Tour of Varna (Downtown and Museum)
This excursion is included in the programs of the following field schools and it is covered by the admission fee:
- Byzantine Cold Case File: Excavations of an Early Christian Мonastery near Varna on the Black Sea
Varna is the largest Bulgarian city along the Black Sea coast. It is an important trade, cultural and tourist center, with occupation stretching back several thousand years, and numerous archaeological monuments around it. One of the most famous is the Varna Copper Age necropolis (known as Varna Golden Necropolis). Dated to the second half of the 5th millennium BCE, it is one of the oldest cemeteries belonging to a complex society ever discovered in Europe. Over 3,000 gold artefacts were recovered there, presenting a unique achievement of the world’s oldest goldsmithing industry. Varna itself was founded in the early 6th c. BCE during the great Greek colonization by settlers from Miletos in Asia Minor. The city was initially known as Odessos - a name of Proto-Thracian origin that is related to the abundant water resources in the area. Its prosperity was based on its excellent harbour and the intensive maritime trade with the Mediterranean world.
Among the important archaeological and natural sites in Varna and its vicinities are also the Roman thermae of Odessos – one of the largest public bathhouses in the Roman Empire, Aladja Monastery – a Late Mediaeval monastic complex cut in the cliffs to the north of the city, and the natural phenomenon called the ‘Stone Forest’ with its charismatic and surreal landscape of natural rock formations.
Other major cultural sites and symbols of Varna are the Archaeological museum that houses an impressive collection of artefacts from Prehistory, Antiquity and the Middle Ages; and the Cathedral church dedicated to the Mother of God – the heavenly protectress of the city..
The tour/price includes:
- An English speaking guide & travel assistant;
- Round trip transportation
- All expenses of the guide & travel assistant and the driver
- Travel insurance
- Sightseeing tour in the downtown of Varna
- Guided visits to the Varna Archaeological Museum and the Cathedral