The State Puppet Varna Theatre was established in 1952 and opened on a new scene in 1985 – a year after we completed our work on the reconstruction of its new building in 1984.
The theatre has its own building in the city centre – a valuable architectural monument that is originally adapted to the needs of a modern cultural institute.
An area of 2,440 square meters accommodates a 130-seat hall, a rehearsing hall, dressing rooms, administration premises, workshops, Museum of Puppets.
A Museum of Puppets has been opened in 1985 at the theatre – the only one of this kind on the Balkans and one of the very few puppet museums in Europe. The exposition presents near 130 theatre puppets and scenery elements from 24 emblematic performances played from 1952 to 2002.
State Puppet Theatre 4, Dragoman street Varna 9000
Kamchia is a river in the North East part of Bulgaria, 244km long.
The most interesting part is near the firth of the river between the villages Byala and Shkorpilovci, around 25 km south of Varna. That part of the river is declared for biosphere reserve. It contains mainly longnose groves which are one of the most northern ones in Europe as they are not typical for the temperate continental zone.
Along the river there is a fisherman village. People offer boat trips along the river which are fantastic only for 5 leva per person.
The resort Kamchia is mainly visited by Russians as there is a Russian children's health center. They say this is the biggest investment of Moscow out of Russia.
Kranevo is a village located 25 km north of Varna, on the way to Balchik. Kranevo is famous with its wide beach. It is connected with one of the most popular resort on the Black sea – Albena (only 3 km along the sea). There is a popular beach bar that hosts famous DJ-s – Vanilla Beach.
I didn’t know that it does exist and I found out this summer. Our friends took us there and we had amazing time. The area is huge and you can have barbecue there, also a rose garden and a small waterfall and many others that we could not see…next time.
It is on the north side of St. St. Konstantin and Elena resort.
Bulgarian rock monasteries were mostly established during the era of the Second Bulgarian Empire (12th to 14th centuries AD). As an alternative to the rich mainstream monasteries these would have been inhabited by particularly pious, hermit, Orthodox monks and used as retreats.
One of the most famous is the Aladzha Monastery, about 17 km north of Varna. This is situated on top of the Perchemli Tepe (hill) in the Zlatni Piasatsi Nature Park overlooking the Golden Sands seaside resort.
The name "Aladzha", meaning "colourful", referred to its religous frescoes and mosiacs. Unfortunately most of these have not withstood the centuries of disuse following the Ottoman period but a small museum on the site has preserved enough to give one an idea of their magnificence.
What is well-preserved though is the original structure. The Monastery was built on two levels set into the 40 m high limestone cliff. The monks cells, on the lower level, would have been spartan, simple caves in the rock face, and their communal areas equally basic. On the upper level is the chapel which contained the religous ornamentation and as well as being a daily place of prayer was also, probably, a place of pilgrimage.
Although the site is no longer sanctified many modern-day visitors still regard it as a pilgimage and leave token offerings.
The site is open to visitors 10am to 5pm, 6 days a week in the summer (closed Mondays) and closed Sundays as well during the winter (although I'm not sure when winter begins as we visited on a November Sunday!). Entry fee at time of writing was 5 Leva which includes the museum.
To drive to the Monastery from Varna take the main E87 coast road heading north - there is signposted car park just after the Zlatni Piasatsi fork.
By public transport take either the 109 or 409 buses from the stop on Maria Lousia, opposite the cathedral. These run about every twenty minutes with a journey time of about forty minutes, the fare is (Nov 2009) 3 Leva which you pay on the bus. The Nature Park entrance is opposite the resort's main bus stop. From there it is a pleasant forty-five minute woodland hike up the hill (take the "yellow route" up) - see my Golden Sands page for more about the Nature Park.
This is where you'll find out a lot about the history of the monastery, and even see some pictures showing how it used to look.
There's also an exhibition of paintings, crosses and painted eggs, among other things.
May – Oct 9-18 (every day)
Nov – Apr 9-16 (days off: Sun and Mon)
The Aladzha rock monastery is situated 16km from Varna.
Its name comes from the Turkish word for colourful ("aladzha") due most probably to the bright colours of its wall paintings, dating back to the early Middle Ages.
It used to have two levels. The lower floor hosted the monks' private cells, common rooms (kitchen, dining room) and a small church, while the upper level was dedicated entirely to a chapel.
According to some historians, primitive monks' cells were built and inhabited in the 4th century AC. The entire monastery is considered to date back to the 12th century AC.
Unfortunately, nowadays only few of the frescoes are preserved (most of these to be found in the chapel).
The monastery is declared a cultural sight and houses a small museum.
Chaika (or Kabakum as it appears to be better known) is a few miles north of Varna, and is a genuine local beach which retains its true Bulgarian character. About 1.5km long, good sand, beach bars, great atmosphere. Any bus ending in 9 will get you there (stop at "Horizont" and walk down the steps) Superb seafood restaurants too!
Sv. Nikolai church on ulitsa Knyas Boris was built in the 1860ties and has beautiful murals, which are comperatively young-from the 1960ties.
The Church is open from 7am-6pm, admission is free. If you want to take inside pictures, you'll have to donate 5 BGN.
Next to the Roman Baths you find the mainly overlooked City Museum. You'll get a guided tour through the recent history of Varna for 4 BGN. I liked the 2nd floor especially, where they have replicas of how interiors of cafés, hotels etc looked in the 1920ties in Varna.
The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 1oam to 5pm.
On Bulevard Primorski have find another excavation site of Roman baths. These ruins are much smaller than those of the Roman Thermae. The baths here were built in the 4th century AD. The area is closed, but you can see them quite well from the street.
This festival is called like that after Uria Heep's song 'July Morning'. I think it started in the 80's with a bunch of Bulgarian hippie fans. It started as a big beach party on thie night before July 1st and the idea was to party all night long and meet the first sunshine. I think that the biggest celebrations are in Varna, but there are other places along the cosat as well. It's basicly people gather on the beach, there are many groups, some make a fire, some bring their guitars, some sing and dance, some get absolutely wasted... There are usually also concerts and other activities.
The fist time I went was in 1992, a schoolmate took me along with others from my school. It was the same day we finished the school year and we received our grades. Since we had to leave right after school and I wouldn't have time to go home to show my grades to my parents, and definately couldn't tell them where I was going, I made a plan. The day before I forged another grade book with all the signatures, etc. (I knew my grades already, anyway) and before leaving for school in the morning, I left the grade book on the table together with a note saying that after school I was going to a houseparty with a girlfriend and was going to stay at her place...The plan worked fine and we had a great time there. The next few years I went to the festival again, but I think that the first time was the best.
There are numerous resorts close to Varna itself. Golden Sands to the north and Sunny Beach to the south. Both are very touristy as you would expect, and you can find a lot of the same things in Varna at possibly half price.
Also nearby is St Konstantin, Kavarna, Kaliakra and Varna Lake.
When I first saw those paintings I can't believe that they were even better than the originals. Just bring the photo and after 3,4 days the artist will finish the painting. If you don't have a photo of you they will take it.
The price is very accetable - about 40 Euro.
It was opened in 2003. It is situated in north side of the resort. Many attractions interesting attractions -slow river, many slides for children and adults.
You can get there by train every half an hour.
Open hours from 10 a.m. -18.a.m.
- children form 0-90 cm - free
- children from 90 to 120 - 6 leva
- other - 20 leva
If you come after 4 p.m. the price is 50% off.