The Palace and the Botanical garden in Balchik, joined in an architectural and park complex, are a piece of heaven on earth and a must-see tourist attraction on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast. The Balchik Botanical Garden was established in 1940. The 16-acre grounds have 2,000 plant species, built and run by botanic specialists from Sofia University. The garden is world famous for its unique collection of large-sized cactuses, which is the second of this kind in Europe after the one in Monaco. It is open from April to October.
The Palace, (“Dvoretsa” in Bulgarian), was designed by Italian architects and construction works started in 1924 for Queen Maria of Romania at a time, when the region of Southern Dobrudzha region of Bulgaria was part of Romania. She fell in love with Balchik and it was the perfect place for her palace. The palace is a unique blend of East and West, with both a church and a minaret, the result of the queen’s poli-religious Bahá’í beliefs.The castle and the other buildings are unique in their architecture, with Balkan and Oriental motifs, so unique that several directors have used Balchik Palace for movie settings including “Godfather” legend Francis Ford Coppola.
The last years this expansive palace and gardens is a favorite place for weddings by the sea for people from all over the world – Bulgaria, the United States, Switzerland, Australia, Romania, Slovakia, Great Britain, Bali, Singapore, Dubai, Italy, Iceland, Mexico, Venezuela and Spain have gotten hitched in this romantic palace on the sea coast.
The Art Gallery in Balchik was established in 1937. Its fund counts over 1600 works of art by Bulgarian and foreign artists. On the first floor there are exhibition halls for temporary and visiting exhibitions and a foreign art hall. On the second floor one can see the permanent museum exhibition, including the most significant works of Bulgarian artists. The Gallery is open all year round and is the center of international festivals.
The Historical museum in Balchik owns a fund of over 20000 movable cultural assets, divided into three collections – archeological, ethnographic and artistic. In its structure are included four objects – Main Exposition, Ethnographic Exposition, National Revival Complex, Teketo Site. It is actively present in the cultural life of the city and the region.
The Ethnographic Museum finds in a beautiful restored house of a Balkan merchant (opposite the Historical museum) and preserves the comfort of rustic and urban type guest rooms from the end of the 19th century. Two floored building, where different crafts are displayed: crafts – waiter, blacksmith, carpentry; the lifestyle of the local people – work and holiday suits, fishing nets, looms and harvesting tools, etc.
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