On today’s game of Find The Country…


So I came across this whilst poking through a bunch of unsorted stamps and realised I had no clue what country it was from. You know what that means… time for a little sleuthing!

Bulgaria: 1403 Revolt against the Turks

Note: Yes I know I could have posted a picture on one of many available stamp forums and probably got an answer within minutes but I don’t always like to do things the easy way. 

So my first guess was Greece (because I thought the letters looked a bit Greeky) but as soon as I looked at a few stamps from there I realised that they all had “Hellas” on them (duh – I knew this but had forgotten). Then I checked Wikipedia and mucked around looking at stamps from a few other countries which are supposed to speak some form of Greek but drew blanks at them all.

Then I dug up a Greek keyboard (which I should have done first in hindsight) and tried to type in the name of the country (which I assumed was the large vertically placed one), but couldn’t find all the letters which led me to deduce that my first assumption was in error – this ain’t no Greek!


oy vey

Looking at the stamp more closely, I noticed the quirky backwards N and R and so typed “backward n” into the fount of all wisdom, arrived at the deduction that this was Cyrillic, which of course led me to find a Russian keyboard.

Google result - Cyrillic

Started typing it in but got stuck on the upside down “V” which it didn’t have. By this time I was getting distinctly annoyed but Google helped again by suggesting that the upside “V” was likely an archaic form of another character. Having typed in this new version, I arrived at… no, wait for it, <dun dun dun dun> Bulgaria!

After a bit of poking around in colnect, under the listing for all Bulagrian stamps with a face value of 1, I arrived at the glorious stamp in question. Issued in 1975, this stamp is supposed to depict the “1403 Revolt against the Turks”. Poking around some more enabled me to deduce that this refers to

The Uprising of Konstantin and Fruzhin was the earliest Bulgarian uprising against the Ottoman rule. It was organized in the early 15th century by two Bulgarian nobles and was supported by a Christian coalition, but failed to liberate Bulgaria.

Fruzhin, the son of Tsar Ivan Shishman, and his cousin Konstantin, the heir of Ivan Sratsimir, who had emigrated to Hungary and Serbia as the Ottomans subjugated the Balkans, organised an uprising in northern Bulgaria aided by Wallachian ruler Mircea the Elder, Serbian despot Stefan Lazarević and Hungarian monarch Sigismund.

More at Wikipedia

Suffice to say my inner history geek is well pleased and this stamp will now take its rightful place amongst my favourites.

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