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BalchikThis is one of the most picturesque Bulgarian towns. Built amphitheatrically at the Black Sea coast, it is 47 km north of Varna. A real pleasure is to take a walk in its cobbled narrow streets with old-time houses, steeped in the greenery of vineyards and small gardens, pleasantly contrasting the shining white elevations, encircling the town from all sides. As far back as during the 5th century B.C., the ancient Greek polis was built here on top the remains of an older settlement. Later on it was called Dionysopolis, a tribute to God Dionysus. Karvouna, the regional centre of medieval Bulgaria, developed on top the ruins of the early Byzantine Kionysopolis and this was also marked on a number of drawn sea maps and descriptions of the land, made later. Karvouna (Karouna) was a name, brought by the old Bulgarians, meaning “compassion, closeness, mutuality, hospitality”. By the name Balchik, the town has been known since the 16th century.