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Varna, Bulgaria



VARNA

The pearl of the Bulgarian Black Sea is situated on the Northern coast at the end of the big Varna Bay, within a well preserved and cultivated water area. One of the most famous sea resorts in Europe and indisputably the largest one in the Black Sea region, it is often referred to as the point of intersection between the Middle East and Western Europe.
Varna is the place where ancient, medieval, renaissance and modern culture meet and reside in perfect harmony. The city prides itself on the more than 2500 years of history the memories of which can still be seen in the streets.
The city centre was completely rebuilt by the nascent Bulgarian middle class in late 1800s and early 1900s in Western style with local interpretations of Neo-Renaissance, Neo-Baroque, Neoclassicism, Art Nouveau and Art Deco. Elegant mansions were erected on main boulevards and in the vineyards north of town.

SIGHTSEEING

The 19th century is the city's main landmark. It was built at the end of the 19th Century, of cut stones from the ruined fortress walls. It contains a finely carved iconostasis and bishop's throne, enthralling murals and stained glass. The day of the Virgin Mary's assumption into heaven, August 15th, is still the official holiday of the city of Varna.

is the longest bridge in Bulgaria, connecting the city centre with the northern region residential complexes of Asparuhovo and Galata. Today the Asparuhov bridge is not only an important transport structure, but also a place where extreme sports fans meet, as the bridge is a favourite location for bungee jumping. The bridge is a beautiful sight at night as it is brilliantly lit up.

Situated in the South-East part of Varna, are the largest public Roman Era antique building ever discovered in Bulgaria. The well preserved walls surround an impressive structure of about 7000 square meters. The architectural style and coins found in the drains suggest that construction work took place at the end of the second - beginning of the third century AD. During the 2nd century Odessos (Varna) grew into a major economical and cultural centre and could afford the enormous construction and maintenance.

is Varna's largest, oldest and best known public park, and has rightfully grown into one of the symbols of the city. Located along the city's coast on the Black Sea, it is an important tourist attraction and a national monument of landscape architecture. At the front entrance visitors of the garden are met by a swan-shaped sundial. The garden presently hosts the Observatory and the Planetarium which were built in 1968 on the site of the old open-air theatre. The current open-air theatre, flanked by the Alpineum and the children's amusement park, is the venue of the Varna International Ballet Competition ever since it was first held in 1964.

is a former late 19th-century Bulgarian royal summer palace and park on the Black Sea coast, 8 km North of downtown Varna. It is currently a governmental and presidential retreat hosting cabinet meetings in the summer and offering access for tourists to several villas and hotels. Since 2007, it is also the venue of the Operosa annual opera festival.

is a burial site in the western industrial zone of Varna near the Lake Varna and 4 km from the city centre, internationally recognized as one of the key archaeological sites in world prehistory. The site was accidentally discovered in 1972; research excavation work continued for years and yet about 30% of estimated necropolis area is still not revealed. Nearly 300 graves have been found in the necropolis, many containing sophisticated examples of metallurgy (gold and copper), pottery, high-quality flint and obsidian blades, beads, and shells. Some of the artifacts are exhibited in 6 rooms at the Varna Archaeological museum.

Varna is the gateway to a cluster of nearby beach resorts, each with its own charm and individuality: the glamorous Golden Sands resort, the peaceful St. Constantine and Helena, the shiny Riviera complex and the picturesque Albena.