World War One Sites - The NETWORLD Database

Monument of Colonel Milko Zhelezov in Varna, Bulgaria

The monument was opened on March 22nd , 2016. It was built on the right site of  the Naval Museum, next to “Drazki” Ship Museum. The proposal for the construction of the monument was submitted by the Union of Officers and Sergeants from the reserve and from the Union of Wars’ Veterans. The monument was built with the financial support of Varna Municipality. Author of the sculpture is Zhivko Donchev. The monument is related to the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War during which more than a thousand young people from Varna and Varna region were killed.

Bulgaria, Varna, Bulgaria

Type of WWI-heritage

  • War monument


The monument is 2 meters high.

State of repair/preservation

The monument is well preserved.

Historical WWI Context

The Colonel Milko Zhelezov was born on 4th of November, 1872 in Varna. He graduated from the high school in his hometown with full honours, and then   graduated from the Military High School in Sofiq with speciality in Artillery.

In the period 1904-1906 he has studied in the St. Petersburg’s Higher Artillery School in two specialties - Fortress and Coastal Artillery. During his training in Russia he invented the first computing device in the history of artillery, for which he has received the medal "St. Anna” III grade as a prize from the Russian Emperor.

In Bulgaria Colonel Milko Zhelezov was the first organizer of coastal artillery protection at the Bulgarian sea border.

At the beginning of the First World War, Milko Zhelezov was the commander of a separate division – the Coastal Artillery Defense. On October 14th , 1915 twenty two Russian ships, among them - the  "Empress Maria", the "St. Panteleimon ", the  “St. Eustatius "and others, have fired against Varna. As the Russian Fleet was outside the range of Bulgarian guns, the Bulgarian coastal artillery did not respond to the fire. Only after the emergence of German submarines UB I-7 and UB I-8  the city of Varna was rescued. Zhelezov's decision not to fire Russian ships, though logically and professionally justified, cost  him a career. He was removed from the Palace serving and sent as a commander of a division in the 5th Artillery Regiment near the Bulgarian town  of Razgrad.

He was soon involved in a war to liberate Dobrudja. He was distinguished by heroism in the Tutrakan epopee. His two-battery compartment retained the pressure of a superior opponent by breaking down Romanians, Russians and Serbs. During the battle Prince Boris was at the command post of Zhelezov. The Prince was delighted with Zhelezov skills and raised him to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel,  presenting him for the Order of Courage. At the end of the WWI  Zhelezov was promoted to Colonel and received his third Order "For Courage".

On February 1st  , 1921 after 51 years of service, participation in 3 wars, awarded with 10 orders and medals, Colonel Zhelezov submitted a report and has retired. Later on he was tried and extradited from Varna by the People's Court. Subsequently he was rehabilitated. Part of his house in Varna was turned into a museum.

State of legal protection



Varna Municipality

Kind of cultural use of WWI

Museum of History of Medicine – phone: +359 52 639 729,, 7 Paraskeva Nikolou Str., 9000 Varna, Bulgaria, GPS: 43.199720, 27.920642

History Museum of Varna - phone: +359 52 632 677,, 12-14  8th of November Str., 9000 Varna, Bulgaria, GPS: 43.198703, 27.918089

Museum Old Varna - phone: +359 52 654 065,, 5 Tsar Kaloyan Str., 9000 Varna, Bulgaria, GPS: 43.200823, 27.917745

Museum of Revival - phone: +359 52 658 , 21 Dr. Ludovik Zamenhof Str., 9000 Varna, Bulgaria, GPS: 43.201125, 27.912859

Ethnographic Museum - phone: +359 52 630 588,, 22 Panagjurishte Str., 9000 Varna, Bulgaria , GPS: 43.201023, 27.913428

Archaeological Museum of Varna – phone: + 359 52 68103,, 41 Maria Luiza Blvd., 9000 Varna, Bulgaria, GPS: 43.207188, 27.914512

Best Retro Museum of Socialism  (

Museum of Natural History (

Varna Aquarium - phone: + 359 052 632 066, , 4 Primorski Blvd., 9000 Varna, Bulgaria , GPS: 43.201362, 27.922294

Small Roman Baths, 8    8th of November Str., 9000 Varna, Bulgaria , GPS: 43.198289, 27.917831

Roman Baths - phone: + 359 52 600 059,, San Stefano Str., 9000 Varna, Bulgaria, GPS: 43.200236, 27.918003

Informational Centre Varna – address Varna 9000, St. St. Kiril and Metodij” Square, phone: +359 52 820690, work hours: 9:00-19:00

Varna Tourism Chamber – Varna 9005, Residential area Chayka, Block 128,  phone: +359 52 612809, work hours 9:00 – 19:00

Palace of Culture and Sports – Varna (

Dolphinarium – Varna (the only Dolphinarium on the Balkan Peninsula) (

The Monument of Pantheon Varna (

Fountain of Varna - drone video (

People's Astronomical Observatory and Planetarium "Nikolay Copernicus" (

City Art Gallery Varna  (

Varna Aquarium (

Varna Zoo  (

Varna Assumption Cathedral  (

University of Economics – Varna (


The monument is opened to the public all the year round

Entrance Fee

No entrance fees

Information regarding cities, villages, other touristic attractions (non-WWI) nearby

Varna is a port city and seaside resort on Bulgaria's Black Sea, adjacent to the coastal resorts of Golden Sands, St. Konstantin and Albena. It's famous for the "Gold of Varna," 6,000-year-old Thracian jewelry discovered in a necropolis. The jewelry's displayed inside the Archaeological Museum, along with Greek, Roman and Ottoman antiquities. A bar-lined waterfront promenade fronts 19th-century Primorski Park -

Varna – information for hotels, restaurants, things to do, etc -

Varna Municipality official web-site -


Hotel Panorama - , phone: + 359 52 687 300, 31Primorski Blvd, 9000  Varna, Bulgaria, GPS: 43.198254, 27.919661

Hotel Akropolis -,  phone: 052/ 603 108, м.тел.:0898 506 505, 13 Tsar Ivan Shishman Str., 9000 Varna, Bulgaria, GPS: 43.199130, 27.920606

Hotel Modus - , phone: + 359 52 660 910, 46 Stefan Stamboliev Str., 9000 Varna, Bulgaria, GPS: 43.203353, 27.921550

Hotel Best Western Prima - , phone: + 359 52 609 809, 5 Tsar Samuil Str., 9000 Varna, Bulgaria, GPS: 43.202509, 27.920563

Hotel Relax - , phone: + 359 89 789 3432, 16-22 Stefan Karadja Str., 9002 Varna, Bulgaria, GPS: 43.205167, 27.921614

Hotel Plaza - , phone: + 359 052 684 060, 10 Slivnitsa Blvd, 9002 Varna, Bulgaria, GPS: 43.204854, 27.921228

Hotel Cherno more - , phone: + 359 52 612 235, 33 Slivnitsa Blvd., 9000 Varna, Bulgaria, GPS: 43.204972, 27.919482

Hotel Grafiti   - , phone: + 359 52 989 900, 65 Knyaz Boris I Blvd., 9000 Varna, Bulgaria, GPS: 43.207639, 27.922550

Hotel Odesos - , phone: + 359 52 640 300, 1 Slivnitsa Blvd., 9000 Varna, Bulgaria, GPS: 43.203994, 27.921604

Hotel Kapitol - , phone: + 359 52 688 000, 40 Petko Karawelow Str., 9002  Varna, Bulgaria, GPS: 43.207543, 27.923478

Public Transport

Nearby bus stops:

Bus stop “Baseina”(Swimingpool); bus numbers: 17a, 20, 39

Bus stop “Festivalen Kompleks”(Festival Complex); bus numbers: 17a, 20, 39

Further information sources

The Monument of the Colonel Milko Zhelezov is situated on the park territory of Naval Museum.


"Colonel Zhelezov was a person who came out of our coastal defence and from his previous definition of "shore artillery founder ". For the first time, he has developed theoretical and practical problems that are beyond the artillery protection of our maritime border and have national significance. He is the most active journalist in the 1900's to 1940 on the subject of "Defence of our Maritime Border, Ports, Naval Base, etc.". He was the first one who has offered scientific and complex thinking in determining the quantity and quality of our ships, bases, artillery and others as a Navy. In this sense, he was not just a founder of the coastal artillery defence of Varna, our port and ships, but a developer of major national problems in defence of our sea border. His role goes beyond the borders of Bulgaria, as the Russian Emperor's assessment and recognition suggests. “ - says the Colonel Petko Velev in the conclusion of his book "The Iron Colonel Zhelezov".

Other heritage sites nearby

Museums Private Collections



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