Varna is Bulgaria's third largest city. It was an inhabited place even before the Greeks established the colony of Odessos there about 580 B.C. Later, under the Romans and their successors, the Slavs, Varna became a major port trading with Constantinople, Venice and Dubrovnik. In 1393 it was captured by the Turks, who made it an important military centre.
Nowadays it is the main port for both naval and commercial shipping and, adjacent as it is to the coastal resorts of Golden Sands, St. Constantine (Drouzhba) and Albena, it has a cosmopolitan atmosphere. Sailors on shore-leave in unfamiliar ceremonial uniforms, mingle with foreign tourists and locals as they promenade along shady boulevards, lined by dignified 19th and early 20th century buildings.
The 19th century Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin is an imposing landmark, which contains a finely carved iconostasis and bishop's throne, some interesting murals and stained glass.
The 2nd century thermae are the remains of the largest Roman public building in Bulgaria. During this century enough has been revealed by archaeologists to give a good impression of the original layout, though some parts of the building remain hidden under nearby streets. Coming across an extensive ancient building amidst the streets and houses of a modern city is not unusual in Bulgaria, but is always a delight.
Further from the centre, a granite monument commemorates the Battle of Varna, which took place in 1444. Here 30,000 Crusaders were waiting to sail to Constantinople when they were attacked by 120,000 Turks. The Polish King Ladislas was killed in a bold attempt to capture the Sultan Murad. The subsequent retreat foreshadowed Christendom's general retreat before the advancing Ottomans.
North of Varna there is a cluster of seaside resorts all with fine - sandy beaches but differing in size and style.
Plaza Hotel ***
Hotel is located at the entrance of the Sea Garden, 2 minutes from main pedestrian and shopping street in Varna read more
Grand Hotel Musala Palace*****
In the very heart of Varna, there is a small boutique hotel with rich history and unique design.
Grand Hotel Musala Palace was built in the period 1906 - 1912 after the design of Architect Dabko Dabkov. At that time, its name was Grand Hotel London and it was one of the most beautiful ... read more