Varna is located on the northern end of the Black Sea. The city has a horseshoe shaped natural harbour. At the back of Varna are the limestone cliffs with the Frangen Plateau. Varna enjoys a mild climate, a long autumn, short unpredictable winter, spring and a hot summer.
Varna is amongst Europe's oldest cities. It belonged to many great Empires in its time. The Milesians founded it as a trading colony in 570 BC and named it Odessos. It was on a trade route for the Ionians and Thracians. By the 4th century it was a Greco-Thracian community.
Alexander the great captured the city and his successor Diadochus Lysmachus later on ruled over it. In 339 BC Philip II of Macedonia unsuccessfully besieged the city. Odessos was an early Christian centre and the ruins of early Basilicas and Monasteries are testimony to that.
The Romans conquered the city around 5 AD. You can still find evidence of the Roman's occupations. The largest remains are the Romans baths, the Thermae.
ROMAN THERMAE RUINS
The Slavs conquered the Balkans and the city was named Varna
In the Middle Ages, Varna turned into a thriving centre. Ships came from Genoa, Venice and Ragusa. The export was wheat and other products. The import was Mediterranean food and luxury items. Varna became the most important seaport between Constantinople and the Danube Delta. The Navy had its Headquarter there.
In 1453 Varna and Bulgaria were conquered by the Ottomans and was under the Ottomans' domination for over four centuries.
|AN OTTOMAN ERA TOWN HOUSE|
The turbulent times for Varna continued. In 1773 the Russians took it over. After a long siege they handed it back to the Ottomans. The British and French in 1854-56 used Varna in their campaign against Russia in the Crimean War as their Naval Base. Soldiers died of cholera and the city burned down.
Russia liberated Varna in 1878 and in the treaty of Berlin it became part of Bulgaria.
Varna has a population of 530,000 and is the country third largest city. It is 20 km away from the famous Golden Sand and thermal mineral waters. In the main square, Nezavismost Square, is a refreshing fountain, pavement cafes and restaurants all a round. Off the main square you will find boutiques and shopping will be a pleasure.
The Varna Archaeological Museum had the oldest cache of gold in the world. It was discovered by accident and excavated in 1972. It dates back to 4600-4200 BC and occupies three separate exhibition halls. There are many interest exhibits from the Thracian culture.
A very impressive ruin of a Roman bathing complex which was built in the 2nd century, it measured 7000 square metres.
The Ethnographic Museum located in an Ottoman-period compound shows the Bulgarian custom and culture.
The National Revival Museum housed in the former Church of Archangel Michael and the premises of Varna's first Bulgarian School, displays the life of 18th century Varna's.
The Museum of Medical History tells you of the Bulgaria's inheritance of medical wisdom from their predecessors and transmission to the rest of Europe.
The Palace of Culture and Sports was built for business and scientific meetings and international sports.
The Cathedral of the Assumption is an impressive copper domed Bulgarian Orthodox Church, built 1866. Ukrainian designed, it resembles St.Peterburg Cathedral. It contains iconic art, the bishop's throne and murals.
The Sea Garden is a must to be visited. A sensational view of the sea and 14 kms of beautiful manicured parkland which follows the coastline with many beautiful gardens and tree-lined pathways. Opposite the Sports Stadium is a Monument to Fighters against Fascism. This huge, carved stone monument depicting faces of peasant, partisan men and women of Bulgaria looks nobly out to sea. Within the park is an amazing open-air Theatre. A Summer Arts and Music Festival in June and July include Classical, Jazz, Folks Music, Opera and Ballet. In the Natural History Museum, Observatory and Planetarium and Naval Museum you will find nothing but interesting knowledge.
If your children bored by now, take them to the fun fair with bouncy castle and many rides. You also find a number of play areas and cafes there. A dolphinarium with regular performances should be loved by all the family. A zoo should add to their fun.
Varna has an International Airport. A Varna Cruise Terminal with destination to Istanbul and Odessa. A Central Train Station offering travel to and from many European destinations. A Bus Station offering coaches to destination all over Bulgaria. The City itself is easy to explore on foot. However, taxi fare is very reasonable.
Where to stay:
DALLAS BUSINESS CLUB set in a 6000 sqm of parkland. 200 m from the beach and four kilometres from the thermal bath.
ART HOTEL CAPITOL exquisite, luxury in Art Nouveau style situated off the main square.
SPLENDID HOTEL situated at the very centre of the city. Cosy atmosphere with facilities to satisfy all needs of business travellers and guests.
MUSALA PALACE HOTEL impressive architecture echoing the spirit of the 1920's
DIVESTA HOTEL situated in the city centre. Helpful staff, clean rooms and good food at reasonable prices, wireless Internet, lobby and bar.
Shoppaholics will be spoiled for choices in three big shopping centres.