Varna Coat-of-Arms.


Varna Coat-of-Arm Despite the thousand-year old history of the town there are not so many sources referring to Varna coat-of-arms. Looking back to the distant past we could consider as such the various images we encounter on coins used throughout the centuries. Besides images of local gods and rulers, characteristic features of the town were also engraved - amphorae, anchors, etc. It seems that even then Varna, a town closely related with and dependent on the sea, was associated mainly with the anchor. Most probably the predominant fashion of the latest centuries added to this picture the upright standing lions holding the anchor. It is considerably easier to discern coat-of-arms images of Varna in the period after the Liberation of the country from the Turkish occupation. However, a uniform and thoroughly approved project or model was most probably missing - though they shared a common idea, coat-of-arms from different places were different in details.

This coat-of-arms can be seen on frames of town pictures from the end of the last century kept at P. Slaveikov National Library in Varna. The state coat-of-arms is also depicted at the bottom of the photographs. 

This Varna coat-of-arms image first appeared next to the title of a Varna municipal newspaper in 1891.

In January 1914 the Varna electric power station was opened. Its facade was ornamented with that coat-of-arms option (see picture) performed as a coloured bas-relief. The power station and its coat-of-arms are well preserved to our days and can be seen behind the power-supply offices located between Devnya and Alexander Dyakovich streets.

This Varna coat-of-arms project was offered in the beginnings of 1920s. Its supporting arguments maintained that the one used at those times was better suited to a port emblem and did not cover the historical significance of the town. Imitating the style of ancient coins the Omnipotent God, town's protector from its foundation on, was depicted in the middle of the coat-of-arms. The God was holding a cornucopia and an amphora, turned upside-down. Below him a monogram of Odessos was inscribed - a combination of the first letters O and D written in Greek. There is no information to confirm that this project has been accepted as the official Varna coat-of-arms.

This coat-of-arms was printed on covers of some municipal publications and various invitations from 1930s. Obviously, the close location of the town to the sea has influenced to a great extent its heraldry. 

This rather simplified and vague form was intertwined with the title of a Varna municipal newspaper in the end of 1930s. 

The present Varna coat-of-arms has been operating since 1972. The tradition over the last century was handed down to it and we can still see the lions holding the anchor but the image here is represented in a rather streamline and oversimplified way. The upper part of the frame (shield) over the lions is formed like fortress loopholes - elements that remind us of the past of the city. Author of the project is Ilia Kassabov - a prominent artist from Varna. Besides the coat-of-arms there are also badges and a symbolic key for the city. 

Special thanks to Esin Halid for the translation of this page.
 

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