Sanjak of Vidin

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Sanjak of Vidin
Видинският санджак
Видински санџак
Sancağı Vidin
Sanjak of the Ottoman Empire



Coat of arms of Vidin Sanjak

Coat of arms

Capital Vidin
 -  Battle of Nicopolis[1] 1396
 -  Disestablished 1878
Today part of Bulgaria, Serbia

The Sanjak of Vidin or the Vidin Sanjak (Bulgarian: Видинският санджак, Serbian: Видински санџак, Turkish: Sancağı Vidin) was a sanjak in the Ottoman Empire, with Vidin as its administrative centre. It was established after the Battle of Nicopolis in 1396 out of the territories of the Tsardom of Vidin[2] and in mid 15th century annexed some territories that belonged to the Serbian Despotate before Ottomans captured it.

Baba Vida fortress


Fethislam, Ottoman fortress near Kladovo

After the major breakthrough into the Balkans at the end of 14th century, the Ottomans were well aware of the strategic importance of Danube and decided to capture all important fortresses on its banks. The Tsardom of Vidin, which was under control of Ivan Sratsimir, became an Ottoman vassal state in 1393, and a strong Ottoman garrison was stationed in Vidin.[3] Before the Battle of Nicopolis in 1396, Sratsimir surrendered the Ottoman garrison to the crusaders who were soon defeated, while Sratsimir was captured by the Ottomans and killed in 1397.

According to the Ottoman tax registers from 1454-55 the territory of the Sanjak included the following nahiyahs: Banya ( Sokobanja), Belgrad (present-day Belogradchik), Veleshnitsa, Vidin, Gelvie (Glavje), Zagorie, Isvrlig (Svrljig), Kladobo (Kladovo), Krivina, Timok, Tcherna reka/Crna reka and the following fortresses: Vidin, Banya ( Sokobanja), Belgrad (present-day Belogradchik), Isvrlig (Svrljig) and Florentin.[4] Some scholars consider that the regions of Negotin, Kljuc and partly Tcherna reka/Crna reka belonged prior to the Ottoman conquest to Serbian Despotate and were included in the Sanjak of Vidin after 1455, because the first census of the Sanjak of Vidin does not mention them. It is assumed (by historian Bojanić-Lukač and other historians who confirm her opinion) that after the final Ottoman conquest, it was necessary to populate this depopulated territory before its inclusion in the timar system of the Sanjak of Vidin. Until then it was a separate administrative unit, one of many Ottoman borderlands.[5]


Some people from the neighbouring Romanian territory began migrating to the Sanjak of Vidin, especially after the Long War (1591–1606) and the hunger crisis which struck after the war.[6]

In 1807, during the First Serbian Uprising, Serbian rebels attacked parts of the sanjak, which at the time was still under the control of Ottoman renegade Osman Pazvantoglu. The rebels' aim was to establish communication with the Russian troops in Wallachia under General Ignatiev.[7] After the collapse of the First Serbian Uprising, part of the territory around Sokobanja and Svrljig recaptured from the rebels was annexed by the Sanjak of Vidin.[8]

The Sanjak of Vidin was one of six Ottoman sanjaks with the most developed shipbuilding (alongside the sanjaks of Smederevo, Nicopolis, Požega, Zvornik and Mohač).[9]


In 1396, Vidin was finally and permanently captured by the Ottomans, who improved its Baba Vida fortress and built long walls around it.[10]

In 1455, Ottomans registered all populated places in the sanjak for the first time.[11] Four defters were made in the Sanjak of Vidin in the period between 1483 and 1586.[12] In 1460, after his success in the battle near Baziaş (and the capture of Michael Szilágyi)[13] the sultan rewarded Ali Bey Mihaloğlu by appointing him as sanjakbey of Vidin.[14][15] In March 1834 Husseyn pasha was appointed as sanjakbey of the Sanjak of Nicopolis and Sanjak of Vidin.[16]

After 1541, the sanjak became part of the Budin Eyalet. From 1846 to 1864, the sanjak belonged to the Widdin Eyalet,[17] while from 1864 to 1878, it was part of the Danube Vilayet.[18]


  1. ^ Tolan, John Victor; Veinstein, Gilles; Laurens, Henry (2013). Europe and the Islamic World: A History. Princeton University Press. p. 126. ISBN 0-691-14705-1. 
  2. ^ Gliša Elezović (1974). Turski spomenice. p. 174. Retrieved 5 September 2013. "Vidinski Sandžak (Livâ-i Vidin...) obrazovao se u granicama nekadašnjeg Vidinskog Carstva i vidinske mitropolije." 
  3. ^ Kenneth M. Setton; Harry W. Hazard; Norman P. Zacour (1 June 1990). A History of the Crusades: The Impact of the Crusades on Europe. Univ of Wisconsin Press. p. 251. ISBN 978-0-299-10744-4. Retrieved 6 September 2013. "Farther to the west at Vidin, the Bulgarian tsar Sracimir (Sratsimir) was a loyal vassal of the sultan, and an Ottoman garrison..." 
  4. ^ Андрей Пантев, Иван Божилов, Илия Илиев, Невен Илиев, Захарин Захариев, Тодор Диков. "Град Видин: Кратък исторически очерк", 2008, p.98
  5. ^ Tomislav Pajić (1973). Bor i okolina: prošlost i tradicionalna kultura. Skupština opštine. p. 54. Retrieved 6 September 2013. "Године 1455. видински санџак није обухватао данашњу Неготинску крајину, Кључ и један део Црне Реке; ово подручје сачињавало ;е у то доба посебно војно крајиште, у коме, разумљиво, није постојао тимарски систем." 
  6. ^ Collected papers. Institut. 1973. p. 25. Retrieved 6 September 2013. "Неколико година после тога настаће у- сел>авање становништва са румуноке стране у видински санџак, особито после аустријско-турског рата 1593 – 1606. и глади која је после тога завладала" 
  7. ^ Viktor Novak (2003). Revue historique. p. 171. Retrieved 6 September 2013. "Борбе на овом ратишту вођене су великом жестином 1807, јер је устаничка војска покушавала да nуспостави и учврсти комуникацију са руском војском генерала Игњатијева у Влашкој. То им је пошло за руком, а турски утврђени гарнизони Фетислам (Кладово) и Неготин, остали су изолована острва, која су дуго одолевала српско – руским нападима. Подручје Кључа и Крајине коначно је ослобођено тек 1810, у садејству српске са руском војском" 
  8. ^ Dragoljub Mirčetić (1994). Vojna istorija Niša. Prosveta. p. 89. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  9. ^ Godis̆njak grada Beograda. Beogradske novine. 1979. p. 35. Retrieved 7 September 2013. "Ипак градња бродова се посебно везивала за шест санџака: никопољски, видински, смедеревски, зворнички, пожешки и мохачки." 
  10. ^ Bulgaria. Ediz. Inglese. Lonely Planet. 2008. p. 257. ISBN 978-1-74104-474-4. Retrieved 5 September 2013. 
  11. ^ Hristo Gandev (1987). The Bulgarian People During the 15th Century: A Demographic and Ethnographic Study. Sofia-Press. p. 123. Retrieved 5 September 2013. "...a complete registration of settlements in the Vidin sanjak, points out that at the time the register was made – 1455," 
  12. ^ Prilozi za orijentalnu filologiju: Revue de philologie orientale. 1977. p. 53. Retrieved 5 September 2013. "4 deftera za Vidin od 1483. do 1586. godine" 
  13. ^ Suvajdžić, Boško (2004). "Three good heroes". Prilozi za književnost, jezik, istoriju i folklor 70: 32. Retrieved 9 September 2013. 
  14. ^ Gradeva, Rositsa (2004). Rumeli under the Ottomans, 15th–18th centuries: institutions and communities. Isis Press. p. 26. ISBN 978-975-428-271-9. Retrieved 24 June 2011. "In 1460, Ali Bey Mihaloglu was the subasi of the district residing in Giivercinlik [Golubac, Serbia]. Later during the same year he became the sancakbey of Vidin for the first time. In 1462–63, he became sancakbey of Semendire" 
  15. ^ Prilozi proučavanju narodne poezije. 1935. p. 123. "1460 у боју код данашњег Базијаша по- тукао је Мађаре и заробио њиховог вођу Михаила Силађија (Свило- јевић у нар. песмама), те је од султана као награду добио Видински санџак." 
  16. ^ sir Grenville Temple (1836). Excursions in the Mediterranean. p. 277. "Husseyn pasha confirmed to the sanjaks of Widin and Nicopolis, and to the command of the fortress of Widin" 
  17. ^ The three eras of Ottoman history, a political essay on the late reforms of ..., p. 75, at Google Books By James Henry Skene
  18. ^ Stanford Jay Shaw; Ezel Kural. Shaw (1977). History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey:. Cambridge University Press. p. 90. ISBN 978-0-521-29166-8. Retrieved 28 May 2013. 

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