Varna – The Maritime Capital of Bulgaria
Varna is known as the seaside capital of Bulgaria and is a popular coastal resort with domestic and international holidaymakers. However, this wasn’t always the case. After years of war Varna was left with next to nothing and the strategic waterfront positioning no longer of use. It was in 1921 that the commission decided that Varna would reinvent itself as a seaside recreation resort.
The Sea Garden
The Sea Garden or Primorski Park as it is known to locals is an extensive green recreational area stretching the length of the waterfront. The area offers not only the open green space and sea access you would expect from a park called The Sea Garden, but it is also home to the Varna Aquarium, Zoo, Dolphinarium, amusement- and water parks (yes plural), and an uncountable number of restaurants and bars. There is always something happening here.
There is very little known about this monastery on the Black Sea, not even its Latin name or when it was carved into the stone. The name «Aldadzha» comes from the Persian language meaning colourful or «thrown together». The monastery was inhabited in the 13-14th Century by monks and was most likely abandoned when Bulgaria fell under the Ottoman rule at the end of the 14th century.
Varna Cathedral is also known as the Assumption of the Holy Mother. It is the largest church in Varna and the third largest in Bulgaria. Due to its size and shiny copper domes it is a popular postcard motif. It was built by the Russians after the Bulgarian independence from the Ottomans and opened in 1886. Today, it is still the residence of the diocese of Varna and Preslav. Inside you will discover many murals and remarkable woodwork. Many of the icons were donated by the Russian Tsar in the early 20th century.
The Gold of Varna
This gold is considered to be the oldest in the world with estimations dating it at around 6’500 years old. It was discovered in 1972 purely by accident and excavation is still ongoing. The Necropolis burial site where the artifacts were found is the oldest evidence of the transition to male dominance in Europe as well as social hierarchy. Three quarters of the gold was found in just four of the 294 graves. The historical gold can be viewed at the Varna Archaological Museum.
The Stone Forest
The Bulgarian name for the area is "Pobiti Kamani" which can be translated into «stones beaten into the ground». These mysterious stone pillars found in Bulgaria's only desert just outside of Varna can be as tall as ten metres. Although seemingly supernatural, the pillars are a natural phenomenon, however, the exact origin is still disputed. They are mostly hollow or filled with sand and vary in thickness.
Slatni Pjasazi beach, also known as Gold Beach lies only 16 kilometres northeast of Varna and is a popular seaside resort at the Black Sea. If you are looking for some relaxation after a few days of sightseeing in and around Varna, then Gold Beach is the place for you. The beach is over three kilometres long and up to a 100 metres wide. The first hotel opened here in 1956 and was followed by many more. Currently, the resort counts over 70 accomodations, hence you are spoilt for choice.
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