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Bolgari

BOLGARI, or Bolgary, a ruined town of Russia, in the government of Kazan, 4 m. from the left bank of the Volga, in 55°N. lat. It is generally considered to have been the capital of the Bulgarians when they were established in that part of Europe (5th to 15th century). Ruins of the old walls and towers still survive, as well as numerous kurgans or burial-mounds, with inscriptions, some in Arabic (1222-1341), others in Armenian (years 557, 984 and 986), and yet others in Turkic. Upon being opened these tombs were found to contain weapons, implements, utensils, and silver and copper coins, bearing inscriptions, some in ordinary Arabic, others in Kufic (a kind of epigraphic Arabic). These and other antiquities collected here (1722) are preserved in museums at Kazan, Moscow and St Petersburg. The ruins, which were practically discovered in the reign of Peter the Great, were visited and described by Pallas, Humboldt and others. The city of Bolgari was destroyed by the Mongols in 1238, and again by Tamerlane early in the following century, after which it served as the capital of the Khans (sovereign princes) of the Golden Horde of Mongols, and finally, in the second half of the 15th century it became a part of the principality of Kazan, and so eventually of Russia. The Arab geographer Ibn Haukal states that in his time, near the end of the 10th century, it was a place of 10,000 inhabitants.

See Ibn Fadhlan, Nachrichten über die Wolga Bulgaren (Ger. trans. by Frähn, St Petersburg, 1832).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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