"Balchik - The Castle" Top 5 Page for this destination Balchik by Childish
Balchik Travel Guide: 41 reviews and 207 photos
I visited this place for the first time when I was a pupil. It took me more than 20 years to come back. But what a return! I spent 10 days on a vacation in one of the villas in the castle complex. Ten days in this paradise while the other, 'ordinary', people visit it just for a few hours. Never before I had felt myself as priviledged as a part of the royal family.
The palace was originally built as a summer residence of the Romanian Queen Marie. There are a lot symbols both from Christianity and Islam in the castle architecture and in the gardens. I am not familiar with the Baha'i Faith, so please excuse my ignorance, but I find this mixture of the symbols of both religions simply magnificent.
The palace itself is not a big one. This is because there are a lot of separate buildings - villas - for the guests of the royal family.
In ancient times there was a Thracian settlement.
Probably in 6th century BC a town named Cruny or Krunoi (meaning 'spring') was established by Jonic Greeks. Ceramic finds show show the polis was a well developed trading centre.
The Balkan Peninsula was invaded by Phillip II of Macedon in 4th century BC.
Later, in 3rd century BC?, it was renamed to Dionysopolis. It was relatively autonomic polis and had own coins in period 200BC - 72BC.
After the separation of the Roman empire in two parts in 395AD, the town become a part of Byzantine Empire.
After the creation of Bulgarian Kingdom in 681 the town was included in Bulgarian borders and was known as Kravuna.
In mediaeval times, at the time of the Second Bulgarian State, the town was ruled by Bolyar Balik.
At the end of 14th century Bulgaria fell under Ottoman Yoke for about 500 years.
Since the beginning of 16th century the town is known as Balchik. The sources of the name are controversial. According to ones, the name Balchik comes from Balik. According to others the name comes from Turkish and there are two variants again: from Turkish word 'balchuk' meaning mud, silt or from 'bul', meaing honey.
In the end of 18th and in the beginning of 19th century the town was a developed trading centre. The number of inhabitants in 1877 was 7,000.
The town was liberated as a result of Russian-Turkish war. It was a inhabited by three main nationality - Bulgarians, Turks, Greeks and Tatars and Gipsy minorities.
In 1913 Bulgaria was defeated in the Second Balkan War agains Bulgarian neighbours and former alliances. As a result, called in Bulgaria the First National Catastrophic, Bulgaria lost among other territories Southern Dobrudzha which was gained by Romania (under the Treaty of Bucharest from 1913). Southern Dobrudja was reigned by Romania till 1940. In 1940 Bulgarian gains Southern Dobrudja back as a result of Treaty of Craiova from 1940. As a result of this treaty 65,000 Bulgarians left their houses in Northern Dobrudja and 80,000 Romanian colonists in Southern Dobrudja were resettled in Southern and Northern Dobrudja, resp. At least the whole process succeded without victims of murder.
Altough I put stress on the Palace and on the Botanic gardens on my page there also other places of interest in Balchik:
- Hisorical Museum, 1, Independence Sq. with expositions of archeological finds in the area
- Ethnographical Museum on Vitosha Str.
- Architectural complex from Bulgarian Revival period - Hristo Botev Str.
- Art Gallery, located on 4, Otets Paisiy Str. with works of Vladimir Dimitrov-Mastor
- 3 chrurches, old Bulgarian school and a mosque
Several Festivals take places each year in Balchik:
- Balfest - international documentary festival
- Film forum - internation festival of student films
- Children festival 'Smiles of the Sea'
and many others
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