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  • Writer's pictureStefan Ivanov

The Royal Palace in Banya

Updated: Feb 14, 2023

My dear friends, today I have prepared for you a walk around a not so famous royal palace.

This is the Palace in the town of Banya.

The Royale palace in Banya, Karlovo
The Royale palace in Banya

You may hear it as the Palace House or just the Royal House in Banya.

It is currently closed and I have not been able to find any information on whether it can still be viewed from the inside. That's why today we will only enjoy it from the outside.

While I was photographing, kind residents of Banya living across the street shared with me that it had been closed for years.

How to get to the Palace?

It was built in the distant 1929, ie. today the House is almost 100 years old.

The Royale palace in Banya, Karlovo
The Royale palace in Banya

The project is by the famous Bulgarian architects Dimitar Tsolov and Ivan Vasilyov.

This is the only private property of Tsar Boris III himself.

The story goes that the tsar visited the village of Banya (Karlovo region) in 1925. At the time, he was treating his rheumatism in the warm, healing mineral springs of Hisarya nearby.

Strongly impressed by the surroundings and the healing properties of the Karlovo Mineral Baths, the tsar decided to build his summer villa here.

Banya residents immediately named it the Palace. It is the way it is still known today.

The total area of the site is 10 decares and 7 decares is the area of the park, part of the complex.

The Royale palace im Banya, Karlovo
The Royale palace im Banya

It is a well-known fact that the king is an amateur botanist, which is why he is building a wonderful green area around his villa. It is said that in addition to the river flowing through the park, there is also a hot healing mineral spring.

Outside, behind the big stone wall, today I notice only the large and beautiful verandas and the windows with their beautiful shutters.

It seems that today only the family of woodpeckers are the only permanent occupants of the property.

Talking to the people of Banya, I understand that the House is simply furnished, without unnecessary luxury. It is furnished with authentic oriental furniture, and on the walls still hang works of the most prominent Bulgarian artists, close and appreciated by the Bulgarian royal dynasty.

The Tsar and his queen

Did you know that Tsar Boris III once married one of the most impressive princesses in Europe at the time, the daughter of the Italian royal family, Giovanna of Savoy? Marriage of love in royal circles is an exception!

How did this happen?

During one of his visits to Italy, Boris met his future wife. Three years later, the tsar and the young princess meet again - he proposes marriage to her, and she immediately confirms with "yes".

As he is an Orthodox Christian and Giovanna is a Catholic, two weddings follow - one in Assisi, Italy and then one in Sofia, where the queen takes the name Joanna.

They have two children - Simeon II and Maria Louisa.

The tsar and the queen keep their fiery and true love until the end.

After the unexpected death of Tsar Boris III (only 49 years old) came extremely difficult years for Queen Joanna.

Hard and steadfast, she does not give up her "second homeland" for a moment, as she herself has always called Bulgaria.

After the events surrounding the "Symbolic War" and the indescribable destruction, especially in the capital, Queen Joanna is constantly touring Bulgaria without security - "I am a queen and my protection is the Bulgarian people."

In 1946, when Bulgaria was declared a republic, the royal family was forced to leave their homeland.

After 47 years of exile far from her homeland, Queen Joanna returned to Bulgaria for the first time in 1993.

On August 28, 1993, on the 50th anniversary of the death of Tsar Boris III, Queen Joanna worshiped at his tomb in the Rila Monastery.

Joanna Balgarska died at the advanced age of 92.

She was laid to rest in the church of St. Francis in Assisi, Italy, the place where he married his great and true love - Tsar Boris III.

I wish you an exceptional and impressive walk!

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