The Palace Complex in Balchik

The architectural and park complex called The Palace is located about 2 km southwest of the center of the town of Balchik. It comprises a complex of villas and other buildings situated on the Black Sea Balchik coast. After South Dobrudzha was returned to Bulgaria in 1940, the Palace became Bulgarian again, and around it the academician Daki Yordanov built a Botanical Garden on an area of 194 decares. The complex became one of the major sights on the north Bulgarian sea coast, and it is included in the list of 100 National Tourist Sites.


In the beginning of the 20th century, the locality to the southwest of the town of Balchik was known under the name “The Three Windmills”, and there was also the state forest of Kulak. The area forming property of the monarchy was gradually expanded. By the year 1937, the property already spread on 209.8 decares, and by 1938 the area expanded further and spread to 244.8 decares.
The villa complex in the Romanian queen's summer residence was designed by the Italian architects Americo and Augustino. The construction was carried out in the period 1924 до 1934. In the years of the occupation, a host of Romanian aristocrats and intellectuals bought land properties in Balchik. They were often invited to the royal residence, which turned the Palace into a cultural hub. On September 7, 1940 the Bulgarian king Boris III, relying on international support, was able to sign the Craiova Treaty, and to return Balchik and the whole of South Dobrudzha to Bulgaria. In 1948, by dint of an interstate agreement between Romania and Bulgaria, the site was granted to the Bulgarian side for stewardship. By means of Order No. 1650/30.08.1961, the Council of Ministers of the People's Republic of Bulgaria approved of the purchasing of real estates, owned by Romania and located on the territory of the People's Republic of Bulgaria. The former Balchik Palace was one of the properties. In 1970, an agreement was signed between the People's Republic of Bulgaria and the Socialist Republic of Romania regarding the transferral of property of several real estates, comprising the whole area and all the buildings of the former Balchik Palace. Nowadays, the Palace is well preserved and regularly renovated; after the 80s of the 20th century it was turned into a remarkable tourist site.


The Palace includes two main sections: the buildings and the Botanical Garden with a park. The most important natural landmark of the Palace is the abundant and crystal clear water of the Byal Kladenets (“White Well”) and Chatal Cheshma (“Chatal Fountain”) springs. The water flowed along a small valley and moved the millstones of the water mills in the locality. The architecture of the Palace has intertwined Old Bulgarian, Gothic, Oriental, Mauritanian elements. The complex also includes auxiliary buildings and a number of villas. The road to it descends between two rows of stone walls and reaches the main entrance with the sentries booth. In the yard, the “Stella Maris” Chapel was built. Other popular sites are the Divine Garden, the English Garden, the Garden with the Cruciform Water Mirror, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Palace Bridge and the yacht storage sites, the Power Station and the Sighs Bridge, the Alley of Wine, the Alley of Centuries, the Hanging Terraces, the grave of queen Marie, and other sites.