The present publication is preparated with the support of the European Union. Responsibility for the content of this publication is borne solely by the Municipality of Varna and "Sustainable Development" Foundation. By no way does this publication represent the view of the European Union.

There are many memorable and attractive places connected with the traditions and culture of every people. They lend the nation that unique charm which distinguishes it from other nations. Original in content, with tangible presence, modern vitality, ancient history, here on the sea, named by the ancient Greeks euksinos meaning hospitable, and by the Slavs black lies a fabulous city. Established 26 centirues ago by Greek colonizers from the city of Milet in Asia Minor, the city of Odessos (city on water), modern Varna managed to survive despite the tricks of fortune and preserve its genuine and natural beauty throughout the centuries. Thus, historically Varna was established as one of the ancient cities in Europe. The city was given its modern name Varna after the establishment of the Bulgarian state in 681. Byzantian historians wrote that Khan Asparouh reached "Varna, close to Odessos". Until 10th century that was the name of the river with the lakes which still exist nowadays. The first information of a city with the name Varna date back to the middle of the 11th century. For a long time the city remains the largest fortress and port on the west coast of the Black sea. It was involved in the territory of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom in 1201 by King Kaloyan. In 1366 Varna became the capital of the Dobrudzha Despotstvo (small kingdom ruled by a despot – translator's note). It is a bishopric center, subordinated to the Constantinople Patriarchy.

Varna was conquered by Ottoman Turks in 1388/89. Near the city on 10.11.1444 the memorable battle of the Christians, lead by King Vladislav III Yagolo (Varnenchik) with the ottoman army of Sultan Murad II took place.

Varna is among the first Bulgarian cities, where the ideas of the Revival (Bulgarian Renaissance) spread. In 1860 the first Bulgarian school was opened there and in 1861 the first Bulgarian church. A Music Society was established in the same year and in 1870 the first public community center (a cultural phenomenon, typical only of Bulgaria) opened its doors. That is a center where in those years people read books and newspapers, acted in theater plays, played music, painted, held lectures, etc. In 1875 the Philharmonic Society was established and 4 years later the first choir. The first music school in the country was established in Varna in 1889. These processes took place in Europe 200 years earlier, however, Bulgarians were late because of the 5-century ottoman yolk.

The aspiration and natural orientation to common European values build the modern vision of the city of Varna.

Tourism is a traditional industry in regional economy and is historically connected with the development of Northeastern Bulgaria.

Last updated: 19.01.2005