Добрич (Dobrich, also Dobritsch). The town changed its name several times -
during the Ottoman and Romanian occupation, the town was known as Bazargich,
during the communist reign it was called Tolbuchin. In the 1990ies, Dobrich was renamed again
and so it's got its present name.
Dobrich is around 40 km north of →Varna - halfway on the road to the
border crossing with →Romania. Dobrich is the biggest
city of a historical province called South Dobruja, a large fertile plain south of the Danube.
Additionally, it's the north-easternmost town of Bulgaria. But don't expect too much.
Population: about 100,000. It's one of the bigger cities of Bulgaria and the second
biggest in Dobruja - right after Constanţa in →Romania.
There's not much left from the old city core. Dobrich has a long history, but it was flattened not just once. The centre of
town (see picture below) looks like the outskirts, mainly consisting of dull concrete apartment blocks and broad concrete
streets. Therefore a place most traveler avoid.
Dobrich marks the centre of the Southern Dobrudja (in Romanian Dobrogea),
a fertile stretch of land between the Danube river and the Black Sea coast. Thanks to the fertile chernozem-like soils,
the area was used as the regions granary even before it became part of the Roman empire.
Needless to say that the Dobruja was popular among conquerors. After liberation from the Ottoman empire,
the Dobruja was divided - the northern part became Romanian, the southern part Bulgarian territory. In 1916,
Bulgaria occupied the northern part to unite the region. Only four years later, Romania conquered the entire Dobruja.
The border as it is today was drawn in 1944, after liberation from Nazi Germany. The whole southern Dobruja is very
rural and Bulgaria's backwater. And so Dobrich is nothing more than a provincial town - some mechanical engineering here,
some food and textile production there, an open air market and so on. In and around Dobrich, there's a relatively
strong Turkish minority - among them a minor Christian-orthodox Turk tribe called
Dobrich is not linked to the railway network, so the only chance is the bus. There are many long-distance buses from
→Varna and other big cities around. Less than 20 km away to the north is a border crossing
to →Romania near Kardam.
Behind the crossing, the road leads straight to Constanţa, a big city at the Black Sea coast.