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Second Bulgarian Kingdom

The Second Bulgarian Empire (Bulgarian: Второ българско царство, Vtorо Bălgarskо Tsartsvo) was a medieval Bulgarian state which existed between 1185 and 1396 (or 1422).[1] A successor of the First Bulgarian Empire, it reached the peak of its power under Kaloyan and Ivan Asen II before gradually declining to be conquered by the Ottomans in the late 14th-early 15th century. It was succeeded by the Principality and later Kingdom of Bulgaria in 1878.

Up to 1256 the Second Bulgarian Empire was the dominant power in the Balkans.[2] The Byzantines were defeated in several major battles and in 1205 the newly-established Latin Empire was crushed in the battle of Adrianople by Emperor Kaloyan. His nephew Ivan Asen II (1218-1241) defeated the Despotate of Epiros and made Bulgaria a regional power once again. However, in the late 13th century the Empire declined under the constant invasions of Tatars, Byzantines, Hungarians and internal instability and revolts. In the late 14th and the beginning of the 15th century the country was overrun by the Ottoman Turks who ruined Bulgaria's economy and infrastructure, depopulated large areas and killed the nobility.

Culturally the Bulgarian Empire was among the most advanced states in contemporary Europe.[3] Despite the strong Byzantine influence, the Bulgarian artists and architects managed to create their own distinct style. Literature and art flourished in the 14th century and a large part of the Bulgarian population was literate.[4]