Architectural Park Complex, The Palace – Balchik
The Palace is the former summer residence of the Romanian Queen Maria Alexandrina Victoria de Edinburg (1875 – 1938). It is situated approximately 2 km south-west of Balchik in a beautiful location between the Balchik rocks and the sea. The Palace is a designated archeological and constructional monument of culture and a monument of the gardening and landscape art, declared by Statute No 09-128 of the Ministry of Culture dated 18 April 2002. Close to the terraces, there is a beautiful 25 m high waterfall. The water of a smaller waterfall comes from “Allah's garden” through a thick wall to three-flow fountain and gathers into a deep stone pool.
During the Second Balkan War (1913) the Romanian army occupied a part of Dobrudzha and the town of Balchik fell within the borders of Romania. Romanian intellectuals had appraised the beautiful landscape in the region and during the 1920's many prominent Romanian aristocrats and people of art purchased properties here. Queen Maria was brought by her friends to Balchik, and she was fascinated by the landscape and the spirit of the town. She decided to build her own summer residence here and had a strict requirement for the designers that the construction of the villa does not harm the natural environment, but rather complements its beauty.
The residence was constructed by the Italian architects Amerigo and Augustino in 1924. It is formed with beautiful threshold terraces along the steep sea shore, through which the water from two springs flows along special stone channels and pours into water mirrors and waterfalls.
The style of the new buildings is in unison with that of the found one, and the old mills were restored. The contrast of the white rocks and the red roofs which is typical for the town was preserved.
Chapels, yards, fountains, and buildings in various typical styles- Bulgarian, Byzantine, Roman, Arabic, Mauritanian and Transylvanian were built.
A small building is situated in the northern part of the garden. It has existed as early as before the palace was built. A powerful stream of water gushes out from its wall and is believed to be medicinal. A small chapel was built there – a holy spring.
The garden with the water lilies is called The English Yard and is preserved by the freezing coastal wind by massive walls.
From the English Yard, through boxwood hedge, two stairs lead to a vaulted stone bridge, reminiscent of The Bridge of Sighs in Venice.
The renovated mills are nowadays used for hotel basis of the complex.
Queen Maria died on 18 July 1938 in Sinaia – Romania, and her heart, by her will, was placed in a small golden casket and returned to the chapel “The Assumption of Mary” in The Palace, from where in 1940 it was returned to Romania.