Civilization V Customisation Wiki

Volga Bulgaria led by Alymish Vyltavar is a custom civilization mod by Grant, with contributions from Arilasqueto and TopHatPaladin.

This mod requires Brave New World.


Volga Bulgaria[]

Volga Bulgaria or Volga–Kama Bulghar, was a historic Bulgar state that existed between the 7th and 13th centuries around the confluence of the Volga and Kama River, in what is now European Russia. Volga Bulgaria was a multi-ethnic state with large numbers of Turkic Bulgars, a variety of Finnic and Ugric peoples, and many East Slavs. The very strategic position of Volga Bulgaria allowed it to create a monopoly between the trade of Arabs, Norse and Avars. Volga Bulgaria adopted Islam in 922; 66 years before the Christianization of Kievan Rus'.

Commanding the Volga River in its middle course, the state controlled much of trade between Europe and Asia prior to the Crusades (which made other trade routes practicable). The capital, Bolghar, was a thriving city, rivalling in size and wealth with the greatest centres of the Islamic world. Trade partners of Bolghar included from Vikings, Bjarmland, Yugra and Nenets in the north to Baghdad and Constantinople in the south, from Western Europe to China in the East. Other major cities included Bilär, Suar, Qaşan and Cükätaw. Modern cities Kazan and Yelabuga were founded as Volga Bulgaria's border fortresses. Some of the Volga Bulgarian cities still have not been found, but they are mentioned in old East Slavic sources. Many of these cities were ruined during and after the Golden Horde invasion.

In 1223 near Samara an advance guard of Genghis Khan's army under command of Uran entered Volga Bulgaria but was defeated in the Battle of Samara Bend. In 1236, the Mongols returned and in five years had subjugated the whole country, which at that time was suffering from internal war. Henceforth Volga Bulgaria became a part of the Ulus Jochi, later known as the Golden Horde. It was divided into several principalities; each of them became a vassal of the Golden Horde and received some autonomy. By the 1430s, the Khanate of Kazan was established as the most important of these principalities.

Almysh Yyltavar[]

Almysh, also known as Almas Khan was from 895 to 925 yyltyvar (king) of Volga Bulgaria and unifier of the various Bulgar principalities along the Volga, which included the Finno-Ugric tribes. Almush is mentioned in the notes of the Arab traveler Ibn Fadlan , who visited Volga Bulgaria in 922 as an ambassador. Under Elteber, the Volga Bulgars officially adopted Islam as the state religion. Unlike Derbent, where Islam was brought during the Arab conquests and where Muslims were exterminated many times by the Khazars, Islam entered the Volga Bulgaria peacefully. Despite the fact that Almush Khan already at the end of the 9th century minted coins with the name of Jagfar bin Gabdullah (his Muslim name), in 922, at the invitation of Almush, a three thousand-strong Arab caravan, led by Ibn Fadlan, arrived from Baghdad from the Abbasid Caliph to Volga Bulgaria. In imitation of the name of the secretary of the envoy, Ahmad Ibn Fadlan, Khan Almush named his son Ahmad. However, despite the adoption of Islam the majority of the Bulgars kept their local customs and naming customs, which meant the failure of the Abbasid Caliphate to secure the Volga Bulgar state as a Sunni ally and and a secure part of the Muslim world.

Dawn of Man[]

Blessed by Allah, the princes and nobles of the Slavic world tremble before you! You unified the Bulgars around the Volga river into a powerful trading empire, your coins reaching as far as the icy shores of Bjarmaland and the bustling ports of London. You saw that Islam provided your people with an answer, and you invited the Muslim world to your kingdom, walking freely where centuries before, Khazar hordes massacred them by the thousands. It was you that became the Khan of Saqilaba, lord of all Bulgars, Finns and Slavs east of the Rus'. You established a state that would set back even the Mongol hordes, and unified a people that survived to this day.


Leaderscreen by Arilasqueto

Yyltyvar! The Rus' and their Muscovite successors have long dominated your people, but their power grows weaker, and Islam stronger. Across the pages of history, it is you that shines through the murk and endless conflict. Can you return through peaceful ways the glory of the Volga Bulgars? Can you spread Islam to Russian and Slavic hearts? Can you build a civilization that will stand the test of Time?

Introduction: "Welcome to Saqilaba! If you have not heard the word of the Prophet, I will gladly tell it to you."

Defeat: "The Volga runs with blood. The only thing I can do now is to haunt you from the dead.."

Unique Attributes[]

Volga Bulgaria (Almis Yyltavar)

Art by Arilasqueto

Emirs of the Slavs

Converting to a new majority Religion Religion begins a Goldenage Golden Age, increased from river tiles. Religion Religious Pressure from Traderoute Trade Routes contributes to building Production Production in the origin city.


Art by Grant

Chirmesh (Crossbowman)
  • +30% Strength Combat Strength whilst garrisoned or whilst attacking mounted units adjacent to a river or Traderoute Trade route.

Art by Grant

Devil's Tower (Castle)
  • Increases the sight of garrisoned units per Traderoute Trade route originating in riverside cities.
  • If connected to an allied civilization with a shared Religion Majority Religion, the Devil's Tower awards sight to their garrisoned unit.
City List
  1. Bolghar
  2. Bilär
  3. Suar
  4. Qashan
  5. Cükätaw
  6. İske Qazan
  7. Alabuga
  8. Ashli
  9. Samara
  10. Bandja
  11. Saratou
  12. Sarysyn
  13. Askel
  14. Tulu
  15. Sacksyn
  16. As-kardy
  17. Samur
  18. Tates
  19. Arca
  20. Kashan
  21. Kirman
  22. Layis
  23. Cöri
  24. Çalli
  25. Markiz
  26. Zöyä
  27. Bulgar al-Jadid
  28. Bişbalta
  29. Qaban
  30. Zilantaw
Spy List
  • Shilki
  • Jagfar
  • Mikail
  • Talib
  • Mumin
  • Ishaq
  • Ibrahim
  • Ahmad
  • Kotrag
  • Batbayan


Peace Theme War Theme
"Tatar Folk Music 2" by Karolina Cicha from the Tatar album of duet Cicha & Pałyga "Kirfeklere" by Karolina Cicha from the Tatar album of duet Cicha & Pałyga


Volga Bulgaria

Mod Support[]

Mod Support
Community Balance Patch
Ethnic Units
Map Labels
Unique Cultural Influence
Wish for the World

Full Credits List[]

Steam Workshop
Latest Version: v 1
Last Updated: 9 October 2021


  • Grant: SQL, XML, Research, Art, Text, Design, Mod Support
  • Arilasqueto: Leaderscene, Leader Icon
  • TopHatPaladin: Lua
  • Karolina Cicha (Cicha & Pałyga): Music
  • JFD: Lua utils
  • Sukritact: Lua utils

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