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VARNA CITY

ABOUT VARNA
The city of Varna, population 325137, is situated at the Varna Bay, 470 km east of Sofia. Varna is the largest city on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast.
Varna’s length is over 11 km; its width including the new residential districts is nearly 9 km. The city lies in tiers and follows the curves of the Varna Bay. The city is surrounded by lots of gardens, vineyards and deciduous groves.
It is a regional centre.

TRANSPORT
The fastest way to get to Varna is by airplane. It takes 50 min from Sofia to Varna. Varna Airport functions throughout the year.
The Varna Railway Station is located in the southern part of the city. Varna is connected with all the main railways in the country. There are express trains to Sofia and Plovdiv that reach for 7 and 4,5 hours respectively.

HISTORY OF VARNA
Initially the fishing tribe of Corbisy settled the town.
In
the sixth century BC a Greek town inhabited by settlers was established here under the name of Odessos.
The town had been under the siege of the troops of Alexander of Macedonia in the middle of the fourth century BC but after the siege was put down the town was given autonomy within the borders of his Empire. At the time of Lisimah the town re-established its supremacy over the northern Black Sea coast.
Gradually Odessos yielded precedence in the region to the town of Marcianopolis (nowadays Devnya). Having been conquered and devastated several times during barbarian invasion it came within the Byzantine Empire.
In the ninth century it was already called Varna. It is supposed that the name originates from the horse people in Central Asia. The town was included in the territory of Bulgaria during the reign of king Kaloyan. In 1391 it soon declined and the Turks conquered the town. In 1444, during the crusade of the Polish king Vladislav Yagello and the Hungarian leader Yanosh Huniady, the town was under the siege of the knights. The troops of the Christian coalition suffered a complete defeat. The young king Vladislav was killed. The citizens of Varna built a mausoleum in his honour called Park-Museum Vladislav Varnenchik.
In 1878 Varna was finally liberated from Ottoman yoke and became the most important Bulgarian seaport town. Varna quickly was established as a seaside resort. Entertainment establishments and holiday houses were built.

MUSEUMS
The Archaeological Museum is housed in a building that used to be a school during the Revival.
The Museum of the Bulgarian Revival is housed in a building from 1861, which was proclaimed a cultural monument.
The Naval Museum is in the Sea Garden and possesses all the objects of importance to the Bulgarian Navy.
The Park-Museum Vladislav Varnenchik is to the northwest of the city.
The Ethnographic Museum is housed in a Revival house from the 19th century.
The Natural Science Museum displays species typical to the Bulgarian flora and fauna.
The Aquarium and the Black Sea Museum are the first and the only marine biology station in the country.
The Gallery of Arts possesses paintings by the most outstanding Bulgarian artists as well as pieces of work by numerous foreign artists, donated to the gallery by citizens. A branch of the museum is the Museum House of Georgi Velchev.
An Exhibition of Icon Paintings from the National Revival is held in the St. Athanasius Church built in the 13th century near the Roman Spa. The Church itself is original with its mural paintings and icons and with its carved altar and bishop’s stall.
The Museum of Medicine is the only one on the Balkan Peninsula. Medical plants and herbs are here on display as well as clothing used in the medical profession from ancient times up to now.
The Museum of Varna's History has an exceptionally rich collection. The Gold Treasure of Varna, dating back six thousand years ago, is the oldest gold in the world.

LANDMARKS
The Roman Spa is situated in the actual centre of the city.
The Cathedral of Holy Mother is considered to be an emblem of the seaside capital of Bulgaria.
The Sea Garden dates from the end of the 19th century, finally completed in 1908.
The Open-air Theatre is a place where various activities take place. These include the Varna Days of Music, the world famous International Ballet Competition and Varna Summer – a triennial of arts.
The Pantheon is in Primorski Park.
The Asparuh Bridge connects the city centre with the residential districts Asparuhovo and Galata. It is the longest bridge in Bulgaria.
The Clock Tower was built in 1880 and rises across the Cathedral. Beneath the Clock is one of the branches of the Drama Theatre.
The Festival Complex is opposite the entrance of the Sea Garden.
The Dolphinarium is one of the favourite attractions for children and guests of Varna. Performances and demonstrations regularly take place here.
In the middle of the Sea Garden is located the Zoo with lots of species. Not far from there is the Exotic Zoo where visitors can find many exotic animals living on our planet.
About 20 kilometres west of
Varna is the so-called Stone Forest, a curious collection of stone columns up to 7 metres high. The first impression is of a ruined temple but scientists have discovered that it is a geological formation of stalagmites some fifty-million-year old. During the Miocene the seawaters rushed into this place and the sea element shaped them for millennia. Due to the sand and the scanty vegetation this site looks like a desert.

RESORTS
GOLDEN SANDS
The Golden Sands resort is the largest one on the northern Black Sea coast. It is situated 18 km northeast of Varna. It borders Kranevo to the north and merges with the St. St. Constantine and Helena resort to the south.
The mineral waters, warm sea and wonderful beach as well as the marvellous deciduous forest turn the resort into one of the pearls of the Bulgarian coast. Its beach strip is 3,5 km long and 100 m wide at some places and is covered with fine golden sand.
The constant temperature of 27
°C throughout the season makes it a wonderful place for rest and fun.
The Riviera Vacation Club situated in Golden Sands offers а unique combination of cosy atmosphere with a seacoast throughout the year.
In the immediate proximity to the resort is the interesting rock monastery called Aladzha, part of the Golden Sands National Park.
The transport between Golden Sands and Varna is well organised. The bus lines №9, 109, 209 connect the resort with the city and bus line №409 connects it with the Airport.
ST. ST. CONSTANTINE AND HELENA
The oldest resort on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast is only 9 km northeast of Varna.
The resort is famous from ancient times due to its unique combination of mountain air, mineral springs and sea.
Its construction began in 1908 in the vicinity of St. St. Constantine and Helena Monastery.
The beach strip in the resort is around 5 km long and 20-30 m wide, covered with golden sand. The resort disposes of many mineral springs, balneocentres, outdoor mineral pools and others tourist facilities.
Sunny Day resort lies 10 km northeast of Varna within St. St. Constantine and Helena and is only 16 km away from Varna Airport.
Between St. St. Constantine and Helena and Golden Sands is the small Chayka resort.
The residence Euxinograd is located south of the resort.
Regular town buses run every ten minutes (from 6.00 a.m. to 11.00 p.m.) from the resort to Varna.
ALBENA
The Albena resort with its 5 km long and 150 m wide beach is lying in a picturesque bay only 30 km from Varna.
Albena is an ecological resort. The rare combination of fresh air, crystal clear sea and mineral water, remedial herbs, various natural products and perfectly organised Medical and Spa Centre make Albena a perfect location for family holidays.
The concept of the architecture is to get more sun in the summer.
The resort has three camping sites –
Albena, International and Ekzotika, which offer great opportunities for housing tourists and holidaymakers.
The Batov River is interesting with its location in a natural forest. To the north the shore is steep, formed by yellow sandstone and limestone typical of the area.
There is regular transport to Albena. Apart from the town buses there are lots of private minibuses, route, and ordinary taxis.
KAMCHIYA
Kamchiya complex is situated 28 km south of Varna. It is located at the mouth of the Kamchiya River among the unique flooded “longoz” forests.
The beaches are wide, covered with sand dunes.
The climate is pleasant. The summer season starts in May and finishes at the end of September. The average temperature in the summer is 25-32
°C.
Kamchiya offers great opportunities for relaxation and vacation in nature, away from the noisy city and crowded seaside resorts.
The biosphere reserve “Longoza” is a unique natural site with its “longoz” forests. It is included in the UNESCO “The Man and the Biosphere” program.

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