"A Quick Guided Tour - Part #2" Balchik Travelogue by johngayton
Balchik Travel Guide: 41 reviews and 201 photos
Balchik has quite a mixed ethnic population with over 10% of each of Turks and Romani. Hence the town's mosque.
The working harbour has its 1909-built warehouse still as yet undeveloped, but looks a prime candidate.
A rather magnificent town house overlooking the harbour. There's a view from the main street side on the next travelogue.
And finally the palace itself. This was built as a summer retreat for Queen Marie during the period that the town was part of Romania.
Queen Marie makes for a fascinating bit of research. She was born in England in 1875, the eldest daughter of the then Duke of Edinburgh and the Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovia of Russia. Given her blue-blooded parentage she was considered quite a catch for the elegible beaus of European royalty and was marrried, at age 17, to the Crown Prince Ferdinand of Romania.
By all accounts the marriage wasn't a particularly happy one and despite having six children at least three of those were probably not Ferdinands. She did however commit herself fully to the Romanian state and during the First World War, and the ensuing peace negotiations, she played a leading role in her adopted nation's diplomatic affairs. As part of the peace settlement she argued for Romania's expansion to be commensurate with its contribution to war which led to the annexation of the Southern Dobruja region (which includes Balchik) to Romania.
Balchik became her favourite place to visit and in the mid 1920's she had the Balchik Palace constructed as her summer residence. She was originally baptised in the Church of England but reformed to the Orthodox Church in her early years in Romania and then later embraced the Baha'i faith. In that spirit of religous tolerance the buildings in her palace gardens include an Orthodox Chapel. a Monastery and the minaret on the main house itself.
More Travelogues (2)
Written Jan 14, 2010
A Quick Guided Tour - Part #1
Written Jan 15, 2010
A Quick Guided Tour - Part #3
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