, _gr. Karvuna, "black diamond") is a Black Sea coastal town and seaside resort in the Dobruja region of northeastern Bulgaria. It lies 64 km northeast of Varna and 49 km from Dobrich on the international road E87. The population is about 12,500. A little yacht port, a fishing base, a spacious beach and a resort complex exist in the town. The landmark Cape Kaliakra is located a few kilometers to the east, as is the tony beachfront resort of Rusalka. Three 18-hole golf courses with villa communities and marinas are being developed nearby, two of the courses are designed by Gary Player and one by Ian Woosnam.


With the Bulgarian conquest in the 7th century AD, the name "Karvuna" replaced the similarly-sounding ancient Greek "Krounoi" as the then name of the neighboring modern town of Balchik; the names "Karvunska Hora" and "Principality of Karvuna" were related to that town, which was also mentioned on 14th-century Italian portolan charts with the Italianized form "Carbona".

The name "Kavarna" as referring to this city was first mentioned in the 15th century; perhaps it was a new name influenced phonetically by the preexisting names of Karvuna (which town was already known as Balchik) and Varna.


The lay of the land is flat and the seacoast of Kavarna is 42 km long. Along it there are small beaches, including an artificial one. Gore Chirakman with its almost sheer slopes towers above the seacoast. Remains of stronghold walls, moats, buildings, churches and necropolises can be found on the flat plateau. The region is rich in mineral waters.

The area around Kavarna offers opportunities for developing ecotourism and specialized tourism — examination and photography of plants, dolphins and various kinds of fish in the coastal waters. The variety of birds attracts tourists from all parts of the world and contributes to Kaliakra and Yaylata becoming one of the most preferred places in Bulgaria for the development of ornithological tourism.


The town was founded in the 5th century BC by Greek colonists who settled on the Chirakman Plateau in the colony Byzone (or "Bizone"). During the third and second century BC, the town played an important mediating role between the local Thracian settlements and the Greeks. Despite being unsuitable for wharfing because of its rugged cliffs, the this part of the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast was an attractive centre due to the fact that the local people produced and traded with high quality grain.

During the second part of the 1st century BC the ancient town fell in the sea because of a disastrous earthquake. The frontal part of the Chirakman broke off and together with the richest citizens fell into the Black Sea's waters. According to the leader of the finished first part of the underwater archaeological expedition Kavarna 2005, Asen Salkin, the Roman town of Bizone has sunk two times in the sea. For that evidence the located form skin-divers borders of a sunk residential district of the town of Bizone in Kavarna's coast. For the presence of residential buildings the archaeologists judge by the found ashlars and parts of brick walls. The finds date from the 2nd century AD. According to the leader of the expedition this residential district has nothing in common with the disastrous earthquake from the 1st century BC. The underwater finds evidence for other phenomenon, for which the scientists express only suppositions, such as transgression and regression of the strata. It has started to transgress during the 1st century AD and this has continued to the 2nd century. It is possible that during this period the coast had risen by four metres and one day it suddenly fallen through.

During Roman times the town was restored under the same name and quickly flourished, the settlement revived and the port brightened up.

In the 7th century AD the Slavs and Asparuh's Bulgars destroyed the Byzantine town and later founded a new settlement, which entered the First Bulgarian Empire. In the late Middle Ages the settlement grew and was subject to Tatar raids; in the 14th century it became part of the Principality of Karvuna, which de facto broke away from the Second Bulgarian Empire under the rule of the despots Balik and Dobrotitsa of the Bulgarian royal Terter dynasty [Г. Бакалов, "История на българите", Том 1, 2003, с. 457] [Петър Николов, "Сквирските князе Половци-Рожиновски — клон на династията Тертер", online, retrieved 03-24-2007] . In 1397, the Ottoman Turks nearly destroyed the city, which was abandoned but resettled again and rebuilt by the early 17th century. Its present name was documented for the first time in the early 15th century.

The town was considered an economical and cultural centre during Antiquity and the Middle Ages with rich and various remains – stronghold walls, early-Christian basilica, medieval churches, and public buildings.

Notable works of art, such as coins from different historical epochs, golden adornments, a golden Thracian treasure of applications, have been found in the area. Between the 15th and 19th century the town becomes popular under the name Kavarna, as a Christian settlement and port for grain export. From that time remain a Turkish bath, a medieval necropolis, a bridge, fountains, Christian churches and many inscriptions.

During the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878 Kavarna's Christian inhabitants, Bulgarians and Gagauz alike, rebelled against the bashi-bazouks and Circassian hordes. After the liberation the town became part of the Principality of Bulgaria.

From the beginning of 20th century Kavarna achieved a rapid progress as an economical and cultural centre. The town went under Romanian rule after the Second Balkan War in 1913 and again after the First World War in 1919 but this was met with resistance by the local Bulgarian population and its Internal Dobrujan Revolutionary Organisation. In 1940 the town was ceded back to Bulgaria by the Treaty of Craiova.


Monuments and museums

Dobruja and the Sea Display

The Dobruja and the Sea Display is a small maritime museum. It is situated in an approximately restored Turkish bath, the Hamam. It was built in the beginning of the 15th century and represents a massive beehive bath from stone, situated in the beginning of the valley leading to the port, and half a kilometre apart from the town centre. Many stone anchors, amphorae and ceramics found during the underwater archaeological expeditions are exposed there. Coins from different epochs and a golden Thracian treasure can be seen in the Treasure House Hall The ancient and mediaeval colour painting expend our concepts for the ancient navigation around Dobruja's coasts.

Town Museum

The Town Museum can be found in the building of the local library. Materials, revealing the thousand-year old history of the town are displayed in its exposition. Evidence for the life of the people in the region since ancient times are represented here. A model of prehistoric cave-dwellings, many tools, guns, rifles and pistols from the War of Liberation, as well as ethnographic materials — clothing, finery, folk-style cloth, are also exhibited

Ethnographic Museum

The Ethnographic Museum represents an old house from the end of the 19th century that belonged to a rich family. Its interior reveals the customs and culture of the people inhabiting that part of the country; premises typical for Dobruja houses, tools from the culture and the daily round of the people. The building is surrounded by a garden full of mulberry trees, peonies and tulips.


The Church of Saint George was built in 1836 and the Assumption Church in 1860. Both churches played an important role during the Ottoman rule and after the Liberation as educational and cultural centers.

The old fountains

These were 12 spring fountains situated along the valley to the port. A part of them were destroyed and the rest were restored recently. The great amount of spring water forms a small river.


Since 2004 the town has turned in one of the centres of musical life in Bulgaria. Kavarna has been the host to several rock and roll concerts. In 2005 the most popular band to play in the town's stadium was Deep Purple. The other notable performers were mostly legends of German rock and heavy metal music, such as Scorpions, Axel Rudi Pell, Gamma Ray, Masterplan and Destruction. On 27 August 2005 Accept, another German band, played here its last show ever. There is also a mural of Whitesnake singer David Coverdale.2006 followed the tradition with concerts of more metal bands as well as some pop and dance musicians. For example, Russian pop star Filipp Kirkorov sang there in September. In 2007, performers included Black Sabbath, John Lawton Band, Manowar, Motörhead, Robert Plant, and Ronnie James Dio. The next year saw the return of Manowar with a 5 hour attempt to set a world record for the longest heavy metal concert. The next two days Alice Cooper, Slayer and In Flames held concerts.


Kavarna Cove in Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica is named for Kavarna.


Manowar sang the Bulgarian national anthem on their concerts in 2007 and 2008.


External links

* [http://www.kavarna.bg/ Official homepage]
* [http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/NE/Dobrich/Kavarna Guide to Kavarna municipality]
* [http://bgp.bg/BGP_articles_67/Kavarna_town_information Economy, Investments, Tourism and Development (article)]
* [http://kavarnamap.eu/index_en.php Interactive map of Kavarna]

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