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BALCHIK

Town
Postal code: 9600
Dialing code: 0579
Population: 13 766
Web site: www.balchik.bg

Balchik is situated on the coast itself, 36 km. between north and north - east of Varna, 501 km. away from Sofia. There is a big harbor used for medium - size passenger and trade vessels.

Apart from the Palace complex and the Botanical garden - the biggest and most din the Balkans, the town is attractive to tourist with its ancient atmosphere that has been preserved for centuries now. It is interesting to walk along and observe the Tartar quarter with the pebbled streets and the stone and adobe houses.

The coastal alley, 4 km. long, is a nice place for strolling, so are the harbor and the small street around the mosque. There is a small Ethnographic museum, a beautiful old church called "St. Nikola" and an old mosque. The Renaissance complex with the old school in the town is quite well preserved.

HISTORY

The place was first inhabited in the V th century before Christ. Here was founded a settlement and called it “Kruni” or “Krounoy” lent from the earlier Thracian settlements in the vicinity.

The name of the town comes from the Greek word “izvori” (“springs”) as there are a lot of Karst curing springs in the area. Later on it was renamed “Dionisipolis” after the name of “Dionisius”, God of wine and feasts.The image of this God was on the coins minted here, and the town was also the most important center, second only to Odessoss (Varna) on the northern Black sea coast till the beginning of the new era.

After a sequence of invasions at the time of the Roman Empire the town fell to decay. It became possession of Boyar Balik, and so it was called Balchik. After the Crimean war (1853 – 1856) the town flourished and grew into a big corn - trading center.

After the Balkan war in 1893 it was included in the territories of Romania. Struck by the nature beauty of the place Queen Maria built a palace and a Botanical Garden, a chapel and a villa complex for the Romanian aristocrats. The town turned into a luxury resort at the time. After 1940 Balchik was again included in Bulgarian territory.

SURROUNDING AREAS

The area of Touzlata is located 4 km. east of the town and is well known for its curing mud. A balneo – center was built here beside the two lakes, formed by old landslide. It receives patients suffering from disorders of the bones. A large recreation complex, a lot of villas, bungalows and a camping site have been built here. There is a mineral spring water with temperature of 31oC.

Fifteen kilometers south – west of Balchik is the village of Obrochishte with a well – preserved fortress dating back to the early ottoman rule.

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