Balcic is a small town some 40 kilometers from Varna and it used to be a part of the Romanian Kingdom, together with the rest of the southern part of Doborgea, when the political region named Cadrilater was a Romanian territory (1913-1940). In those times, the Romanian royalty and artistic and cultural elite considered Balcic their favorite place for leisure time.
It has been inhabited for a very long time, since Antiquity, when it was known by the name Crunos / Crunon / Crunoi, or Dionysopolis, named after the Greek god of wine and banquets.
The places hardly preserves the romantic touch of the between wars period, due to the newly built communist blocks, but the Castle belonging to Queen Mary of Romania is the centerpiece of the area, which the visitor will love and admire. It’s a classical and simple building, rather modest, compared to what one might imagine when thinking of a royal residence, but it has a scenic look that transmits tranquility and peace. The surrounding garden wears the print of Queen Mary who was passionate of nature and built this park after her own desire and here you can admire a great diversity of plants and flowers.
As the matter of fact, the entire edifice was built at the order of Queen Mary and it represented the summer residence and her favorite place to spend her time in.
The botanic garden, gathering a few hundred species of cactuses and Mediterranean vegetation is unique in Central and Eastern Europe. Queen Mary appealed to the experience of the Swiss garden decorator, Jules Jany, to give it the pattern of the Cretan labyrinth and the rock was built from Crete.
The inside of the castle keeps the same air of austerity, by the small number of rooms. The entrance continues with a 50+ squared meters, the first floor holds a Turkish bath, a living / bedroom, a dressing room and a terrace where you can admire the sea. The white walls contrast the blue of the sea, reminding of Greece.
The Queen suggested the two Italian architects – Augustino and Amerigo – to blend different styles: Moorish, Italian and Turkish – hence the minarets that make it resemble a mosque.
Inside the castle, there’s a restaurant, where the Queen used to serve her meals and now you can take part of this royal adventure and have a taste yourself.
Within the area of the castle there are several villas, a well-known holy spring, a cascade, a chapel and the tomb of Queen Mary. One of the most stunning parts of the areal is Allah’s garden, paved with Moroccan stone.
The entire domain is very vast and you might need a map – which will be sold to you at the entrance, together with the access ticket – to go around.
The first thing that you encounter is the Sentry Box, a triumphal arch, followed by the Silver Well, where you can throw a coin and the legend says that if you make a wish, it will come true. Allah’s garden connects the Silver Well to the Blue Arrow Villa, where you can admire the amazing cactuses and numerous antique objects, stone benches, dating from Queen Mary’s times and beautiful cypress trees.
You will be mesmerized by the Temple of Water, the Stella Maris Chapel, the Blue Wave Lane, the English Court and the Waterfall, among many other surprises.
It is one of the most picturesque places on the Eastern shore of the Black Sea that will definitely offer you beautiful memories and will take you back to the nostalgic ages reigned by an icon of elegance and dignity.