Vidin is located in the north-west part of the Danube plain. The whole territory is occupied by the Vidin lowlands, spreading between the curve of the Danube river near the city of Vidin and the mountains to the west. The municipality includes vast fields, hills and small forests and covers 3022 square kilometers, which is about 2.7% of the whole territory of the Republic of Bulgaria. The municipality is the door of Bulgaria to Europe and the whole world. To the north it borders Romania, to the west Serbia. The Danume river which runs along its north border provides access to all European countries along its river valley.
Vidin emerged at the place of an old Celtic settlement known as Dunonia. The settlement evolved into a Roman fortified town called Bononia. The town grew into one of the important centres of the province of Upper Moesia, encompassing the territory of modern north-western Bulgaria and eastern Serbia.
When Slavs settled in the area, they called the town Badin or Bdin, where the modern name comes from. Similarly, Anna Komnene refers to it as Vidyne (??????) in the Alexiad.
Vidin’s main landmark – the Baba Vida Fortress, was built in the period from the 10th to the 14th century. In the Middle Ages Vidin used to be an important Bulgarian city, a bishop seat and capital of a large province. Between 971 and 976 the town was the center of Samuil’s possessions while his brothers ruled to the south. In 1003 Vidin was seized by Basil II after an eight-month siege because of the betrayal of the local bishop.
Its importance once again rose during the Second Bulgarian Empire (1185 – 1422) and its despots were influential figures in the Empire and were on several occasions chosen for Emperors. From the mid 13th century it was ruled by the Shishman family. In 1356, Bulgarian Tsar Ivan Alexander isolated Vidin from the Bulgarian monarchy and appointed his son Ivan Stratsimir (1356 – 1396) as absolute ruler of Vidin’s new city-state – the Tsardom of Vidin (Bdin / Badin).