World War One Sites - The NETWORLD Database

Monument to German submarine sailors in Varna, Bulgaria

The monument was built in 1938 on an idea and with funds of the Bulgarian Ministry of War in memory of the crew of the German submarine U-45, submerged in 1916 near to Varna coast.

In the upper part, the monolith was crowned with a rectangular cornice, a stylized stroke on the sea surface as part of the story of „the underwater drama“. At the base of the monument and in front of it, they embedded the plate with the cross for bravery, and horizontally in front of the monument mounted the monolithic plate with the names of the tragically killed submarines. On both sides of the monument planted two cypress trees.

Immediately after the end of the Second World War, the monument was dismantled. Bones of submarines were moved to Varna Old Cemeteries. In 1987 were moved once again, this time in the new cemeteries near Topoli village. Since 1991 the Bulgarian military sailors from the submarine division took care of maintenance of the monument.

Bulgaria, City of Varna, Bulgaria

Type of WWI-heritage

  • War monument


The monument is a white prismatic body with a height of 3,55 m, width 2,80 m and a thickness of 0,60 m, which was built on a pedestal of 5,50 m, width 0,80 m and height 0,25 m.

State of repair/preservation

The monument is well preserved but it needs partial renovation - last repairs were made in 1992.

Historical WWI Context

The U-45 submarine arrived in Bulgaria along with another submarine named I8, two years after the start of the First World War and one year after Bulgaria entered the War, on October 1, 1916, the they arrived in Varna and immediately took part in the security and protection of the sea settlements along the Bulgarian Black Sea coast. On November 6, 1916 UB-45 pushed away from the wharf of the Euxinograd port and headed for the northern passage of the mining embankment. After one hour of careful move, the submarine fell into the Russian embankment. On November 6, 1916 a Russian barrage plunged a submarine U-45 near Varna.

 In the engine room and in the holds of a submarine there were 13 submarine sailors.

State of legal protection



Varna Municipality, Municipal company “Rituals” Ltd.

Kind of cultural use of WWI

Currently the monument is not included in any touristic routs.


The Old Varna Cemetery is opened all the year around. Administration work hours are between 8:00-16:00 every day except Saturday and Sunday. Manager’s telephone numbers: +359 52 639381 / +359 883 24 4144

Entrance Fee

No entrance fees

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

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 (

University of Economics – Varna (

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

The Monument of Pantheon Varna (

Varna Roman Bath (

Fountain of Varna - drone video (

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

City Art Gallery Varna  (

Best Retro Museum of Socialism  (

Museum of Natural History (

Varna Aquarium (

Varna Zoo  (

Varna Assumption Cathedral  (

Varna Bus Station -

Varna Airport -

Railway Station -

Varna Sea Port -


Grafitt Galery Hotel  (

Cherno More Hotel (

Boutique Splendid Hotel (

Best Western Hotel  (

Public Transport

Nearby bus stops:

“ Avtogara”; bus numbers: 18,18a,22,40,41,43,49,52,54,122,148,409

“Tehnikumite”; bus numbers: 14,48,82,83,88,118,118a,121

 For further information see:

Further information sources

At the beginning of the 1930s, a decision of the Bulgarian Naval Command began to search for the submarine, in order to be buried the dead remains of the killed submarines and, if possible, the submarine and its equipment to be used for the training of Bulgarian sailors.

On October 5, 1935, with the help of the Veliko Tarnovo barge, the submarine was pulled up first to Cape St. Dimitar, then on October 8, 1935 to the seventh quay seat of the Varna port, and on February 5 he began the final stage of the extraction. On February 25, 1936, twenty months after the start of the operation, they took the submarine to drought, which, according to the press at that time, "represents a feat of Bulgarian navy, which in this case takes a record of removing wrecked ships with improvised means." These are the participation of one hundred people, 16 hand lifts, the Danube Veliko Tarnovo barge, adapted to the Varna naval arsenal for a floating crane-hoist, the Vassil Levski tug, a diving boat and two shavings. It is interesting to mention that after the dismantling of the submarine in 1938 almost all of its parts came into use and their value of over 7 million leva covered the cost of subtraction. The four torpedoes and his two sets, one 8.8-inch 130-gun projectile, the diesel engine, the periscope, and the magnetic compass were all in order. At the ship's workshop they managed to repair the submarine's diesel engine and install it in the engine room of the Asen  training ship, where it worked flawlessly for ten years.

When the divers first entered the enclosed and hard-to-reach spaces of the submarine, they found the remains of four of the sailors in the stern, and the other nine in the bow. The bodies of all were relatively well preserved, parts of their uniforms and their military designation, as well. Their names have been clarified on the personal, hermetically sealed chests all German soldiers possessed.

Other heritage sites nearby

Museums Private Collections

Varna Archeological Museum (




Varna Naval Museum  (


Back to list