BALCHIK is a coastal town in the region of Dobrich, North-eastern Bulgaria, situated in the middle part of the northern Bulgarian Black Sea coast, near the Albena Resort. It is an administrative and economic center of the municipality of Balchik. By the end of 2011, the town of Balchik had 11,321 inhabitants.
A significant sight of Balchik is the Balchik Palace Architectural and Park Complex consisting of villas (summer houses), built in 1924-1934 as summer residence of the Queen of Romania Marie of Edinburgh in the southernmost part of the newly acquired lands, and the Botanical Garden created in 1955 by the academician Daki Yordanov, today with an area of 194 decares.
From the Hundred National Tourist Sites of the Bulgarian Tourist Union, the following are located in Balchik:
The Architectural and Park Ensemble that includes the buildings of the Palace Complex built for summer residence of the Romanian Queen Marie during the Romanian occupation of Southern Dobrudzha (1919-1940) and the Botanical Garden created by the academician Daki Yordanov after the liberation of South Dobrudzha. Today, the Botanical Garden has the richest collection of cactuses and succulents on the Balkans and in Eastern Europe. The Botanical Garden stretches over an area of 194 m² and has the status of Protected Area under the Protected Areas Act. The two sites are now managed by two institutions: the Botanical Garden is managed by the Sofia University and the buildings are managed by the Ministry of Culture. On 27 July 2015, the Botanical Garden celebrated its 60th anniversary. In 2005, the University Botanic Garden opened its newly-built part, specifically designed for visitation by people with disabilities. It was officially opened on the 50th anniversary of the Garden. In its greenhouses, there are lemons the size of a handball ball and many other exotic fruits such as bananas, papaya, etc. In the Palace Complex, except for the royal apartment where there is an exhibition housed, everyone who can afford it has the privilege of staying in the suites of the princes and courtiers and having dinner in the royal dining room. Frances Ford Coppola and his acting team, ministers, the Bulgarian president, and artists have also benefited from this opportunity.
The St. Nikolay Mirlikiyski Revival Church built in 1848, together with the Monastery School and the Old Oven opposite the church and the school, presents an ensemble cultural monument of national importance.
The Temple of Cybele discovered near the Ribarski Square is an archaeological cultural monument of supranational significance. The medieval fortress walls of the town preserved in Vasil Levski Residential Area are an archaeological monument of national importance. The Revival stone fountains, the big commercial stone buildings, and the traditional Revival houses that have survived at places are also remarkable works of the Bulgarian architecture.
Monument to the 61 citizens of Balchik that died for the Reunification of Bulgaria in the Wars of 1912-1913, 1915-1918, 1941-1944.
Monument to Captain Georgi Radkov and the light coastal battalion commanded by him that defeated and beat back, in the sea battle near Balchik (1916) on 13.12.1916, the heavy Russian squadron that bombed and tried to destroy the beautiful Bulgarian town.
Memorial plaques to the Macedonian voivodes who were born or lived in Balchik Andon Kalchev and Mihail Daev, the volunteers Georgi Popov, Nikola Ivanov, Nikola Minkov, to the houses of the volunteer Georgi Popov and the fighter pilot Simeon Mihaylov.
Monument to the 73 inhabitants of the town and to over 900 inhabitants of the surrounding villages killed by the Romanian occupiers during the repressions in 1913 – 1940.
Memorial fountain for commemorating the sailors from the Bulgarian Aegean Sea Fleet and the Black Sea Fleet, the revolutionary Koyu Raychev and the Odessos Metropolitan Yosif Bulgarian from Serres who won from the Greek phanariots the church and educational rights of the Bulgarians in the town of Balchik, built in the garden of the St. Nikolay Mirlikiyski Revival Temple.
The town has non-professional theatre and dance groups at the Paisiy Hilendarski Cultural Club, female and mixed choirs and groups of artists, an architectural club, etc. Its guests have been film stars such as Francis Ford Coppola (who even shot his own movie here), Oliver Stone, Sofia Loren, Ben Cross, Sergey Astahov, the ex-president of 20th Century Fox and Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer the legendary producer Sanford (Sandy) Lieberson, the directors Roman Polanski, Krzysztof Zanussi (who had a master class here), David Flores, the Oscar-awarding American Film Academy coach Linda Olshevski, and many others. The town hosts international film and concert festivals, artistic and architectural plainairs, and a variety of cultural events.