Odessos (Varna)

Odessos (today Varna) was founded as ancient Greek trading colony ( apoikia), about 580 BC. Historically Varna is perhaps best known for being the site of the oldest gold treasure to be found by archaeologists. The Roman city had baths, built in the 2nd century AD, that are the largest Roman remains in Bulgaria. The Byzantine/Bulgarian city of Odessos-Varna was captured by the Ottoman Empire in 1393.

On November 10, 1444, the Battle of Varna was fought nearby, with the Turks defeating an army of 30,000 Crusaders led by Ladislaus III of Poland which had assembled at the port to set sail to Constantinople. The army was attacked by a superior force of 120,000 Ottomans, led by the Sultan Murad II. Ladislaus III was killed in a bold attempt to capture the Sultan, earning a nick-name Varnenchik. The subsequent retreat of the Crusader army made the fall of Constantinople all but inevitable. Today there is a mausoleum of Ladislaus III in Varna.

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