Whose Is Balchik? History, Historiogaphy and Memory in Romania and Bulgaria Cover Image
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Чий е Балчик? История, историография и памет в Румъния и България
Whose Is Balchik? History, Historiogaphy and Memory in Romania and Bulgaria

Author(s): Blagovest Nyagulov
Subject(s): History, Cultural history, Recent History (1900 till today), Pre-WW I & WW I (1900 -1919), Interwar Period (1920 - 1939), WW II and following years (1940 - 1949), Post-War period (1950 - 1989), Transformation Period (1990 - 2010), Present Times (2010 - today)
Published by: Асоциация Клио
Keywords: historiography; memory; Southern Dobrudzha; Balchik; Queen Marie of Romania

Summary/Abstract: The subject of this paper is the historiography and the memory in Romania and Bulgaria concerning the history of Balchik during the period when this town and Southern Dobrudzha were part of the Romanian territory (1913–1940). Thanks to recognizing the attractive features of the small seaside town from the Romanian elite and mostly because of the exotic summer residence (the Palace) of Queen Maria built there, Balchik is transformed into something like “little paradise” in the Romanian national memory. On the other side, the peaceful “invasion” of Romanian tourists and the “return” to the topics about the Queen, the Palace and Romanian Balchik after the fall of communist regimes and especially after the accession of both neighbor countries to the EU (2007), are not late to cause some criticism in Bulgaria. The romantic idealization of the Palace (which is very advantageous for the local tourism) and its symbolic identification with Balchik, cause a reaction in the “guardians” of the Bulgarian national memory who question this introduction of the town and associate the Palace with the Romanian regime of denationalization and repressions in Southern Dobrudzha. They even propose alternative symbols of the town, such as the “Old mill”, created before the Romanian annexation of Southern Dobrudzha and seen as an “industrial pearl” of what was then Bulgaria. In this context arises the dispute about the place of the monument dedicated to the local victims of Romanian repressions from 1916 to 1918 (the abduction of civilians from Dobrudzha to Moldova just before the outbreak of hostilities). The author presents and comments the different and often opposite interpretations of Romanian Balchik’s history by the historians in Romania and Bulgaria, as well the national memory in both countries. Obviously the “truth” about the history of Balchik and Dobrudzha, as far as it is attainable, has not and will not be only “Romanian” or only “Bulgarian”.

  • Issue Year: 2015
  • Issue No: 1-2
  • Page Range: 45-70
  • Page Count: 26
  • Language: Bulgarian