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Balchik
Балчик
Balchik Palace

Coat of arms
Balchik is located in Bulgaria
Balchik
Location of Balchik
Coordinates: 43°25′N 28°10′E / 43.417°N 28.167°E / 43.417; 28.167
Country  Bulgaria
Province (Oblast) Dobrich
Elevation 199 m (653 ft)
Population (2004-12-25)
 - Total 11,789
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 - Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal Code 9600
Area code(s) 0579

Balchik (Bulgarian: Балчик; Turkish: Balçık; Greek: Κρουνοί, Krounoi, Διονυσόπολις, Dionysopolis) is a Black Sea coastal town and seaside resort in the Southern Dobruja area of northeastern Bulgaria. It is located in Dobrich Oblast and is 42 km northeast of Varna. The town sprawls scenically along hilly terraces descending from the Dobruja plateau to the sea.

The Balchik Botanical Garden

The Ionian ancient Greek colony of Krounoi in Moesia (renamed as Dionysopolis, after the discovery of a statue of Dionysus in the sea )[1], later a Greek-Byzantine fortress, stood on the site of an older Thracian settlement. Under the Ottoman Empire, the town came to be known with its present name, which perhaps derived from a Gagauz word meaning "small town" [1] (as opposed to the "large town" of Varna). Another opinion is that its actual name derived from Balik's name.

The beach of the Balchik Palace.

After the liberation of Bulgaria, Balchik developed as centre of a rich agricultural region, wheat-exporting port, and district (okoliya) town, and later, as a major tourist destination with the beachfront resort of Albena to its south. The ethnic composition gradually changed from mostly Gagauz and Tatar/Turkish to predominantly Bulgarian. According to 1864 census record the Bulgarian population at that time was 10%[2]. Currently the municipality (the town plus 22 villages) is 69.2% Bulgarian, 16.2% Turkish minority and 12.3% Romani [3]. An Ottoman mosque remains to serve the Muslim minority. Between 1913-1916 and 1919-1940, Balchik was part of Romania.

A costal view of Balchik's private hotels.
Balchik's main street going down the harbor.

During Romania's administration, the Balchik Palace was the favourite summer residence of Queen Marie of Romania and her immediate family. The town is the site of Marie's Oriental villa, the place where her heart was kept, in accordance with her last wishes, until 1940 (when the Treaty of Craiova awarded the region back to Bulgaria). It was then moved to Romania. Today, the Balchik Palace and the adjacent Balchik Botanical Garden are the town's most popular landmarks. Currently, three 18-hole golf courses are being developed around town, two designed by Gary Player and one by Ian Woosnam.

Contents

Trivia

Gallery

See also

References

  1. ^ An inventory of archaic and classical poleis By Mogens Herman Hansen, Thomas Heine Nielsen, Københavns universitet. Polis centret Page 932 ISBN 0198140991
  2. ^ Gavrilova, Raina:"Bulgarian urban culture in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries" pp.46.
  3. ^ http://www.strategy.bg/FileHandler.ashx?fileId=166, p.36

External links

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