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The Planetarium in Varna is known as the “Nicolaus Copernicus” National Observatory.
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The Varna Planetarium is part of the “Nicolaus Copernicus” National Observatory. It is Bulgaria’s first astronomy complex, as well as the largest and most advanced planetarium in the Balkans. Special lectures at the planetarium’s sky theatre, as well as articles and interviews in the mass media, help to popularize astronomy among civilians.
The Varna Planetarium is one of the city’s most well-known attractions. It is visited by hundreds of visitors and is located close beside the entrance to the Sea Garden. The launch of the Earth’s first artificial satellite on October 4, 1957 sparked significant interest among enthusiasts in Bulgaria, who established astronomy and cosmonautics clubs around the nation.
In 1960, a group of Varna enthusiasts formed an astronautics and astronomy club and proposed that the regular XIII Congress of the International Aviation and Astronomy Federation be held in Varna in September 1962. The official visitor of this meeting was German Titov, the second Soviet cosmonaut. Following the congress, the proposal of constructing an astronomical observatory in Varna gained traction, which was further promoted by Varna’s mayor, Nikolai Boyadzhiev, and many other government officials. The astronautics and astronomy club was given a structure in the center of the Sea Garden in 1963.
This structure housed the first astronomy and rocket modeling classes. The construction of a new observatory building began in 1964. The Varna Planetarium, which includes a sky theatre and a large lecture hall, was erected next to the observatory.
On May 22, 1968, the first astronomy complex in Bulgaria, consisting of an observatory, a planetarium, and a tower with a Foucault pendulum, was officially opened. The facility was named after the eminent Polish scientist Nicolaus Copernicus by the Bulgarian Council of Ministers.