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Nemanjić dynasty coat of arms, small, based on Palavestra.jpg Stefan Dečanski
Nemanjić dynasty coat of arms, small, based on Palavestra.jpg Stefan Dušan

Nemanjić dynasty coat of arms, small, based on Palavestra.jpg Jovan OliverStrength

c. 15,000

12,000 Bulgarians,[3] 3,000 mercenaries[4]

c. 18,000:

15,000 Serbs, 1,000 German mercenaries and 2,000 Italians from the Kingdom of Naples [4]Casualties and losses Heavy, entire army routed Light

The Battle of Velbazhd (Bulgarian: битка при Велбъжд, bitka pri Velbazhd; Serbian: Битка код Велбужда, bitka kod Velbužda) is a battle which took place between Bulgarian and Serbian armies on 28 July 1330, near the town of Velbazhd (present day Kyustendil).[5]

The growing power of the Serbian Kingdom from the late 13th century raised serious concerns in the traditional Balkan powers Bulgaria and Byzantine Empire which agreed for joint military actions against Serbia in 1327.[6] Three years later the bulk of the Bulgarian and Serbian armies clashed at Velbazhd and the Bulgarians were caught by surprise. Serbian victory shaped the balance of power in Balkans for the next two decades. The Bulgarians did not lose territory after the battle but were unable to stop the Serbian advance towards Macedonia. Serbia managed to conquer Macedonia and parts of Thessaly and Epirus reaching its greatest territorial extent ever. Their new King Stefan Dušan was crowned Emperor with Bulgarian help in 1346.

However, decades after Dušan's death in 1355 his Empire disintegrated as did Bulgaria after the death of Ivan Alexander in 1371 and both states were subsequently destroyed by the Ottoman Turks.

Ottomans