Bulgarian Ports (1879 – 2014). Chronicle


Bulgarian Ports (1879 – 2014). Chronicle book is published at the initiative of Bulgarian Ports Infrastructure Company and is dedicated to 135 Anniversary of the ports in Bulgaria. The book collects for the first time the major dates and events in the history of the Bulgarian sea (Black Sea and Aegean) and Danube ports. The author of the book is Atanas Panayotov PhD History and a famous publicist and marine explorer.

Post card view of the port of Ruse; source: www.facebook.com/StaroRuse/.

Пощенска картичка с изглед от пристанището в Русе; източник: www.facebook.com/StaroRuse/

The luxury edition of 200 color pages presents all known and little-known facts from the history of the Bulgarian Black Sea and Danube ports. The Chronicle of the Bulgarian ports collects the whole archive of pictures associated with their construction and development

Here are some interesting facts about the creation and administration of the Bulgarian ports:

The first state port administrative structure, formed after the liberation of Bulgaria from the Ottoman Empire is port captaincy in Varna. It is established on July 31 (August 12 – new style) 1879, when with celebrations in Ruse and Varna was announced the start of the Fleet and Naval structure of the Principality Bulgaria. Port Captaincy originally, is the first state maritime and port institution on the Black Sea.

On May 18, 1903 in an official ceremony is opened the modern port of Burgas. The speech of Prince Ferdinand was followed by cannon salutes fired from the training cruiser “Nadezhda” and from shore battery. The ceremony was attended by the newly appointed Prime Minister Racho Stoyanov, Minister of public buildings, roads and communications, the leaders of the National Assembly, representatives of local authorities.  The Archbishop of Sliven Gervasii celebrated a solemn service.

Costs incurred for the construction of the Burgas port amounted to about 7 million golden Lev. Offshore breakwater was with a length of 1138 meters. The port had two docks: coastal, with length of 305 meters and possibility of mooring of three steamships and sea quay with length of 236 meters and capable of mooring of two steamships. Processing capacity of the newly built port of Burgas was more than 300 000 tones of various cargos.

Construction of a modern port of Burgas supports the orientation of the production of Bulgarian economy to Western Europe. Exports of goods to Belgium outstripped exports to Turkey. Strong growth was reported exports to the UK, Spain and France. The first years of operation of the Burgas port are the first lessons of Bulgarian port authorities in maritime business.

Пристанище Варна през 30-те години на ХХ век; източник: Държавен архив – Варна.

Товарни ветроходи на котва в басейна на Пристанище Бургас; източник: Дигитален архив на „Морски вестник”

On May 18, 1906 was officially opened the modern Varna port with construction continued with few interruptions around 10 years. The day is not chosen by chance – it is precisely the day of Prince Ferdinand (the same day, three years earlier, was opened Burgas port). The ceremony involved 23 military and civilian ships, 20 of which were foreign. To the event were invited 300 official guests and the entire diplomatic corps. The opening was welcomed with 21 cannon salute given by foreign military ships and located at the shore battery. By the construction of the modern port of Varna, Bulgarian import and export get another door wide open to the world. In 1906 here arrived 1296 Bulgarian, 134 Austro-Hungarian, 77 English, 71 German, 131 Greek, 5 Italian, 60 Russian, 537 Turkish and 49 French vessels.

On June, 20 1906 was held a tender for the construction of a new port in Ruse. In the construction project was entered the amendment that everywhere the quay wall will be tilted. Construction works began after September 1907. The port was found in operation at the end of 1912. For the construction of the new port of Ruse the state spent 1 168 640 Lev. General achievement here is the construction of a coastal fortification wall with a length of about 2000 meters and embankments behind it, which created equally long and an average 25-30 meters wide strip.

 Използване на 100-тонен плаващ кран при разтоварване на тежки колети в Пристанище Варна през 60-те години на ХХ век; източник: Пристанище ВарнаUsing 100-ton floating crane for unloading heavy parcels in Port of Varna in the 60 years of the twentieth century; source: Port of Varna. On March 10, 1908 was tendered the construction of Svistov port. On March 28 the same year was concluded a contract with the developer. By the beginning of the Balkan War was completed construction of a loading area with length of 250 meters, and part of the high quay of 200 meters length.

On November 18, 1908 was opened to operation Port of Vidin, for the construction Bulgaria paid 412 514  gold Lev. This port was tendered on July 18, 1898, and a week later was concluded the contract for construction.

In 1922 started the first phase of construction of the port of Lom, completed in 1923.

On December 28, 2005 was made an official court registration of Bulgarian Ports Infrastructure Company /BPI Co./. The new entity is legal successor of the National Company Ports repealed by the Constitutional Court decision, and of part of the Executive Agency Port Administration. BPI Co. is registered under the Commercial Act and all types of charges, berth, tonnage, channel and light are collected by the company. Prior the establishment of BPI Co. these charges proceeded directly into the state budget and only a few of them were returned in the form of investment to the port infrastructure. By restructuring the entire amount received is invested back for the maintenance and development of the ports.


View the entire chronicle of the Bulgarian ports here