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Plovdiv Fair

     In 1892 King Ferdinand established an intenational agricultural and industrial fair at Plovdiv, an ancient trade center in Bulgaria. Among the exhibits were hunting dogs from Aitos, and beehives from Bohemia. The fair lasted 75 days and 168,000 people visited it. In 1992 Bulgaria issued a stamp which shows a plan of the Plovdiv Fair in 1892.

SCN 3673

Balkan War

     When World War I broke out in August 1914, Bulgaria still suffered from it's defeat in the Second Balkan War of 1913. For a time King Ferdinand, himself of German origin pursued a policy of strict neutrality.
     In the summer of 1915 the Central Powers had had significant military successes - the British were defeated at Gallipoli, the Russians pushed out of Poland proper. n October 14th 1915 Bulgaria entered World War I on the side of the Central Powers. Serbia's defense collapsed; Bulgarian forces occupied all of Serbian Macedonia and a part of Greek eastern Macedonia (the area around Serres, Kavala, Drama). The Serbs were able to retake Bitola, and the front stabilized. Rumania entered the war in August 1916; Bulgarian forces occupied the Southern Dobruja. Rumania's defense quickly collapsed.
     The Central powers placed the Northern Dobruja under joint German-Austrian-Bulgarian administration; Bulgarian hopes to gain the entire province were disappointed, Prime Minister Vasil Radoslavov resigned (June 1918). His successor Alexander Malinov succeeded in gaining sole control over the Northern Dobruja, a short and futile diplomatic victory.
     In September 1918 the Entente launched an offensive into Bulgarian-occupied Serb Macedonia; the Bulgarian lines were penetrated. Physically exhausted, on September 29th, Bulgaria signed an armistice. King Ferdinand abdicated on October 3rd 1918.
     With four other stamps this stamp was intended to be issued in 1915 to commemorate the liberation of Macedonia. They were not put in use until 1921. By the time the stamps were issued part of Bulgaria had been given to Yugoslavia. Tsar Ferdinand (1915-1918) is pictured in profile in front of a map of Bulgaria with Macedonia identified below and Dobruja above.

SCN 153