Byala, Varna Province

Byala, Varna Province

Infobox Settlement
official_name = PAGENAME
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = BUL
subdivision_type1 = Provinces
map_caption = Location of Byala, Varna Province

pushpin_label_position =
pushpin_map_caption =Location of Byala, Varna Province
pushpin_mapsize =
leader_title =Mayor
postal_code_type =Postal Code|, Varna oblast
elevation_m= 42
area_code= 05143
latd=42|latm=53|lats=|latNS=N|longd=27|longm=53|longs=|longEW=E|leader_name=Iliyan Tsonev

Byala (Bulgarian: Бяла, "white") is a town and seaside resort in Northeastern Bulgaria. It is located in Varna oblast and is close to the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast. The Byala municipality consists of the town of Byala and the villages of Popovich, Dyulino, Gospodinovo, Goritza and Samotino. In is situated 50 km south of Varna and 70 km north of Burgas in a semi-mountainous region in the easternmost branches of Stara Planina.

The first known settlement here, near Cape St. Athanasius ("Sveti Atanas") just south of town, is dated back to the 6th century BC. Its Greek name was "Aspros" ("White"); later, the Roman road service station "Templum Iovis" ("Temple of Jupiter") was erected, with a fortress nearby. The region became part of the First Bulgarian Empire in 681 AD; the Bulgarian fortress of "Vicha" stood later on cape Beli Nos ("Cape White") north of town.

In the Ottoman period (from the late 14th century through 1878), a village known as "Akdere" ("White creek") existed at the town's present location; it was later renamed Byala. A customs office between the Principality of Bulgaria and Eastern Rumelia was temporarily established. Until the early 1900s, the majority of the population was ethnic Greek; with the population transfers between Bulgaria and Greece following World War I, about 75% of them are now ethnic Bulgarians tracing their ancestry to the village of Athira (Bulgarian: Bozets) in Greek Macedonia. Byala was declared town on 5 September 1984.

Byala's economy is based mostly on tourism and agriculture, including viticulture. There are several hotels, camping areas and beaches. There are attempts to develop "village tourism", a new concept that is believed to be interesting to foreigners.

Nature landmarks outside Byala inslude [] , one of Bulgaria's last remaining [ beaches] with pristine dunes and freshwater [] , and the "White Cliffs" (Белите скали, "Belite skali") displaying a classic K-T boundary exposure; there is a demonstration centre.

Cultural Buildings

* Churches: "Sveta Paraskeva"; "Uspenie Bogorodichno"
* Schools: Elementary School "Otets Paisii" (registered in 1880, built in 1894); Professional High School for Agriculture (founded in 1959); Kindergarten "Parvi yuni"
* Stadium: Chernomoretz (built in 1986, seats 1000)
* Chitalishte: "Probuda" (founded on 1 January 1928, an active local cultural and community centre)
* Museum of Ethnography (founded in 1986)
* Military Monuments (mainly commemorating the soldiers who died in World War II)


The town is lesser developed compared to other tourist areas. The local government supports a few environmental and tourism projects. Byala's port is currently under reconstruction and is planned to become a yacht marina. There has been much new residential building undertaken between 2003 and 2006 due to perceived higher interest from foreign (particularly Danish and Dutch) investors and tourists.

In December 2007, plans were announced for a carbon-neutral resort at Karadere beach, some 3 km north of Byala, Norman Foster's first project in Bulgaria. A series of car free hill towns in a setting of oak forests, meadows and river gorges, Black Sea Gardens shall create a year-round community for up to 15,400 residents [] .

Local groups oppose the project. They say it will turn Karadere into a 6-star closed resort complex. The territory is extremely important from an ecological standpoint being part of the Natura2000 protected zones network and also vital part of bio-diversity zones in Via Pontica for preservation of the habitats of birds.

Due to the [] of the territory and lack of any infrastructure, the project needs huge investments and after assessment of these or maybe other reasons, the original investor has backed off (July 2008).

The Bulgarian government's failure to enact regulations outlawing extensive developments in such protected areas may have encouraged the project - even more as Norman Foster's consulting architects company "Projects Ltd." is owned and run by the brother of the Bulgarian Prime Minister.

External links

* [ Official Website]

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