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Roumelia(both: ro͞omē`lēə), region of S Bulgaria, between the Balkan and Rhodope mts. Historically, Rumelia denoted the Balkan possessions (particularly Thrace and Macedonia, and excluding Bosnia) of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman province of Rumelia comprised much of present-day Serbia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, European Turkey, N Greece, and part of Albania. SofiaSofia
, Bulg. Sofiya, city (1993 pop. 1,114,476), capital of Bulgaria, W central Bulgaria, on a high plain surrounded by the Balkan Mts. It is Bulgaria's chief industrial, transportation, and commercial center.
..... Click the link for more information. was the seat of the governors of Rumelia until 1878. In that year the Treaty of San Stefano, ending a war between Russia and Turkey, created a huge Bulgarian state; but the European powers, fearing that Bulgaria would become a Russian dependency, agreed (see Berlin, Congress ofBerlin, Congress of,
1878, called by the signers of the Treaty of Paris of 1856 (see Paris, Congress of) to reconsider the terms of the Treaty of San Stefano, which Russia had forced on the Ottoman Empire earlier in 1878.
..... Click the link for more information. ) to make N Bulgaria an autonomous principality owing nominal allegiance to the Turkish sultan and to create an autonomous province of Eastern Rumelia. This province, with its capital at PlovdivPlovdiv
, anc. Philippopolis, city (1993 pop. 345,205), S central Bulgaria, on the Maritsa River. It is the second largest city of Bulgaria, a transportation hub, and the chief market for a fertile area.
..... Click the link for more information. , comprised, roughly, the part of present Bulgaria situated S of the Balkan Mts. It remained under Turkish sovereignty but enjoyed considerable autonomy and was ruled by a governor appointed by the Ottoman Empire with the approval of the European powers. Resentment at the partition of Bulgaria sparked a revolution at Plovdiv in 1885, and Prince Alexander of Bulgaria annexed Eastern Rumelia, thus incurring the wrath of Russia and Serbia. The Serbians, who also claimed the area, declared war on Bulgaria but were forced to make peace (1886) on the basis of the status quo, while the sultan agreed to name Alexander governor of Eastern Rumelia. This arrangement amounted to a tacit Turkish surrender of the province, which henceforth remained part of Bulgaria, although it was nominally under Ottoman rule until Bulgaria became officially independent in 1908.
after the Ottoman Turks conquered Byzantium, the Turkish name of the eyalet (province) that included the countries of the Balkan Peninsula. In the period 1864–66, Rumelia was divided into several smaller vilayets, and the name “Rumelia” was no longer used officially. In the Treaty of Berlin of 1878, the southern part of Bulgaria that remained within the Ottoman Empire was called Eastern Rumelia. Sometimes the name “Rumelia” refers to the European part of Turkey (eastern Thrace).