Varna Province

Last updated

Coordinates: 43°13′N27°28′E / 43.217°N 27.467°E / 43.217; 27.467

Contents

Varna Province
Област Варна
Varna in Bulgaria.svg
Location of Varna Province in Bulgaria
Country Bulgaria
Capital Varna
Municipalities 12
Government
  GovernorStoyan Passev
Area
[1]
  Total3,819.5 km2 (1,474.7 sq mi)
Population
 (May 2018) [2] [3] [4]
  Total511,200
  Density130/km2 (350/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+2 (EET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+3 (EEST)
License plate B
Website vn.government.bg

Varna Province (Bulgarian : Област Варна, romanized: Oblast Varna), formerly known as Varna okrug, is a province in eastern Bulgaria, one of the 28 Bulgarian provinces. It comprises 12 municipalities [lower-alpha 1] with a population of 494,216 inhabitants as of April 2016. [2] [3] [4] The province is named after its administrative centre, Varna.

Geography

One of Byala's beaches Byala2.jpg
One of Byala's beaches

The province's territory is 3,819.5 km². [1] It borders the Black Sea and covers parts of the hilly Danubian Plain (including parts of the Franga Plateau, South Dobruja, the Provadiya Plateau, Ludogorie, and the Avren Plateau), Eastern Stara Planina, the Varna Devnya valley with the lakes (limans) of Varna and Beloslav, and the Kamchiya river valley. Other rivers include Provadiya, Devnya, and Batova, and the largest artificial lake is Tsonevo.

The Black Sea coast is hilly and verdant, mostly cliff, with a couple of rocky headlands (Cape Galata, Cape St. Athanasius), several expansive sand beaches, the largest of which, at the mouths of the rivers Kamchiya and Shkorpilovska, is nearly 13 km (8.1 mi) long and up to 200–300 m wide, and many small cove beaches. Agricultural lands cover 60% of the area, with fertile chernozem soils mostly in the north and west; forests—28.1% (with some of the oldest oak massives in the nation), mostly in the south; and urban zones—6.8%.

Natural resources include large deposits of rock salt, limestone, silica, and clays, all extensively used in local chemical, cement and glass manufacturing and construction; silica is also exported. Significant deposits of medicinal fango (mineral mud) are found in Lake Varna. The province abounds in thermal mineral waters. There are natural gas reserves. The offshore Galata gas field, a relatively minor project with planned cumulative production of 2 billion cubic meters, is expected to provide up to 15% of the nation's gas consumption for its lifetime. Manganese ore deposits are found.

The climate inland is temperate, with cold, damp winters and hot, dry summers, and akin to Mediterranean along the Black Sea coast, with milder winters and cooler summers.

Municipalities

The Varna province—or oblast—contains 12 municipalities (Bulgarian : община, romanized: obština, plural: общини, obštini). The following table shows the names of each municipality in English and Cyrillic, the main town (in bold) or village, and the population of each in December 2009.

MunicipalityCyrillicPop. [2] [3] [4] Town/VillagePop. [3] [5] [6] [7] [8]
Aksakovo Аксаково 21,919 Aksakovo 7,897
Avren Аврен 9,089 Avren 750
Beloslav Белослав 11,257 Beloslav 7,937
Byala Бяла 3,729 Byala 2,171
Dolni Chiflik Долни чифлик 19,316 Dolni Chiflik 6,706
Devnya Девня 9,234 Devnya 8,383
Dalgopol Дългопол 14,364 Dalgopol 4,829
Provadia Провадия 23,045 Provadia 12,901
Suvorovo Суворово 7,544 Suvorovo 4,723
Valchi Dol Вълчи дол 11,093 Valchi Dol 3,460
Varna Варна 329,173 Varna 320,837
Vetrino Ветрино 5,702 Vetrino 1,036

Population

The following table represents the change of the population in the province after World War II:

Varna Province
Year19461956196519751985199220012005200720092011
Population266,733314,214366,855431,024464,807462,970462,013458,157458,264465,465475,074
Sources: National Statistical Institute, [2] „Census 2001“, [3] „Census 2011“, [4] „pop-stat.mashke.org“,??

In late 2009, the population of the province, announced by the Bulgarian National Statistical Institute, numbered 465,465 [2] of which

Ethnic groups

Ethnic groups in Varna Province (2011 census)
Ethnic groupPercentage
Bulgarians
87.3%
Turks
7.2%
Romani
3.2%
others and indefinable
2.3%

Total population (2011 census): 475,074

Ethnic groups (2011 census): [10] Identified themselves: 424 893 persons:

A further 50,000 persons in Varna Province did not declare their ethnic group at the 2011 census.

Ethnic groups according to the 2001 census, when 462 013 people of the population of 462,013 of Varna Province identified themselves (with percentage of total population): [11]

The ethnic composition at the 2001 census included Bulgarians—85.3%; Turks—8.1%; Romani—3.4% (there are a few mostly Roma-populated villages such as Lyuben Karavelovo in Aksakovo municipality—inhabited by Boyash of the Kopanari subgroup); Armenians—0.6%; Russians—0.3% (including about 340 Cossacks in the Lipovan village of Kazashko); and smaller numbers of Ukrainians, Jews, Greeks, Crimean Tatars, Circassians, Vlachs, and others. There is a growing number of western expatriates and new Chinese, Arab and other immigrants.

Several rural villages in the municipalities of Aksakovo, Suvorovo, and Valchidol, as well as the Vinitsa district of Varna, have historically been populated mostly by Gagauz.

Religion

Religions in Varna Province (2011 census) [12]
Religious groupPercentage
Orthodox Christian
59.59%
Muslim
4.32%
Protestant Christian
0.59%
Roman Catholic Christian
0.33%
others and indefinable
35.13%

Religious adherence in the province according to 2001 census: [13]

Census 2001
religious adherencepopulation %
Orthodox Christians 394,35785.36%
Muslims 45,6729.89%
Protestants 1,3950.30%
Roman Catholics 7490.16%
Other3,2960.71%
Religion not mentioned16,5443.58%
total462,013100%
River Kamchiya The kamchia river galleryfull-world66.jpg
River Kamchiya
Cape Galata Cape Galata, Varna.JPG
Cape Galata
Varna Varno katedralo.jpg
Varna
Pobiti Kamani Pobitite kamyni.JPG
Pobiti Kamani
Euxinograd Euxinograd-palace-benkovski.png
Euxinograd
Golden Sands BG Golden Sands.jpg
Golden Sands
Chudnite skali on Lake Tsonevo Wonderful Rocks (Tsonevo).jpg
Chudnite skali on Lake Tsonevo

History

The area has been populated at least since the Neolith and was a major centre of an Eneolithic culture with unique skills in metallurgy and seafaring, with a developed social structure and religion (see Varna Necropolis, site of arguably the oldest man-made gold treasure in the world). Solnitsata, the earliest known European town, was in what is today Varna Province. [14]

By the first millennium BC, it was inhabited by Thracians who dominated it throughout classical antiquity; by the end of the period they were largely Romanized. In the 6th century BC, an ancient Greek trading colony (apoikia), Odessos (Varna), was founded, becoming an enduring contact zone between Thracians and Greeks. In the 4th century, the province was included in the empire of Philip II, Alexander the Great and his diadochus Lysimachus.

By the first century AD, it was conquered by the Roman Empire. Under Emperor Diocletian, Marcianopolis (Devnya) became the centre of the Roman province of Moesia Secunda of the Diocese of Thrace. During Emperor Valens' wars with the Goths (366-369), this city was temporary capital of the empire. Both Marcianopolis and Odessus (the Roman name of Odessos) were major early Christian centres. It is believed that Saint Andrew founded the local Christian church and his disciple Ampliatus served as bishop at Odessus.

In the 6th century, Slavs' migrations altered the ethnic composition of the then Byzantine province. Between 680 and 681, it became the heartland of the First Bulgarian Empire, whose capital was perhaps initially near Varna, before it moved to Pliska. Two of the most significant scriptoria of the Preslav Literary School were at Ravna (near Provadiya) and Varna.

The latter two cities were major fortresses and trade emporia of the Second Bulgarian Empire as well. The peasant war of Ivailo in the late 13th century started from the region, which at the time was plagued by Tatar raids and was finally subdued by the Ottomans in 1389. In 1444, the Battle of Varna was fought, as were several ground and naval battles of the Russo-Turkish wars of the 18th and 19th century.

Under the Ottomans, the population became extremely diverse, with significant number of Turks and other Muslim peoples arriving from Asia Minor, the steppes north of the Black Sea, and the Caucasus, along with Orthodox Christian Gagauz, Armenians, and Sephardic Jews from Thessaloniki. Many Bulgarians from the region were forcibly relocated to Asia Minor and, in the wake of the Russo-Turkish wars, up to 250,000 eastern Bulgarians were transferred to Russian Bessarabia and Crimea.

Compact Bulgarian population persisted throughout the Provadiya Plateau, Devnya Valley, and Eastern Stara Planina. Villagers from places such as Chenge (modern Asparuhovo, municipality of Dalgopol), Gulitsa (modern Golitsa, municipality of Dolni Chiflik), and neighbouring Erkech (modern Kozichino, Burgas Province) later colonized and returned the Bulgarian ethnic character to dozens of villages throughout northeastern and southeastern Bulgaria, including much of Varna province.

After the liberation of 1878, with the exodus of most Turks and Greeks and the migrations of Bulgarians from other parts of Bulgaria, mostly Stara Planina, as well as North Dobruja, Asia Minor, Bessarabia, and later from Macedonia and Eastern Thrace, ethnic diversity gradually gave way to Bulgarian predominance.

One of the versions of a folk song, inspired by the Ruse blood wedding, can be heard in the province.

Economy

The province is second only to Sofia in foreign direct investment; its GDP per capita is higher and its unemployment is the lowest in the country. Per capita income is fifth highest in the nation (2007). The economy is service-oriented; it was responsible for over 30% of the nation's revenue in tourism (2004). (See the list of coastal resorts, beaches, and locales below.)

It is an important communications and transportation hub with the Port of Varna on the Black Sea and inland waterways, the International Airport of Varna, the Varna railway ferry terminal, parts of several railway lines (including the oldest one in Bulgaria, Rousse-Varna, opened 1866) and junctions (Sindel, Razdelna, Komunari), and portions of two of the nation's motorways (Haemus and Cherno More). Varna is the easternmost destination of Pan-European transport corridor 8 and is closely connected to corridors 7 and 9 via Rousse.

In June 2007, Eni and Gazprom disclosed the South Stream project whereby a 900 km-long offshore natural gas pipeline from Russia's Dzhubga with annual capacity of 30 billion cubic meters is planned to come ashore possibly at Pasha dere, near the Galata offshore gas field, en route to Italy and Austria.

Manufacturing is concentrated mostly in the Varna-Devnya Industrial Complex and Provadiya. Agriculture (notably wheat, fruit, wineries) and forestry are also of economic significance.

The province is a major education and international culture centre with five universities, several other higher learning and research institutions, museums, performing arts institutions, and hosted international events.

Real estate has been booming over the last few years[ when? ] in Varna and rural villages near the coast and inland. "English villages" of Britons settling in Bulgaria emerged in the rural countryside at Avren, Banovo (municipality of Suvorovo), and General Kantardzhievo (municipality of Aksakovo), among others.

Towns and villages

Sights

Varna is Bulgaria's third largest city, after Sofia and Plovdiv. The oldest gold (dated 4200-4600 BC) in the world was found near the city. It was an inhabited place long before the Greeks established the colony of Odessos there about 580 BC. Later, under the Romans and their successors, the Slavs and Bulgarians, Varna became a major port trading with Constantinople, Venice and Dubrovnik.

In 1393 it was captured by the Turks, who made it an important military centre. Nowadays it is the nation's main port for both naval and commercial shipping and, adjacent as it is to the coastal resorts of Constantine and Helena, Riviera, Golden Sands, and Kamchia. Sailors on shore-leave in unfamiliar ceremonial uniforms, mingle with foreign tourists and locals as they promenade along shady boulevards, lined by dignified 19th and early 20th century buildings.

The 19th century Dormition of the Theotokos Cathedral is an imposing landmark, which contains a finely carved iconostasis and bishop's throne, some interesting murals and stained glass.

The 2nd century Thermae are the remains of the largest Roman public building in Bulgaria. During this century enough has been revealed by archaeologists to give a good impression of the original layout, though some parts of the building remain hidden under nearby streets. Coming across an extensive ancient building amidst the streets and houses of a modern city is not unusual in Bulgaria and is a delight.

Further from the centre, a monument commemorates the Battle of Varna, which took place in 1444. Here 30,000 crusaders were waiting to sail to Constantinople when they were attacked by 120,000 Turks. The Polish King Ladislaus III was killed in a bold attempt to capture Sultan Murad II. The subsequent retreat foreshadowed Christendom's general retreat before the advancing Ottomans. North of Varna there is a cluster of seaside resorts all with fine sandy beaches but differing in size and style.

Some other places of interest include (by municipality):

See also: Byala, Devnya, Provadiya

Environment

Environment in Varna Province is subject to strict national and international protection, due to its vulnerability and international significance.

Reserves

National parks

Protected areas

Nature landmarks

Coastal resorts, beaches, and locales

See also

Notes

  1. общини, obštini, sing.; община, obština

Related Research Articles

Varna, Bulgaria City in Bulgaria

Varna is the third-largest city in Bulgaria and the largest city and seaside resort on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast and in the Northern Bulgaria region. Situated strategically in the Gulf of Varna, the city has been a major economic, social and cultural centre for almost three millennia. Historically known as Odessos, Varna developed from a Thracian seaside settlement to a major seaport on the Black Sea.

Bulgarian Black Sea Coast

The Bulgarian Black Sea Coast, also known as the Bulgarian Riviera, covers the entire eastern bound of Bulgaria stretching from the Romanian Black Sea resorts in the north to European Turkey in the south, along 378 km of coastline. White and golden sandy beaches occupy approximately 130 km of the 378 km long coast. The region is an important center of tourism during the summer season (May–October), drawing millions of foreign and local tourists alike and constituting one of the country's most popular tourist destinations. Prior to 1989 the Bulgarian Black Sea coast was internationally known as the Red Riviera. Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, however, its nickname has been changed to the Bulgarian Riviera.

Devnya Place in Varna, Bulgaria

Devnya is a town in Varna Province, Northeastern Bulgaria, located about 25 km away to the west from the city of Varna and The Black Sea Coast. It is the administrative centre of the homonymous Devnya Municipality. As of December 2009, the town has a population of 8,383 inhabitants.

Municipalities of Bulgaria

The 28 provinces of Bulgaria are divided into 265 municipalities. Municipalities typically comprise multiple towns, villages and settlements and are governed by a mayor who is elected by popular majority vote for a four-year term, and a municipal council which is elected using proportional representation for a four-year term. The creation of new municipalities requires that they must be created in a territory with a population of at least 6,000 and created around a designated settlement. They must also be named after the settlement that serves as the territory's administrative center, among other criteria.

Dolni Chiflik Place in Varna, Bulgaria

Dolni Chiflik is a town in northeastern Bulgaria, part of Varna Province, located near the Kamchiya River about 14 km away from the Black Sea coast. It is the administrative centre of the homonymous Dolni Chiflik Municipality. As of December 2009, the town has a population of 6,706 inhabitants.

Severoiztochen Planning Region Planning region in Bulgaria

Severoiztochen Planning Region is a planning region in Bulgaria.The region includes four provinces: Targovishte Province, Varna Province, Shumen Province and Dobrich Province.

Avren, Varna Province Place in Varna, Bulgaria

Avren is a village in northeastern Bulgaria, part of Varna Province. It is the administrative centre of the homonymous Avren Municipality in the eastern part of Varna Province.

Provadia Municipality Municipality in Varna, Bulgaria

Provadia Municipality is a municipality (obshtina) in Varna Province, Northeastern Bulgaria. It is named after its administrative centre - the town of Provadia.

Suvorovo Municipality Municipality in Varna, Bulgaria

Suvorovo Municipality is a municipality (obshtina) in Varna Province, Northeastern Bulgaria, not far from the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast. It is named after its administrative centre – the town of Suvorovo.

Valchi Dol Municipality Municipality in Varna, Bulgaria

Valchi Dol Municipality is a municipality (obshtina) in Varna Province, Northeastern Bulgaria. It is named after its administrative centre - the town of Valchi Dol.

Beloslav Municipality Municipality in Varna, Bulgaria

Beloslav Municipality is a municipality (obshtina) in Varna Province, Northeastern Bulgaria, not far from the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast. It is named after its administrative centre - the town of Beloslav.

Byala Municipality, Varna Province Municipality in Varna, Bulgaria

Byala Municipality is a municipality (obshtina) in Varna Province, located in the central part of the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast. It is named after its administrative centre - the town of Byala.

Varna Municipality Municipality in Varna, Bulgaria

Varna Municipality is a seaside municipality (obshtina) in Varna Province, Northeastern Bulgaria, located on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast and near Varna lake. It is named after its administrative centre - the city of Varna - which is also the capital of the homonymous province.

Devnya Municipality Municipality in Varna, Bulgaria

Devnya Municipality is a municipality (obshtina) in Varna Province, Northeastern Bulgaria, not far from the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast. It is named after its administrative centre - the town of Devnya.

Dalgopol Municipality Municipality in Varna, Bulgaria

Dalgopol Municipality is a municipality (obshtina) in Varna Province, Northeastern Bulgaria. It is named after its administrative centre - the town of Dalgopol.

Dolni Chiflik Municipality Municipality in Varna, Bulgaria

Dolni Chiflik Municipality is a municipality (obshtina) in Varna Province, Northeastern Bulgaria. It is named after its administrative centre - the town of Dolni Chiflik.

Vetrino Municipality Municipality in Varna, Bulgaria

Vetrino Municipality is a municipality (obshtina) in Varna Province, Northeastern Bulgaria. It is named after its administrative centre – the village of Vetrino.

Aksakovo Municipality Municipality in Varna, Bulgaria

Aksakovo Municipality is a municipality (obshtina) in Varna Province, Northeastern Bulgaria, located near the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast. It is named after its administrative centre – the town of Aksakovo.

Avren Municipality Municipality in Varna, Bulgaria

Avren Municipality is a seaside municipality (obshtina) in Varna Province, Northeastern Bulgaria. It is named after its administrative centre – the village of Avren.

Sindel (village) Village in Varna Province, Bulgaria

Sindel is a village in the municipality of Avren, in Varna Province, northeastern Bulgaria. It's an important railway junction for the Varna-Sofia railway line, and the railway to the settlements of Dalgopol, Komunari, Asparuhovo and Karnobat.

References

  1. 1 2 (in English) Bulgarian Provinces area and population 1999 — National Center for Regional Development — page 90-91 Archived 2011-01-13 at the Wayback Machine
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 (in English) Bulgarian National Statistical Institute - Bulgarian provinces and municipalities in 2015
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 (in English) „WorldCityPopulation“
  4. 1 2 3 4
  5. 1 2 (in English) Bulgarian National Statistical Institute - Bulgarian towns in 2009
  6. "pop-stat.mashke.org".
  7. (in English) Bulgarian National Statistical Institute - Bulgarian villages under 1000 inhabitants - December 2009
  8. (in English) Bulgarian National Statistical Institute - Bulgarian Settlements 1000-5000 inhabitants - December 2009
  9. (in English) Bulgarian National Statistical Institute - Population by age in 2009 Archived 2012-05-13 at the Wayback Machine
  10. Population by province, municipality, settlement and ethnic identification, by 01.02.2011; Bulgarian National Statistical Institute (in Bulgarian)
  11. (in Bulgarian) Population to 01.03.2001 by District and Ethnic Group from Bulgarian National Statistical Institute: Census 2001
  12. "Religious composition: 2011 census". pop-stat.mashke.org. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  13. (in Bulgarian) Religious adherence in Bulgaria - census 2001
  14. Maugh II, Thomas H. (1 November 2012). "Bulgarians find oldest European town, a salt production center". The Los Angeles Times . Retrieved 1 November 2012.