Varna is Bulgaria's third largest city. It was an inhabited place even before the Greeks established the colony of
Odessos there about 580 BC. Later, under the Romans and their successors, the Slavs, 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
Nowadays it is the main port for both naval and commercial shipping and, adjacent as it is to the coastal resorts of
Golden Sands, St. Constantine (Drouzhba) and
Albena, it has a
cosmopolitan atmosphere. 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 Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin is an imposing landmark, which contains a finely carved
iconostasis and bishop's throne, some interesting murals and stained glass.
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