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The Royal Station

Built-in 1906 in a Neo-Baroque style the building of The Royal Station also known as The Royal Station Kazichene is a monument of culture and a museum. The Royal Railway Station was used exclusively by the royal family, who lived in the nearby Vrana Palace.

In January 1898, nearly 9 kilometers away from Sofia, Knyaz (later Tsar) Ferdinand buys the old Turkish homestead Chardakliya, who after the liberation in 1878 became a property of Bone Petrov – a local man of wealth who auctioned the estate to Georgi Stranski. Later, he also buys separate pieces of land from peasants in the area and creates a beautiful park of trees and shrubs all over the world. He also built a palace there – Vrana Palace.

In Vrana, Ferdinand’s family spent most of their time inviting their foreign guests there. In order not to leave the guests to travel too long by car from Central Station, Ferdinand decides to build a train station near the palace. At first, the central part of the station was built and over the years has been upgraded. The main part of the building consists of two wings with many ornaments on the façade, arched windows, two visors, cast-iron columns that support the roof and visors, decorative roofing curtains, ceramic floor tiles, and many other details and ornaments.

Knyaz Ferdinand and Vasil Radoslavov.

The Royal Station Kazichene referred to the public as “The Royal Station” and witnessed some important events in Bulgarian history. From this station in 1908, Ferdinand left to Veliko Turnovo, wherein the church “St. Forty Martyrs” was declared the Independence of Bulgaria on September 22, and Ferdinand, until then the Prince of Bulgaria, was proclaimed King. On 3 October 1918, the day of his abdication, King Ferdinand (1887-1918) arrived at Kazichene and boarded the train that would take him away from the country he had ruled, never to return, forced by circumstances.

The Royal Station, around 1930s.

In 1946, Ferdinand’s grandson, the eight-year-old King Simeon II (1943-1946) left with his family (his sister Princess Maria Luisa and the Queen Mother Giovanna) from the same station. The train had to make an unexpected long stopover at the Bulgarian-Turkish border, the reason being that the engineer had refused to drive further and disembarked the train. He stated that he wouldn’t like to be the one to take the Royal Family out of the country. Simeon II didn’t return to Bulgaria for more than 45 years. The same year Vrana Palace passed to the eldest son of to Tsar Ferdinand Tsar Boris III (Tsar of Bulgaria from 1918 until his death in 1943).

Tsar Boris III and Prince Kiril on the narrow-gauge from Kazichene to Vrana Palace.
The Royal Train.
Inside the royal train.

After the departure of the royal family in 1946, the station was rebuilt and changed its purpose several times – warehouse and army headquarters. In 1990 the building was abandoned.

The Royal Station, around 1970s.