||Golden Sands, Aladja Monastery
|Albena, Balchik, Kranevo
||Saints Constantine and Helena, Sunny Day
||Kavarna, Cape Kaliakra
|Obzor, Byala, Shkorpilovtsi
||Nesebar, Pomorie, Ravda
|Primorsko, Kiten, Lozenets
||Tsarevo, Ahtopol, Sinemorec
The sea capital with population 540 000 people and it’s 470 km from the capital Sofia. In the city, around a beautiful bay of the sea is Euxinograd residence, which is the seat of the Council of Ministers and the President of Bulgaria in the summer. Varna is the biggest city on Bulgarian Black sea coast. The city is situated amphitheatrical on the bend of the Varna’s lake. Around the city is formed agglomeration in the direction of Golden Sands and Vinnitsa from east, Aksakovo from west and Galata from south.
Airport Varna takes flights over the hole year, in the summer the airplanes take off and land in interval of 10 minutes. The Railway Station is found in the southern side of the city. It’s incredible building. There are two highways which are started from Varna: “Hemus” to Sofia and Northern Bulgaria, “Black sea” to Burgas, Southern Bulgaria and Istanbul, there is and the international highway E-87 to Constanta in Northern Europe. Here is the biggest Bulgarian harbour.
There are ancient tribes lived by fishing. The oldest golden decorations in the world are in the Archeological museum of Varna. In VI century B.C. was made the Greek colony Odesos. Two centuries later Alexander the Great has power over this important Roman town. Destroyed and devastated in times of different invasions, it passes under the Byzantine authority. Here Khan Asparuh and Byzantine Emperor Constantine Pogonat sign the contract (681), which was proclaimed the Bulgarian state on the Balkan Peninsula. In IX century the name of the town is Varna.
Varna is in Bulgarian’s territory at king Kalojan. In XIII-XIV century there are neighborhoods of Venetian, Genoese, Florentine and Dubrovnik traders. In 1389 fell it was conquered by the Ottoman Empire. In 1444 the town was sieged by the knights of the King of Poland Vladislaus III of Varna and the Hungarian leader Yanosh Huniadi. The young King Vladislaus was killed. In 1854 in the city held the important conference of allied Ottoman Empire, Greath Britain and France, after which they wage war against Russia (Crimean War).
After the Liberation (1878), the town developed as an important commercial port, industrial and resort center. Varna is declared to a sea resort in 1921, 5 years later built sunbathing. In two consecutive years (2007 and 2008) in national polls, which are held for the first time in Bulgaria, Varna won ranking "Best city to live in Bulgaria".
A lot of international festivals are organized in Varna: Choral fair, Theatrical feasts, the Feast Varna’s Summer, the Feast for Orchestras and Ensemble which Carry out classic music, Ballet feast, Folklore feast, Cinema feast “The love is mad” and “The Golden rose”, for Doll’s Theatrical Mastery “The Golden Dolphin” and so on.
is the largest city and seaside resort on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast and in Northern Bulgaria, third-largest in Bulgaria after Sofia and Plovdiv, and 92nd-largest in the European Union, with a population of 358,724 (500,502 in Varna Province).
Commonly referred to as the marine (or summer) capital of Bulgaria, Varna is a major tourist destination, business and university centre, seaport, and headquarters of the Bulgarian Navy and merchant marine, as well as the centre of Varna Province and Bulgaria's North-Eastern planning region (NUTS II), comprising also the provinces of Dobrich, Shumen, and Targovishte.
In April 2008, Varna was designated seat of the Black Sea Euro-Region (a new regional organization, not identical to the Black Sea
The city occupies 238 km2 (92 sq mi) on verdant terraces (Varna monocline of the Moesian platform) descending from the calcareous Franga Plateau (height 356 m/1,168 ft) on the north and Avren Plateau on the south, along the horseshoe-shaped Varna Bay of the Black Sea, the elongated Lake Varna, and two artificial waterways connecting the bay and the lake and bridged by the Asparuhov most. It is the centre of a growing conurbation stretching along the seaboard 20 km (12 mi) north and 10 km (6 mi) south (mostly residential and recreational sprawl) and along the lake 25 km (16 mi) west (mostly transportation and industrial facilities). Since antiquity, the city has been surrounded by vineyards, orchards, and forests. Commercial shipping facilities are being relocated inland into the lakes and canals, while the bay remains a recreation area; almost all the waterfront is parkland.
The urban area has in excess of 20 km (12 mi) of sand beaches and abounds in thermal mineral water sources (temperature 35–55 °C / 95–131 °F). It enjoys a mild climate influenced by the sea with long, mild, akin to Mediterranean, autumns, and sunny and hot, yet considerably cooler than Mediterranean summers moderated by breezes and regular rainfall. Although Varna receives about two thirds of the average rainfall for Bulgaria, abundant groundwater keeps its wooded hills lush throughout summer. The city is cut off from north and north-east winds by hills along the north arm of the bay, yet January and February still can be bitterly cold at times, with blizzards. Black Sea water has become cleaner after 1989 due to decreased chemical fertilizer in farming; it has low salinity, lacks large predators or poisonous species, and the tidal range is virtually imperceptible.
The city lies 470 km (292 mi) north-east of Sofia; the nearest major cities are Dobrich (45 km/28 mi to the north), Shumen (80 km/50 mi to the west), and Burgas (125 km/78 mi to the south-west). Varna is accessible by air (Varna International Airport), sea (Port of Varna Cruise Terminal), railroad (Central Train Station), and automobile. Major roads include European routes E70 to Bucharest and E87 to Istanbul and Constanta, Romania; national motorways A-2 (Hemus motorway) to Sofia and A-5 (Cherno More motorway) to Burgas. There are bus lines to many Bulgarian and international cities from two bus terminals and train ferry and ro-ro services to Odessa, Ukraine, Port Kavkaz, Russia, Poti and Batumi, Georgia.
The public transit system (map) is extensive and reasonably priced, with over 80 local and express bus, electrical bus, and fixed-route minibus lines; there is a large fleet of taxicabs. In 2007, a number of double-decker buses were purchased; the mayor vowed that by summer 2008, all city buses would be retrofitted with air conditioners and later fueled by methane. Timetables for the city's bus services can be found here.
There is a plethora of Internet cafes and many places, including parks, are covered by free public wireless internet service. Varna is connected to other Black Sea cities by the submarine Black Sea Fiber Optical Cable System.
Remains of ancient Roman Odessus
Thermae west apodyterium with St. Athanasius church bell tower in the background
Memorial of the Battle of Varna of 1444 carved into an ancient Thracian burial mound
Ottoman period townhouse
City map of 1897
Turn of the century mansions outside the Sea Garden Prehistory
See also: Varna Necropolis
Prehistoric settlements best known for the eneolithic necropolis (mid-5th millennium BC radiocarbon dating), a key archaeological site in world prehistory, eponymous of old European Varna culture and internationally considered the world's oldest large find of gold artifacts, existed within modern city limits. In the broader region of the Varna lakes (then freshwater) and the adjacent karst springs and caves, over 30 prehistoric settlements have been unearthed with the earliest artifacts dating back to the Middle Paleolithic or 100,000 years ago.
 Antiquity and Bulgarian conquest
The region of ancient Thrace was populated by Thracians since 1000 BC. Miletians founded the apoikia (trading colony) of Odessos towards the end of the 7th century BC (the earliest Greek archaeological material is dated 600-575 BC), or, according to Pseudo-Scymnus, in the time of Astyages (here, usually 572-570 BC is suggested), within an earlier Thracian settlement. The name Odessos, first attested by Strabo, was pre-Greek, perhaps of Carian origin. A member of the Pontic Pentapolis, Odessos was a mixed Greco-Thracian community—contact zone between the Ionians and the Thracians (Getae, Crobyzi, Terizi) of the hinterland. Excavations at nearby Thracian sites have shown uninterrupted occupation from the 7th to the 4th century and close commercial relations with the colony. The Greek alphabet has been applied to inscriptions in Thracian since at least the 5th century BCE; the Hellenistic city worshipped a Thracian great god whose cult survived well into the Roman period.
See also: Derzelas
Odessos presumably was included in the assessment of the Delian league of 425 BC. In 339 BC, it was unsuccessfully besieged by Philip II (priests of the Getae persuaded him to conclude a treaty) but surrendered to Alexander the Great in 335 BC, and was later ruled by his diadochus Lysimachus, against whom it rebelled in 313 BC as part of a coalition with other Pontic cities and the Getae. The Roman city, Odessus, first included into the Praefectura orae maritimae and then in 15 AD annexed to the province of Moesia (later Moesia Inferior), covered 47 hectares in present-day central Varna and had prominent public baths, Thermae, erected in the late 2nd century AD, now the largest Roman remains in Bulgaria (the building was 100 m (328.08 ft) wide, 70 m (229.66 ft) long, and 25 m (82.02 ft) high) and fourth-largest known Roman baths in Europe. Major athletic games were held every five years, possibly attended by Gordian III in 238 AD.
Odessus was an early Christian centre, as testified by ruins of ten early basilicas, a monophysite monastery, and indications that one of the Seventy Disciples, Ampliatus, follower of Saint Andrew (who, according to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church legend, preached in the city in 56 AD), served as bishop there. In 6th-century imperial documents, it was referred to as "holiest city," sacratissima civitas. In 442, a peace treaty between Theodosius II and Attila was done at Odessus. In 536, Justinian I made it the seat of the Quaestura exercitus ruled by a prefect of Scythia or quaestor Justinianus and including Moesia, Scythia, Caria, the Aegean Islands and Cyprus; later, the military camp outside Odessus was the seat of another senior Roman commander, magister militum per Thracias. The Jire?ek Line, or the approximate linguistic frontier between Latin and Greek linguistic influence, ran through the Balkans from Odessus to the Adriatic.
Theophanes the Confessor first mentioned the name Varna, as the city came to be known with the Slavic conquest of the Balkans in the 6th-7th century. The name may be older than that; perhaps it derives from Proto-Indo-European root we-r- (water) (see also Varuna), or from Proto-Slavic root varn (black), or from Iranian var (camp, fortress: see also Etymological list of provinces of Bulgaria). According to Theophanes, in 680, Asparukh, the founder of the First Bulgarian Empire, routed an army of Constantine IV near the Danube delta and, pursuing it, reached the so-called Varna near Odessos and the midlands thereof ("...???????? ??? ??? ????????? ?????? ??????? '??????? ??? ??? ?????? ?????????"—perhaps the new name applied initially to an adjacent river, military camp, or area, and only later to the city itself).
It has been suggested that the 681 peace treaty with the Byzantine Empire that established the new state was concluded at Varna and the first Bulgarian capital south of the Danube may have been provisionally located in its vicinity—possibly in a city near Lake Varna's north shore named Theodorias (?????????) by Justinian I—before it moved to Pliska 70 km to the west. Asparukh fortified the Varna river lowland by a rampart against a possible Byzantine landing; the Asparuhov val (Asparukh's Wall) is still standing. Numerous 7th-century Bulgar settlements have been excavated across the city and further west; the Varna lakes north shores, of all regions, were arguably most densely populated by Bulgars.
 Middle Ages
Control changed from Byzantine to Bulgarian hands several times during the Middle Ages. In the late 9th and the first half of the 10th century, Varna was the site of a principal scriptorium of the Preslav Literary School at a monastery endowed by Boris I who may have also used it as his monastic retreat. The scriptorium may have played a key role in the development of the Cyrillic alphabet by Bulgarian scholars under the guidance of one of Saints Cyril and Methodius' disciples. Karel ?korpil has suggested that Boris I may have been interred there. In 1201, Kaloyan took over the Varna fortress, then in Byzantina hands, on Holy Saturday using a siege tower, and secured it for the Second Bulgarian Empire.
See also: Siege of Varna (1201)
By the late 13th century, with the Treaty of Nymphaeum of 1261, the offensive-defensive alliance between Michael VIII Palaeologus and Genoa that opened up the Black Sea to Genoese commerce, Varna had turned into a thriving commercial port city frequented by Genoese and later by Venetian and Ragusan merchant ships. The first two maritime republics held consulates and had expatriate colonies there (Ragusan merchants remained active at the port through the 17th century operating from their colony in nearby Provadiya). The city was flanked by two fortresses with smaller commercial ports of their own, Kastritsi and Galata, within sight of each other, and was protected by two other strongholds overlooking the lakes, Maglizh and Petrich. Wheat, animal skins, honey, wax, wine and other local agricultural produce for the Italian and Constantinople markets were the chief exports, and Mediterranean foods and luxury items were imported. The city introduced its own monetary standard, the Varna perper, by the mid-14th century; Bulgarian and Venetian currency exchange rate was fixed by a treaty. Fine jewelry, household ceramics, fine leather and food processing and other crafts flourished; shipbuilding developed in the Kamchiya river mouth.
14th-century Italian portolan charts showed Varna as perhaps the most important seaport between Constantinople and the Danube delta; they usually labeled the region Zagora. The city was unsuccessfully besieged by Amadeus VI of Savoy, who had captured all Bulgarian fortresses to the south of it, including Galata, in 1366. In 1386, Varna briefly became the capital of the spinoff Principality of Karvuna, then was taken over by the Ottomans in 1389 (and again in 1444), ceded temporarily to Manuel II Palaeologus in 1413 (perhaps until 1444), and sacked by Tatars in 1414.
 Battle of Varna
Main article: Battle of Varna
On 10 November 1444, one of the last major battles of the Crusades in European history was fought outside the city walls. The Turks routed an army of 20,000 crusaders led by Ladislaus III of Poland (also Ul?szl? I of Hungary), which had assembled at the port to set sail to Constantinople. The Christian army was attacked by a superior force of 55,000 or 60,000 Ottomans led by sultan Murad II. Ladislaus III was killed in a bold attempt to capture the sultan, earning the sobriquet Warne?czyk (of Varna in Polish; he is also known as V?rnai Ul?szl? in Hungarian or Ladislaus Varnensis in Latin). The failure of the Crusade of Varna made the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453 all but inevitable, and Varna (with all of Bulgaria) was to remain under Ottoman domination for over four centuries. Today, there is a cenotaph of Ladislaus III in Varna.
 Late Ottoman rule
A major port, agricultural, trade and shipbuilding centre for the Ottoman Empire in the 16th-17th century, preserving a significant and economically active Bulgarian population, Varna was later made one of the Quadrilateral Fortresses (along with Rousse, Shumen, and Silistra) severing Dobruja from the rest of Bulgaria and containing Russia in the Russo-Turkish wars. The Russians temporarily took over in 1773 and again in 1828, following the prolonged Siege of Varna, returning it to the Ottomans two years later after the medieval fortress was razed.
See also: Siege of Varna
The British and French campaigning against Russia in the Crimean War (1854–1856) used Varna as headquarters and principal naval base; many soldiers died of cholera and the city was devastated by a fire. A British and a French monument mark the cemeteries where cholera victims were interred. In 1866, the first railroad in Bulgaria connected Varna with the Rousse on the Danube, linking the Ottoman capital Constantinople with Central Europe; for a few years, the Orient Express ran through that route. The port of Varna developed as a major supplier of food—notably wheat from the adjacent breadbasket Southern Dobruja—to Constantinople and a busy hub for European imports to the capital; 12 foreign consulates opened in the city. Local Bulgarians took part in the National Revival; Vasil Levski set up a secret revolutionary committee.
 Liberated Bulgaria
With the national liberation in 1878, the city, which numbered 26 thousand inhabitants, was ceded to Bulgaria by the Treaty of Berlin; Russian troops entered on 27 July. Varna became a front city in the First Balkan War and the First World War; its economy was badly affected by the temporary loss of its agrarian hinterland of Southern Dobruja to Romania (1913–16 and 1919–40). Also, Varna was occupied by Romania between July 15, 1913-August 10, 1913 during the Second Balkan War. In the Second World War, the Red Army occupied the city in September 1944, helping cement communist rule in Bulgaria.
Over the first decades after liberation, with the departure of most ethnic Turks and Greeks and the arrival of Bulgarians from inland, Northern Dobruja, Bessarabia, and Asia Minor, and later, of refugees from Macedonia, Eastern Thrace and Southern Dobruja following the Second Balkan War and the First World War, ethnic diversity gave way to Bulgarian predominance, although sizeable minorities of Gagauz, Armenians, and Sephardic Jews remained for decades.
One of the early centres of industrial development and the Bulgarian labor movement, Varna established itself as the nation's principal port of export, a major grain producing and viticulture centre, seat of the nation's oldest institution of higher learning outside Sofia, a popular venue for international festivals and events, as well as the country's de facto summer capital with the erection of the Euxinograd royal summer palace (currently, the Bulgarian government convenes summer sessions there). Mass tourism emerged since the late 1950s. Heavy industry and trade with the Soviet Union boomed in the 1950s to the 1970s.
From 20 December 1949 to 20 October 1956 the city was renamed by the communist government Stalin after Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.
In 1962, the 15th Chess Olympiad, also known as the World Team Championship, was here. In 1969 and 1987, Varna was the host of the World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships. From 30 September to 4 October 1973, the 10th Olympic Congress took place in the Sports Palace.
Varna is running for European Capital of Culture for 2019.
The Cathedral Temple "Sveto Uspenie Bogorodichno" ("Holy the Assumption") is in the center. The project is on the Odesa’s architect Maas to model of Petrov’s temple in St. Peterburg. The main stone is put on official service on 22.08.1880. About his structure has used and saved stones from the destroying of the castle. The building of the temple has continued 6 years, in the first godlike liturgy has been in 30.08.1886. The church is with sizes 35x35 m, with a nave and two aisles basilica. The bell tower is high 38 m. The floor is of different colours ceramic tiles. The faces of “St. Brothers Ciryl and Methodius” are in the big southern windows (over the square), in the northern are St. Kliment and St. Angelarii. The copper cubes are with gold paint. The Cathedral is one of the most famous building in the town.
The Town Clock - Varna has had a town clock since the middle of 18 century, but it’s destroyed trough the War of 1855. Now the Town clock has a height of 24 m and it’s from 1890. The Town garden and the Town clock form the center of the town. The clock mechanism is from England and it’s assemble from the tower of the famous revolutionary Oton Ivanov. It’s strange that the name of the firm is not to his name. The bell measure the time in every 30 min. Under the tower is the branch of the Varna’s Theatre.
Archeological Museum was established by the Varna's high school boys students and public characters, who made small collection of archeological memories. The creating is connected with the brothers Shkorpil, who lived long time in Varna. The Archeological museum was created on 11.6.1906 in one of the premises of that time girls’ high school. The rich museum’s collections, the tenacious research work are the main base of creating of other museums. Over 120 years it collected more than 100 000 memories from Varna and Northern Bulgaria.
The museum has found in building which is specially reconstructed since 3.3.1983. The building was built in 1892-1898 in late baroque. The building is in almost square shape, there is spacious inside yard and wonderful park. Some of the premises and the corridors are decorated with decorative wall-painting.
The Necropolis of Varna - the oldest gold in the world. - it was discovered by chance on 1972 while the canal has been pierced. 294 tombs are founded with over of 3 000 gold objects with weight of over 6 kg. The gold in this treasure is the oldest in the whole world and it’s found in the Museum of Archeology. There are some tombs with gold objects over there, two unique vessels which decoration is with gold paint. Only in one tomb are found over 850 gold objects. The Necropolis of Varna in our days change in sensation of the science and it’s with a statement of value for “archeological discovered “ at the last century.
The Terms of Roman are the biggest social antic building in Bulgaria. The walls are with a comparatively good state and with impressive building with area of 7 000 sq m. and high of 18 m. They are built in the end of 2 century. The halls have had a rich presentation with statues of Romans Gods. The terms of Odesos are one of the biggest in the Europe part of the Roman empire. The impressiveness of the structure, the irreproachably execution of the bright archetype idea, the riches of the decoration show us the flowering of the culture in the town in 2-3 century. Near is found the Middle Ages church “St. Athanasius”
The Sea Garden - emblem of Varna is the national memory of the garden and park art. And it’s situated in the coast of the sea. There is a Sunny clock in the entrance, which stylize a swan who fling. It creates from 60th years of 19 century, and it’s model of Anton Novak’s park art in the end of XIX century and in the beginning of XX century.
There are memories of famous persons from the Regeneration. The lovely place of the Varna’s people and of the guests of the town. Here are the Nature-scientific museum, Marine-military museum, The Planetarium, The Zoological garden, The Terrarium, The Summer theatre, The Aquarium and the unique Dolphinarium, swimming pool and tennis courts. There are a lot of restaurants and attractive discos on the beach alley.
Marine-Military Museum has been since January 1885. It has been named “Marine museum” since 1956. In the museum’s park are showed capstan from sailing-boat, marine and river mines, ship’s anchors, periscopes, torpedo apparatuses, searchlights and ship’s guns. In glass pavilion is kept sailing-yacht “Kor Karoli”. With this yacht captain George Georgiev completed a trip round the world in 1976-1977.
In chronological range it is told about the creating and the development of the Bulgarian navy, about the fighting customs and the sailors. It is showed exponents from the Bulgarian Black sea and Danubian coast from ancient times, Bulgaria of the Middle Ages- the Turkish wars in XVIII-XX century. There are models of military ships and torpedo-boatat, the guns of the cruiser “Nadegda” and the optics from old lighthouses.
The Aquarium and the Marine museum were opened in 1932 and they are the only in Bulgaria. They are found in the Sea garden in a wonderful building. There are presented a hundreds kinds of fishes, mollusks, crustaceous, mammals. Special place is detachment for the nature wealth, which were obtained by Black sea like sea salt and petrol.
The Dolphinarium is a modern building with original architecture in the northern part of the Sea garden. It’s discovered on 11.08.1984 and it has 1134 places. In the show of the dolphins there are acrobatics, balance and dances in the water. You can watch the sub water games of the dolphins through the panoramic glasses in the cafe-sweet shop.
The Ethnographical Museum is a house which was built about 1860. The collection shows a rich variable in the way of life and the culture of Varna’s population. Here are different instruments and productions of typical region’s crafts. There are showed the national dress of the basic ethnographic groups from this region. In the museum are presented moments of traditional wedding. On the third floor is presented one typical rich town home. There is a nook which calls “The commercial life of Old Varna”.
Park-museum “Vladislaus III of Varna" is built in 1934 year in honour of the historical battle in 1444, when Czechs, Poles, Croats, Hungarians and Bulgarians try to stop the Turkish invasion in Europe. The mausoleum is built into the base of ancient Thracian tomb.
The Asparuh's bridge is discovered in 8.9.1976. It’s part of highway “Black sea” (international road E-87) over the canal sea-leak. Through it passes over 10 000 cars every day. Asparuh’s bridge is a point of the people who like the strong sensitive. Here every person has try yourself with bundgi-jumps of club “Adrenalin”
Fichoza - next to cape Galata there is one heavenly nook of the seacoast, which is only 15 km southern from Varna. This is the complex ”Heavenly nook” in the heart of the wild nature. This is the place where the coniferous wood meets the sea surf. There are a wonderful pine woods, a crystal-clear sea and cloudless sky. The calm and peace of the deep province is in direct nearness to the big city. The open air barbeque which is situated under the variegated shadow of the coniferous wood, the nearness of the isolated beaches around and the nearness of this place to Varna are made Fichoza one favourite place for many inhabitant of Varna and Guest’s of the city.