Nessebar is one of the most popular touristic destinations in Bulgaria and on the shore of the Black Sea.
Nessebar was included on the List of World Cultural Heritage Sites of UNESCO in 1983 and its fascinating millennial history never ceases to amaze the guests and is considered the “crown jewel” of Bulgaria; in 1956 it was declared a museum city and archaeological and architectural reserve. From its early days, the settlement has been surrounded by fortification walls, as it had always been a target for conquerors due to its beauty and strategic settling; some remains of these walls have survived to this day.
The same with thermal baths, which remained ever since the Roman and Byzantine period; they were built in between the 6th and the 8th century and at that time, they represented an attraction spot to the citizens of those times.
The ancient town is located on a romantic rocky peninsula connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus. The peninsula is 850 meters long and 300 meters wide.
Nessebar was founded 3200 years ago and is one of the oldest settlements in Europe. There are many pieces of archeological evidence, which prove the complex history and existence of this place and many of them can be seen at the Archaeological Museum, located at the very beginning of the peninsula. During Antiquity the town was called Mesembria, in the Middle Ages it was known as Mesemvria, and it was later renamed to Nessebar.
The several museums that you will find there will provide information about the town’s development under the control of the Thracians, the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, and last, the Bulgarian State.
Another one is the Archaeological Museum, the Ethnographic Museum of Nessebar, also located on the peninsula.
Its exhibition is displayed at Moskoyani House which was built during the Bulgarian Revival Period. The construction is very representative of the Nessebar typical architecture. Its owner used to be a prosperous merchant, back in 1804 and later turned into a cultural edifice. Here you can admire objects and items used and worn in the everyday life by the locals of Nessebar.
The most important assets of Nessebar are the numerous churches lasting from the early Byzantine period and the Middle Ages and among the most impressive buildings in Nessebar are the two basilicas: Sophia and the Basilica on the north coast of Eleusa, built between in the 5th and 6th century. The latter has been destroyed and rebuilt several times and is also known by the name “Mary Eleusa” because of an old icon representing the Mother of God.
Also, the churches of “St. John the Baptist”, characterized by its high cylindrical dome, and “Sveti Stefan” (Saint Stephen) represent remarkable pieces of architecture thanks to its frescoes from the XVI century of high artistic value.
Today the old part of town is an attractive place for romantic walks along the narrow cobbled streets where you can buy handmade souvenirs; amid wonderful antique atmosphere gives an opportunity for relaxation. The accommodation base is focused on family hotels and private rooms which are comfortable and multifunctional.
But do not imagine that this place is totally separated from modernity, as there are plenty of things to do by yourself, or with your friends or family, such as visit the Aqua Paradise, or the Mini-Aquapark Pirates of Caribbean for the little ones, visit the Film Museum or get to know the local cuisine in one, or more of the numerous bars and pubs that you encounter on your way.
Also, Bulgaria is well-known for its good wines and Nessebar has a lot to offer in this respect, as well. You can enjoy the lovely tastes of this legendary liqueur at the famous Hristis Winery; and if you got too excited after these visits, you can always go on a boat trip and admire the view from the opposite angle.