Updated: Feb 23
Perhaps there is more hatred in the world today than love. But love is stronger and one day, even if I'm not alive to see it, it must win.
My dear friends, in this travel blog journey I will present to you the incredibly beautiful summer residence of the Romanian Queen Maria, located on the azure coast of Balchik.
The queen herself used to name the place "Tenha Yuva". The first word is of Ottoman origin and is not currently used in Turkish. The second word translated from Turkish will mean "nest" or "home". I.e. the exact translation of the name is "the lonely and secluded nest", but for all in its time remains the "Quiet Nest".
The story of the "Quiet nest" is sad
After the Inter-Allied War, also known as the Second Balkan War (armed conflict between Bulgaria, on the one hand, and Serbia, Greece, Montenegro, Romania and the Ottoman Empire, on the other, in the summer of 1913), Bulgaria was forced to sign the Bucharest Peace Treaty. ceded to his former allies most of Macedonia, and to Romania - South Dobrudzha.
In 1921 the Queen of Romania Maria Edinburgh visited the newly conquered Bulgarian lands and Balchik grabbed her heart.
The beauty of the place on the one hand and the purely political reasons (marking the newly occupied Bulgarian territory as Romanian and in its southernmost point) - on the other hand become the reason for the construction of its new residence - Balchik Palace.
In 1924 the construction started and lasted for more than 11 years.
The love torments of the young and unreasonable Missy
Queen Maria Alexandra Victoria was born on October 29, 1875 in Kent. Scottish by birth, she is a princess of Great Britain and Ireland.
Missy, as she has been called since she was a child, is the heiress of two of the most powerful aristocratic families at the time - the British royal family (paternal granddaughter of British Queen Victoria) and the Russian imperial family (maternal granddaughter of the Russian Emperor Alexander II).
Missy grows up independent and wayward, and her love thrills seem endless.
The story tells why at the age of 17 she married the Romanian Crown Prince Ferdinand, ten years her senior - because the Prince of Wales and future King George V fell in love with her.
Her marriage is far from happy and Missy's heart seeks love elsewhere.
Probably due to her love misfortunes, Missy turns the fabulous bay in Balchik into her last lifeline.
All my life I have dreamed of such a place, imagining that it can only be found in Italy, and here it is in Balchik.
And so began her "artistic whim", with the important Italian architects Augustino and Amerigo taking on this important task, and the masterpiece gardens being the work of the Swiss Jules Joni.
The years go by and Missy's palace becomes more and more charming, magnificent and simply stunningly beautiful!
The whole palace complex includes a main castle and several additional buildings, which can accommodate the numerous and noble guests of Missy.
Missy's desire was for this piece of paradise to recreate the whole world - with all religions, beliefs, symbols and artifacts.
Large-scale receptions were organized here with selected and prominent guests - the whole European aristocracy!
This is the main entrance of the palace complex from the mainland.
From the second floor of Watchtower Villa, four directions can be observed simultaneously: to the Botanical Garden, to the sea, to the main building and to Villa Izbunda (Victory).
The silver well
The spring is named after a fairy tale given by Missy herself because of "the cold, clear and very pure water with a wonderful taste that quenches every thirst."
It can be reached through a fabulous wrought iron gate.
In the center, on a stone platform, is a stone container decorated with biblical crosses.
On the wall opposite the well, the thirst-quenching stranger bows his head to the Infant and the Holy Mother, depicted on a beautiful colored bas-relief.
Silent Nest Main Building
This was Missy's private place.
The palace is a three-story building by the golden beach - from afar it is often confused with a mosque, probably because of its tower.
The blowing wind created a musical extravaganza around!
At the top of the tower was placed an aeolian (named after the Greek wind god Aeolus) harp - a hollow funnel-shaped tube in which strings are stretched and when the wind passes through them, they make a gentle harp sound, announcing the surroundings.
The interior was full of original artifacts.
A high vault led visitors to a dining room, once richly decorated with exquisite copper vessels.
Here was the Queen's personal library, with books mostly in English.
It leads to the veranda, where pots with beautiful wrists are hung on old anchor ropes.
From the spacious veranda, the steps lead to the phenomenal garden with white stone columns given to the queen by her son-in-law - Serbian King Alexander, whose name the garden bears.
Missy's domed bathroom, furnished in oriental style with an aesthetic bathtub in the center, as the hot water came from a specially built steam installation.
Next to the bathroom was the boudoir with a yellow marble sink and a large and lavish mirror.
Colorful and soft light streamed through the stained glass windows.
Right in front of her private villa and by the sandy beach you will notice an authentic marble throne from the II century, decorated with exquisite lion heads.
Here Missy loved to sit staring at the azure boundless sea, tired of her love torments.
And the marble throne itself is said to have been brought by Florence, and was probably the earlier property of a prominent Roman patrician. That was Missy.
The Temple of Water (Nymphaeum)
And today this is definitely one of the most impressive and so romantic places in the whole palace complex.
The fountain here was built much earlier - in the distant 1863. Above it you will see a marble plaque with the inscription:
Drink healthy water from this new fountain, built thanks to Asan Ugli, son of Khaled Aga.
In the middle there is an amazing water mirror, which on a clear evening reflects the moon and the vast starry sky, creating a real romance.
The Bridge of Sighs
The guests of the palace complex were accommodated west of the Bridge of Sighs.
Legend has it that the bridge connected the two worlds - one that gives rest to the body, and the other - charging light in the soul and lightness in the heart.
The Garden of Allah
Turned into a kind of temple of different religions and beliefs, this garden combines elements of the Orient and Europe.
Through the stone wall of the garden by a three-jet fountain the water is poured into a long water mirror, dividing the divine garden in two.
Chapel of the Assumption ("Stella Maris")
A stone path leads to a terrace where the chapel rises.
The throne and the iconostasis were built in 1721.
One last legend ends Missy's life. It says that on a tragic evening, the queen's sons, Mihai and Nikolai, quarreled over a young courtesan. During the quarrel, they pulled out revolvers. Their mother rushed to tear them apart, and Mihai inadvertently shot her deadly.
Queen Maria's heart
Queen Maria died on the evening of July 18, 1938 in Sinaia, Romania.
Her heart, by her special order, is placed in a small golden coffin with the coat of arms of Romania and placed here - in the chapel "Stella Maris".
The cross, placed next to the queen's tomb, is one of the most interesting in the complex, with beautiful carved ornaments and symbols in Church Slavonic.
The rock itself is shaped like a tomb at Miss's personal request.
There is also a seating area at the base of the waist.
Stone steps lead from the tomb itself through the labyrinth in the direction of the palace.
On September 7, 1940, Tsar Boris III, with international support, succeeded in concluding the Craiova Agreement and returning Balchik and the whole of Southern Dobrudja to Bulgaria again.
On September 8, 1940, the coffin with the queen's heart is handed over to her adjutant to be taken back to Romania.
The Palace Architectural and Park Complex is a group cultural monument of national importance and a former summer residence of the Romanian Queen Maria from the beginning of the 20th century.
The Palace Architectural and Park Complex is part of the 100 national tourist sites of Bulgaria under number 24.
I wish you an exceptional and impressive walk!