In the present study we analyzed for the first time HLA class I and class II polymorphisms defined by high-resolution typing methods in the Bulgarian population. Comparisons with other populations of common historical background were performed. Most HLA-A, -B, -DRB alleles and haplotypes observed in the Bulgarian population are also common in Europe. Alleles and haplotypes considered as Mediterranean are relatively frequent in the Bulgarian population. Observation of Oriental alleles confirms the contribution of Asians to the genetic diversity of Bulgarians. The use of high-resolution typing methods allowed to identify allele variants rare for Europeans that were correlated to specific population groups. Phylogenetic and correspondence analyses showed that Bulgarians are more closely related to Macedonians, Greeks, and Romanians than to other European populations and Middle Eastern people living near the Mediterranean. The HLA-A,-B,-DRB1 allele and haplotype diversity defined by high-resolution DNA methods confirm that the Bulgarian population is characterized by features of southern European anthropological type with some influence of additional ethnic groups. Implementation of high-resolution typing methods allows a significantly wider spectrum of HLA variation to be detected, including rare alleles and haplotypes, and further clarifies the origin of Bulgarians.