„Talyana“ – the creative district of Varna

What to find and where it is?

Talyan is a net anchored to the seabed. It has an entrance but no exit. Thus the fish passages fall into its trap as they swim freely along the seashore, and remain entangled. While the fishermen pull them out.

This is the most romantic district of Varna, situated in the Old Town, which has the highest concentration of cultural and historical heritage monuments and archeology. The name Talyana was first proposed by the chief Architect of Varna in 2015 for the area locked in the triangle between the Rail station square, Preslav and Tsar Simeon streets. I the past, there were banks, offices of the big merchants, the modern shops, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the commodity exchange, synagogues, churches, the most expensive city hotels Paris and London. It is characterised by construction close to the human scale, a variety of architectural styles, the presence of small streets and relative tranquility in the heart of the city. And the cafes, restaurants, shops and galleries make the cultural and historical core of Varna even more attractive.

What to find in Talyana

The Ethnographic Museum and the Museum of the National Revival also contribute to the area’s value. Here one can also find the House of the Architect, hosting the offices of the two professional organisations – the Chamber of Architects in Bulgaria and the Union of Bulgarian Architects, and where exhibitions are often organised. The fountain square, where the Architect’s House is located, with cafes and shops for regional and international food specialties, offer a wonderful place for meetings or relaxation in the central part of the city.

The Social Tea House – another remarkable building on the same site is an unique and successful social entrepreneurship project in support of young people from social care homes. With the many interesting events that are organised, the shared workspaces, and the delicious eatery there, the Social Tea House has become one of the most popular places in Varna.

The Innovator co-working space in Talyana is near the railway station at 1, Sofia Street. It was created as part of the programme Varna European Youth Capital in 2017 and since then it has gradually established itself as one of the places that attracts audiences with interesting meetings and initiatives of the most diverse nature.

Omni’s Cool Music Production School, Dzev Weaving Mill Studio, where you can experience this applied art contributes to the character of this area in Old Varna. And there are many more interesting sites that are worth visiting.

There are also office buildings in the area – banks, IT companies, shipping agencies – given the proximity of the port, and more.

Now Talyana is the realisation of a bold idea to return life to the neighbourhood and to turn it into a place for culture, communication and entertainment. For an urban heart to start beating again.

Why Talyana?

The idea for the establishment of an art district in Varna came from the Chief Architect of the city in an interview in 2015. And since the analogue of the Plovdiv Kapana (Trap) is to be developed by the sea arch. Buzev suggests that its name would be Talyana, ie. again a kind of trap, only for fish. Taking Varna’s specifics into the equation. In this very year the idea was included in the programme for Varna European Youth Capital to be released in 2017.

The aim is to develop activities in this place to attract and retain citizens and guests, artists, musicians and all people who are interested in art and the history of the city to become an area for creative industries.

In 2016 The Municipal Council in Varna approved the program proposed by Varna – European Youth Capital 2017, which included the idea of ​​“Talyana – Neighbourhood for Crafts and Art in Varna, turning part of the centre into a creative space through the pilot project Inno Varna. The competition aimed to stimulate architects, designers, entrepreneurs, event organisers, chefs, musicians, artists and craftsmen to create a new historic place in the heart of the so-called Greek Quarter. Administrative and tax incentives for artists who will settle in the artistic district of Varna are also being considered.

In 2017, when Varna was the European Youth Capital, the Varna – EMC Association directed the energy of many young people to the project for an art district, thanks to which many initiatives were implemented there. A public debate was held on the development of Talyana as an artistic zone in Varna with the participation of the architectural college, municipal structures, youth and non-governmental organisations, citizens, business representatives and other stakeholders. Those wishing to participate in the development of the neighbourhood participated with their projects in the competitions and so more than 40 projects were implemented. The association continued its activities after 2017, as one of its priorities is to support the development of Talyana.

Thanks to the 2017 youth projects in Talyana, in 2018 a community of architects, urban planners, designers, IT specialists, historians, artists, active citizens and representatives of the Varna European Youth Capital Association founded the association Talyana. It cooperated  with the Municipality of Varna on the analysis of the neighbourhood and the creation of a strategy for it. The association also developed the City Walk and Adoorable projects related to the development of the area.

In 2019 Talyana was twinned with Kapana in Plovdiv. Work begins on creating a network of creative neighbourhoods in Bulgaria.