Eastern Rumelia

From Academic Kids

Flag of Eastern Rumelia
Flag of Eastern Rumelia

Eastern Rumelia was a province of the Ottoman Empire that achieved a semi-autonomous status under the Treaty of Berlin, 1878, which revised the Treaty of San Stefano between Russia and the Ottomans a few months earlier. The Bulgarians in Rumelia revolted against Turkish rule on 6 September 1885,and united the province with the Principality of Bulgaria soon thereafter. Its capital was Plovdiv (also known as Philippopolis).

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Balkans1912.jpg
Eastern Rumelia and its environs, from Literary and Historical Atlas of Europe, by J.G. Bartholomew, 1912

Postage stamps

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Stamp_Eastern_Rumelia_1881_20pa.jpg
The stamps of the 1881 and 1884 designs list the name of the province in Latin, Greek, and Cyrillic characters.

The province is remembered today by philatelists for having issued postage stamps from 1880 on. The first issue consisted of several kinds of overprints on stamps of Turkey, including "R.O.", a pattern of bars, and "ROUMELIE / ORIENTALE". These overprints are uncommon and extensively counterfeited.

Stamps of the contemporaneous Turkish design appeared in 1881, differing from Turkish stamps by having the inscription "ROUMELIE ORIENTALE" in small letters along the left side. A second issue of this design, with changed colors, was issued in 1884. Most of these types are quite common.

On 10 September 1885, the existing Rumelian issues were overprinted with two different images of the Bulgarian lion, and then with the lion in a frame and "Bulgarian Post" in Cyrillic. As with the first overprints, these are uncommon, with prices ranging from US$6 to $200, and counterfeits are widespread.

From 1886 on, the province used Bulgarian stamps.

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