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Photographer's Note

Varna view -Opera
By 1878, Varna was an Ottoman city of mostly wooden houses in a style characteristic of the Black Sea coast, densely packed along narrow, winding lanes.[60][61] It was surrounded by a stone wall restored in the 1830s with a citadel, a moat, ornamented iron gates flanked by towers, and a vaulted stone bridge across the River Varna. The place abounded in pre-Ottoman relics, ancient ruins were widely used as stone quarries.

Today, very little of this legacy remains; the city centre was rebuilt by the nascent Bulgarian middle class in late 19th and early 20th centuries in Western style with local interpretations of Neo-Renaissance, Neo-Baroque, Neoclassicism, Art Nouveau and Art Deco (many of those buildings, whose ownership was restored after 1989, underwent renovations).

Stone masonry from demolished city walls was used for the cathedral, the two elite high schools, and for paving new boulevards. The middle class built practical townhouses and coop buildings. Elegant mansions were erected on main boulevards and in the vineyards north of town. A few industrial working-class suburbs (of one-family cottages with small green yards) emerged. Refugees from the 1910s wars also settled in similar poorer yet vibrant neighbourhoods along the city edges.

During the rapid urbanisation of the 1960s to the early 1980s, large apartment complexes sprawled onto land formerly covered by small private vineyards or agricultural cooperatives as the city population tripled. Beach resorts were designed mostly in a sleek modern style, which was somewhat lost in their recent more lavish renovations. Modern landmarks of the 1960s include the Palace of Culture and Sports, built in 1968.

With the country's return to capitalism since 1989, upscale apartment buildings mushroomed both downtown and on uptown terraces overlooking the sea and the lake. Varna's vineyards (лозя, lozya), dating back perhaps to antiquity and stretching for miles around, started turning from mostly rural grounds dotted with summer houses or villa into affluent suburbs[dead link] sporting opulent villas and family hotels, epitomised by the researched postmodernist kitsch of the Villa Aqua.

With the new suburban construction far outpacing infrastructure growth, ancient landslides were activated, temporarily disrupting major highways. As the number of vehicles quadrupled since 1989, Varna became known for traffic jams; parking on the old town's leafy but narrow streets normally takes the sidewalks. At the same time, stretches of shanty towns, more befitting Rio de Janeiro, remain in Romani neighbourhoods on the western edge of town due to complexities of local politics.

The beach resorts were rebuilt and expanded, fortunately without being as heavily overdeveloped as were other tourist destinations on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast, and their greenery was mostly preserved. New modern office buildings started reshaping the old centre and the city's surroundings.

papagolf21, pajaran, ikeharel, dale54, ChrisJ, Fis2, adramad, cornejo has marked this note useful

Photo Information
  • Copyright: Costantino Topas (COSTANTINO) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 8027 W: 23 N: 14646] (91960)
  • Genre: Places
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2018-10-12
  • Categories: Architecture
  • Exposure: 1/21 seconds
  • Photo Version: Original Version
  • Date Submitted: 2018-10-24 13:56
Viewed: 630
Points: 36
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Additional Photos by Costantino Topas (COSTANTINO) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 8027 W: 23 N: 14646] (91960)
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