THE BALCHIK PALACE
And the Botanical Garden of Regina Maria
The Balchik Palace (a.k.a the summer residence of Queen Mary of Romania) is located in the beautiful seacoast town of Balchik, 15 km south from Thracian Cliffs. It was constructed between 1926 and 1937 and consists of a number of residential villas, a wine cellar, a power station, a holy spring, a chapel, watermill with waterfalls and other facilities, as well as most notably a botanical garden housing more than 3000 rare and exotic plants, fabulous flowers and the largest cactus collection in the region. Balkan and Oriental motifs were used in the construction of the palace that was carried out by Italian architects Augustino and Americo, while a florist was hired from Switzerland to arrange the park. The main building's extravagant minaret coexists with a Christian chapel, perfectly illustrating the queen's Baha'i beliefs.