While deciding where our next armchair tour will take us I noticed the name of this city in Bulgaria. Varna with the same spelling in Latvian means crow. So I decided that we’ll take a look at what Varna has to offer. It is located in the northeastern part of Bulgaria right on the Black Sea coast. Varna is the third largest city in Bulgaria and the largest on the coast. It is also known as the Sea Capital of the country. Lots of tourists come here in the summertime for its lovely beaches and it has become a popular resort.
Of interest to visitors is the Varna Archaeological Museum which frequently carries out archaeological excavations on various sites all over Northern Bulgaria. The museum has on exhibit over 100,000 items. The most important ones are on display in the museum exhibition halls. Its most popular exhibit is the Gold of Varna, the oldest gold treasure in the world. It was excavated in 1972 and it dates back to 4600-4200 BCE and occupies three separate exhibition halls. This museum also manages two open-air archaeological sites, the large Roman baths found in the city center and the medieval grotto of Aladzha Monastery at Golden Sands Nature Park.
The Naval Museum is one of the symbols of Varna. It is located in the southern part of the sea garden. This impressive and lovely building was built in 1890. Its most valuable exhibit is the destroyer “Drazki” which is known for torpedoing the Turkish cruiser “Hamidie” during the Balkan War on November 12, 1912. It counts as the only ship of its kind to be preserved until this day.
Visitors can enjoy learning about the rich diversity in culture and lifestyle among the residents of Varna end of the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries at the Museum of Ethnography. The museum is housed in a revival house known as “symmetrical type houses” that were built in 1860.
Of interest is a memorial complex called Battle of Varna Park Museum “Varnenchik” found in an unusual park in the western part of Varna. This was once a battlefield dating back to 10.11.1444. It was here that in the name of the liberation of the Balkans and southeastern Europe the Polish-Hungarian King Wladyslaw III of Varna met his demise. There is an exposition of armor and weapons, paintings, flags and sculptures from this era.
A lovely place for a walk and to relax out in the open is the Sea Park. It is a national monument of landscape architecture and the work of Czech architect Anton Novak. Here you’ll find a long alley of the Bulgarian revival displaying busts of honorable figures of this era. It is a wonderful place for strolling, bike riding or participating in outdoor sports. There is also a zoo and terrarium. Of interest is the waterfront promenade found underneath where there are many beach clubs that offer all kinds of music like hip-hop, rock, American pop, house and chalga or Bulgarian pop folk. The city beaches also known as sea baths have hot sulphuric mineral springs and small, sheltered marinas.
To learn about the flora and fauna of the Black Sea head on over to the Varna Aquarium. It is home to more than 140 species of fish and also features freshwater fish. Mediterranean fish, exotic species from far off places of the World Oceans, mussels and algae.
For added fun and excitement take a look at the Varna Dolphinarium which is the only one on the Balkan Peninsula. It was built in 1984 and has 1134 seats.
Other delights also await you in Varna. If you travel in the summertime plan your sightseeing after you’ve had enough of the warm sand, sea and sun.