Queen Marie’s Palace in Balchik

Missy, Marie or Maria – these are the names by which was known Marie Alexandra Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Princess of Edinburgh and granddaughter of Great Britain’s Prince Albert and Queen Victoria. Born exactly 138 years ago, on October 29th 1875, at Eastwell Park in Kent, Marie also became a queen by marrying the future King Ferdinand I of Romania in 1893. Marie soon got to the hearts of the Romanians by openly embracing her new country and being its de facto ruler, by volunteering as a Red Cross nurse during World War I and changing the course of war by her involvement in politics. Her memoirs and books brought her even greater sympathy from the people. During her lifetime, Marie of Romania had Bran Castle (now known as Dracula’s Castle) as her main home, but was very connected to her residence in Balchik (today in Bulgaria), where she had built a small and intimate castle, called the Quiet Nest. Upon her death, according to her will, the Queen’s heart was kept in a cloister at the Balchik Palace, but after the region entered Bulgarian possession, it was moved at Bran; now is held at the National Museum of Romanian History in Bucharest.

This year, thanks to Young Tours Travel Agency, I had the chance to visit Balchik and the queen’s palace complex, which stroke me as elegant and devoid of any ostentatious decorations one would expect in a royal mansion. The complex includes several buildings, such as residential villas (Suite Villa, Gutmann Villa, Mushroom Villa, Moara Villa), a chapel (Stella Maris), a monastery, a farm, a movie theatre, a restaurant (Crown restaurant), wine cellars, a power station, a water temple, as well as impressive gardens where you can walk among the paved alleys, smell the roses and listen to the sound of the nearby Black Sea. Though nowadays squirming with tourists, the palace seemed like the perfect place to go, rediscover yourself and make peace with your mind…


3 thoughts on “Queen Marie’s Palace in Balchik

  1. Happy birthday to the Queen! This post brought back fond memories of my visit to Balchik. I also had a chance to visit Bran Castle. In both cases, the Queen was not at home at the time.

    • Ellis, I can’t possible believe you are THAT old! :))
      Glad I brought you back nice memories. When are you going to freshen them up with a new visit to Bulgaria or Romania?

  2. Pingback: Happy National Day, Romania and Romanians! | Dana's Boots

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