as a castle in the Middle Ages. Baba Vida Fortress is one of the 100 national tourist objects of Bulgaria.

As an important military and administrative center and as the capital of the Kingdom of Vidin, the city grew around the Baba Vida Castle. Fortification was also necessary later to defend the city, so that further structures were added:

  • the fortress walls and a moat that protects the city from the Danube and the mainland;
  • 13 city gates, 6 of which are on the Danube. These gates are still traditionally referred to with the Turkish word "Kapii".

During the siege of the city during the Serbian-Bulgarian War (1885), Captain Atanas Usunov , the commander of the northern front, ordered water from the Danube to be poured into the city ditches. So the whole area around the city was flooded, and the city stood like an island. Though the besiegers far outnumbered them, they suffered defeat.

Most of the city gates as well as the northern part of the moat and a small part of the walls have been preserved from the city fortress.

The southern part of the moat was filled in. A small city park ( Park on the Moat , Bulgarian Градината над рова ) was created here, which connects the old town (called Kaleto district - the Turkish word for fortress) and the newer districts. The most famous is the stone Istanbul city gate ( Bulgarian Стамбул капия Stambul Kapija ), the main gate of the fortress of Vidin.

The Krastata Kasarma (cross barracks) is one of the other sights in and around Vidin .

Sacred buildings

Vidin synagogue around 1900

Bulgarian Orthodox, Christian, Jewish and Turkish places of worship are preserved in the city:

In the neighborhood

Outside the city are:

  • Orljaka, on the banks of the Danube, 4 km northwest of the city. The Dunaw campsite is also located there. The ferry terminal for the Vidin-Calafat ferry connection is in the immediate vicinity.
  • Boschuritsa ( Bulgarian Божурица ), a forest 18 km southwest of the city. It is the only forest of tall oak trees in northeastern Bulgaria, located between the villages of Sinagowzi , Ivanowzi and Milchina Laka . There is also a small reservoir, company rest homes with accommodation for 600 people and the Boschuritsa mountain hut ( Bulgarian хижа Божурица ).

sons and daughters of the town


  • Ami Boué : Journey from Nischa to Widdin and ascent of Ntanj with Prince Milosch '. Inː The Abroad , Volume 10, Nos. 49–51, February 1837.
  • Otto von Breitschwert: Three days in Widdin. A souvenir picture . In: The Gazebo . Issue 48, 1877, pp. 810-812 ( full text [ Wikisource ]).
  • Rossitsa Gradevaː War and Peace along the Danubeː Vidin at the End of the Seventeenth Century . Inː Oriente Moderno , New Series, Volume 20 (81), No. 1 (2001), pp. 149–175
  • F. William von Herbert: The Chronicles of a Virgin Fortress, Being Some Unrecorded Chapters of Turkish and Bulgarian History . London 1896, . (The author stayed in Vidin between April and July 1877, during the last Russo-Ottoman War from 1877 to 1878.)
  • J. Némethː The Turks of Vidin: language, folklore, religion . Budapest 1965 (Biblioteca Orientalis Hungarica 10).
  • Carl Ferdinand Peters : Travel letters from a German naturalist from the Dobrudscha . Inː Austrian Review , Part IV, 1865, pp. 216–236 (is about Widin)
  • Mehmet Safa Saracogluː Letters from Vidinː A Study of Ottoman Governmentality and Politics of Local Administration, 1864–1877 . PhD thesis, Ohio State University, 2007
  • Hans Wachenhusen : From Widdin to Stambul. Forays through Bulgaria and Rumelia . (Conversations and Travel Library 4) Leipzig 1855 ( )

Web links

Commons : Widin  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Romanian-Bulgarian Danube Bridge 2 opened: The bridge in nowhere. ( Memento from June 18, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) at, accessed on September 14, 2013
  2. From Passau to the Black Sea. Danube, travel guide. JPM Guides 077; Edition 2013, page 83
  3. National Statistics Office: Population numbers of Vidin by year. Retrieved June 6, 2012 (Bulgarian).
  4. ^ Final results of the 2011 local elections in Vidin. (No longer available online.) Central Election Commission, archived from the original on July 4, 2012 ; Retrieved August 1, 2012 (Bulgarian). Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  5. Central Election Commission: Final results of the 2007 local elections in Vidin. Retrieved August 1, 2012 (Bulgarian).
  6. ↑ Twin towns of Vidin. Local government website (Bulgarian) accessed on August 8, 2012
  7. Международно съртудничество. Retrieved October 23, 2019 .
  8. Danube bridge "New Europe" threatens to collapse shortly after opening ., October 28, 2013; Retrieved December 2, 2013
  9. Ремонтите на пътищата втора и трета класа - за всекиго по нещо
  10. Малките компании детронираха големите на търгове за пътни ремонти
  11. Скоростната железница Видин - София ще струва 2.5 млрд. евро , Dnevnik, April 3, 2012, accessed June 14, 2012
  12. Note: in this specific case, the translation “tourist hut” would be better for хижа Божурица