The town of Dobrich is located in Northeast Bulgaria, in the Danubian Plain and on the Dobrudja Plateau, about 200m above sea level. It lies 480 km from Sofia, 50km from Varna, 92 km from Silistra and 34 km from Balchik.
Dobrich has a temperate continental climate. The mean annual temperature is 10,2 degress C ; in summer it is 27.8 C, and in winter -1.6.C. The average humidity is 78%.
Main industries: food industry (dairy products, vegetable oil, margarine, flour, confectionery, soft drinks etc); light industries( clothes, furniture, shoes); machine building ( batteries, semi-trailers, agricultural machines, plastic articles).
Dobrich hosts annual fairs and expositions that boost its economic growth: Everything about Agriculture, National Stock Exchange for Plants and Seed, Beemania, Torgo, Wines and Delicacies, Made in Bulgaria etc.
The official holiday of Dobrich is September 24. The day was chosen in 1990 to mark the 50th anniversary of the annexation of Southern Dobrudja to Bulgaria. A presidential decree issued on that day restored the old name of the town – Dobrich. The celebration includes awarding the title of “honorary citizen” to distinguished members of the Dobrich community selected by the municipality council, concerts, and the Hello, Dobrich Pop Marathon.
On the September program is also an international youth music festival entitled Hopes, Talents, Masters; an international investment forum Do Business in Dobrich; exhibitions, concerts, literary readings etc.
Dobrich hosts annual expositions and fairs. Late January and early February is the time for the exhibition of seeds and plants; February is the month for Beemania; at the end of August comes the Dobrich Fall Fair.
The Chamber Music Week takes place in May with visits of distinguished chamber orchestras and individual performers.
The cultural program in June has an international youth festival and competition entitled Folklore without Borders. Taking part in it are singers, performers, chamber orchestras and ensembles from all over Bulgaria.
Excavations in the Dobrich area have yielded valuable finds dating from the Antiquity ( 4th-3th century B.C.- 2nd -4th century AD) and the early Middle Ages ( 7th – 11th century). During the early Middle Ages a Proto-Bulgarian settlement existed for a short while. This is evidenced by the Old Bulgarian necropolis found in the downtown.
In the early 11th century the area was depopulated due to the devastating invasions of the Pechenegs.
In the 16th century a new settlement came into being bearing the name of Hadjioglu. Legend has it that it was founded by the wealthy Turkish merchant Hadjioglu.
Dobrich developed fast and a quarter of a century later became a town. This was facilitated by its strategic location on the road linking the center of the Ottoman Empire with the territories across the Danube River. In the 17th-19th century the town grew into a center of handicrafts, trade and farming. Among the handicrafts were: weaving, tailoring, coppersmithing, manufacture of leather articles and hunting equipment. In 1851 the town hosted the Dobrich Fair for the first time. The town became famous and attracted merchants from all over the Ottoman Empire. The first church was built in 1843. In 1844 a primary school opened at the church. On January27, 1878, Dobrich was liberated from Ottoman rule. Four years later the town was renamed after the Bulgarian ruler Dobrotitsa who had governed the Dobrudja Despotate in the 14th century.
Unfortunately, a new period of foreign domination followed. After the Peace Treaty of Neuilly, Southern Dobrudja (and the town of Dobrich) became part of Romania. At that time (1913-1916 and 1919-1940) the town became the center of the local liberation movement. During WWI, on September 5, 6 and 7, 1916, a three-day battle was fought in Dobrich. In the town history this period is known as the Dobrudja Epopee.
After a quarter of a century of Romanian domination, the so called Kraiova Agreement was signed in 1940 under which South Dobrudja was returned to Bulgaria. The liberation armies entered the town on September 25.
For a few decades the town bore the name of the Soviet Marshal Tolbukhin. A presidential decree of September 1990 restored the old name of Dobrich.
The Dobrich art gallery is housed in one of the town’s most interesting buildings. It was built in the 1930s and today is an architectural monument. Initially, it housed the Palace of Justice; after 1940 it was used by the local police authorities to keep prisoners. Later it became the headquarters of the District Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party. Since 1982 it has housed the Art Gallery. The building has two stories with an area of 3960 sq m.
The museum has over 3200 works by Bulgarian and foreign artists collected in the course of 40 years.
The exhibits are arranged in 4 sections: painting, black and white drawing, sculpture, and decorative and plastic arts. There are about 1700 works dating from the early 20th century to the present. The black and white drawings are about 1000. Among them are prints from the National Revival Period, drawings and prints demonstrating diverse techniques etc. The sculpture section displays works by Bulgarian artists from the 1970-90s: portraits, figures and compositions, small plastic, assemblages from a variety of materials, e.g. bronze, stone, plaster of Paris, wood. The decorative arts collections feature a wide array of genres: pottery, textile, mosaics, woodcarving, posters etc. In the Other Forms section visitors can see the unique collection of works made from paper.
Among the most valuable exhibits are works by Ivan Mrkvicka, Vladimir Dimitrov – the Master, Zlatyu Boyadjiev, Bencho Obreshkov, Alexander Petrov, Pencho Balkanski and Dechko Uzunov.
Културни и исторически забележителности
Regional History Museum
The museum was established in 1853 to collect, study, preserve and display cultural monuments and samples featuring Southern Dobrudja ‘s natural environment. It also hosts international, national and regional scientific events.
The museum has about 163 000 exhibits arranged in the following expositions: Archaeology of Dobrudja; Ethnographic House; Urban and Village Life at the End of the 19th and the Beginning of the 20th century; open-air architectural and ethnographic museum Old Dobrich; Icons from Dobrudja; the Dobrudja Question – Emergence and History (the only one of its kind in Bulgaria); Weapons from Modern and Recent times; Modern and Contemporary History; House- Museum Yordan Iovkov; House-Monument Yordan Iovkov; House- Museum Adriana Budevska ; Memorial Complex Military Cemetery.
Among the most interesting exhibits are the archaeological finds from the pre-historic necropolis on the Big Island in the Durankulak Lake; ancient and medieval jewelry from Odurtsi; medieval weapons and ammunition; icons (the museum houses the largest number of icons representing SS Cyril and Methodius); a unique collection of the founder of Bulgarian professional ballet dancing Atanas Petrov, and many others.
The ethnographic house museum is an interesting example of the National Revival style of architecture. It was built in 1860-1861. After its restoration in 1970, it was declared an architectural monument of culture. It houses an exhibition entitled The Dobrudja Lifestyle and Old Bulgarian Jewelry. It displays beautiful materials, costumes and jewelry from the Dobrudja region.
The Church of St. George
Built in 1843 the church was destroyed by fire during the Crimean War (1853-1856) and restored in 1868. Of great interest is the iconostasis. Most of the icons are the work of iconographer Kozma Blazhetov from Debur.
House-Monument Yordan Yovkov
Yordan Yovkov wrote a large number of his works in Dobrich. This explains why they are so deeply pervaded with the writer’s love for this part of Bulgaria. The citizens of Dobrich have built a museum in token of gratitude to the great artist.
The museum opened on November 28, 1980, to mark the centennial of the birth of the writer.
The museum collects, studies, preserves and disseminates information about the life and work of Yordan Iovkov. It has over 10 000 exhibits. The permanent exhibitions contain the most important of them: Yovkov’s birth certificate, photos and documents, the first editions of Evenings in the Antimov Inn, Stories ( 1917), Short Stories ( 1918); the Adler typewriter the writer used when he worked at the Bulgarian legation in Bucarest ( 1920-1927) to prepare for publication the short stories included in the collections Song of the Wheels, Legends of Stara Planina,; clothes and other personal items. Of interest is Stoimen Stoilov’s painted ceramic entitled The World of Yovkov’s Characters. There is also a replica of Yovkov’s study.
On the 30th anniversary of the Bulgarian Architects’ Union, the house-monument Yordan Yovkov was awarded the high distinction of Archscar .The building was designed by architects A. Stoyanov, P. Ganchev, A. Koev and G. Mihailov.
The house-monument is on the list of the 100 Tourist Sites in Bulgaria.
Open-Air Architectural and Ethnographic Museum Old Dobrich
The museum features the architecture, lifestyle and economic development of the town at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. It was created to preserve and make known the traditional Dobrudja handicrafts, lifestyle and culture. Some old workshops have been replicated: potter’s, blacksmith’s, weaver’s, hat maker’s, and wood carver’s. To feel the authentic atmosphere of the Bulgarian town of the National Revival period, visitors are offered the opportunity to make their own pottery and taste local cuisine. There is an old gevrek (bagel) bakery where the gevreks are made after an old recipe. The old clock tower of Dobrich dating from the 18th century has also been restored.
One of the most interesting exhibitions in the History Museum is The Nature of Dobrudja. It opened on December 28, 2005, and is located in St. George’s Park. Worth seeing are the dioramas Water Caves (the last refuge of the monk seal), Humid Zones ; Great Bustard ( a common bird species inhabiting the Dobrudja steppes until the 1970s. Today it occurs only along the migration routes of birds); Steppe (the most characteristic biotope in the past); Longoz ( a forest with a specific water regime that can be seen only at the mouth of the Batovska River); Dry River Canyon (a natural environment of great biodiversity , rare plants and animals).