Dobrich is a town in northeastern Bulgaria and the administrative centre of Dobrich Province. The population of the city is about 120 000.
Dobrich is the eighth most populated town in Bulgaria, being the centre of the historical region of Southern Dobruja, and is located 30 km west of the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast, not far from resorts such as Albena, Balchik, and Golden Sands. In the centre of the city is "the old city", a small district of reconstructed renaissance buildings. The city is an agricultural centre for all of northern Bulgaria.
The town of Dobrich's territory is a part of the Danubian Plain, which is characterized by flat and even hills, shallow and wide valleys with slanting slopes, cut through by the valley of the Souha Reka River which passes through the town.
Arable land on the municipality's territory is 76 786 decares; the main farm crops being wheat, maize, sunflowers.
The climate in the region characterizes with hot, sunny and dry summer while the winter is soft and wet. The springs are comparatively cool; the autumns are warm because of the warming influence of the Black Sea. In winter the impact of the northeast air masses is more pronounced, which causes the greater differences in the thermal level through the year. The precipitation is characterized as weak, with a clearly shown continental regime.
The good road networks connects Dobrich with the nearby larger towns and sea resorts such as Varna, Balchik, Albena,Shabla, Kavarna, Silistra. The railway junction connects Dobrich with the capital, the coast and some European countries.
The first evidence of settlement in what is now Dobrich date from 4th-3rd century BC. Ruins from 2nd-4th century and 7th-11th century have also been found, including a Bulgar necropolis featuring pagan graves in the centre of the town.
From the 17th to the 19th century, the town developed as a handicraft, trade and agricultural centre, being famous for its weaving, homespun tailoring, coppersmith's trade, leather-work and agricultural products, such as wheat, linseed, wool and cheese.
The town was liberated from the Ottoman Empire on 27 January 1878 and renamed Dobrich on 19 February 1882 after Dobrotitsa, a medieval ruler of Dobruja. This was done by means of a decree issued by knyaz Alexander I.
After the Treaty of Bucharest of 1913 (confirmed by the Treaty of Neuilly of 1919), Dobrich and the whole of Southern Dobruja were incorporated in Romania for a period until 1940.
During that time, the city bore the name Bazargic. On 25 September 1940, the Bulgarian army marched into the town; that date is celebrated as the town's holiday.
During the period of Communist rule, Dobrich was renamed Tolbukhin after Russian military commander Fyodor Tolbukhin. On 19 September 1990, a presidential decree restored the town's old name of Dobrich.
Today Dobrich is a modern industrial-agricultural and transportation center, one of the ten largest cities in Bulgaria - an important cultural, economic and administrative center located in the northeastern economic region of the country. Dobrich is an old and rich agricultural area, the center of the so called "granary of Bulgaria", and its proximity to the sea and the city of Varna are turning it into an attractive place to work at and live in.
Near the center of the city there is an ethnographic complex with workshops, which keep the old traditions of the Revival.
The infrastructure of the town is very well organized.
On the territory of the town of Dobrich there are 19 municipal common schools (ten primary, 6 secondary, 3 high-schools) and 8 vocational schools (7 technical schools, 1 polytechnical). In Dobrich there are 17 kindergardens with 6 branches and 10 half-day kindergartens housed in schools.
The Ethnographic House
It was built in 1860-1861, and restored in 1970. It was proclaimed an architectural and cultural monument. Its collections of beautiful Dobrouja fabrics and original national costumes and adornments are masterpieces of the folk art.
The Sveti Georgi Church (St. George)
It was built in 1843. It was burnt down during the Crimean War (1853 -1856) and was restored in 1868. It has a rich and complicated iconostasis. Many of the icons were painted by the Debar icon-painter Kozma Blazhetov.
Open-Air Architectural and Ethnographic Museum The Old Dobrich
It shows the architecture, the way of life and the economic past of the town of Dobrich from the end of c. 19 and the beginning of C. 20. The visitors of the complex can watch the manufacturing process of traditional Bulgarian crafts - tailoring, knitting, wood turnery, goldsmith's craft, etc. An attraction for the visitors is the opportunity to participate in the making of pottery, to visit the cafe and taste the traditional white jam, millet-ale and the whine with exclusive gustatory qualities.
Art Gallery - Dobrich
Art Gallery - Dobrich is a city museum of fine arts, located in the administrative center of the North - Eastern region with the same name - Dobrich and specializing all kinds of museum activities. It is a cultural institute, participating in the accomplishment and implementation of the regional policy, regarding preservation, study and popularization of fine arts.
The building where the Art Gallery - Dobrich is placed is declared an architectural and structural monument of culture. It was built in the period 1933 - 1935 and is interesting as an example of European architectural influences.
The art fund has been collected for 40 years - part of it are works of the national image art inheritance (the Golden art fund of Bulgaria including works made by the most famous Bulgarian artists). The Gallery is in possession of over 3000 works - paintings, graphics, sculpture, decorative - plastic arts and works made of hand-made paper.
One of the oldest parks in the country - with a history of 130 years.
Text and pictures: Mirela - Varna office