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Black Sea Coast > Balchik > History

History of Balchik

The place was first inhabited by the Ionians in 5th century bBC. They founded a settlement and called it Krouni or Krounoi after the earlier Thracian settlements in the vicinity. The name of the town comes from the Greek word izvori (springs) as there are a lot of karst curing springs in the area. Later on it was renamed Dionisopolis after the name of Dionisius, God of wine and feasts. Some consider that the town was given this particular name because of the statue of Dionisius thrown out onshore.

The image of this god was on the coins minted here, and the town was also the most important centre, second only to Odessoss (Varna) on the northern Black Sea coast till the beginning of the new era. After a sequence of invasions at the time of the Roman Empire the town fell to decay. Later on it was included in the territory of Bulgaria. In 13th - 14th century it moved to Dzhina Bair, a natural fortification.  It was ruled by the Boyar Balik, and so it was called Balchik.  After the Crimean War (1853 - 1856) the town flourished and grew into a big corn-trading centre.  After the Balkan War in 1913 it was included in the territories of Romania. Struck by the natural beauty of the place Queen Maria built a palace and a botanical garden, a chapel and a villa complex for the Romanian aristocrats.  The town turned into a luxurious resort at the time. After 1940 Balchik was again included in Bulgarian territory.

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