May 05


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.



Apr 18


Bulgaria has quite a few tourist attractions to offer and Nessebar is one of the most important ones. The town is a located in the Bourgas region, at about 120 km south of Balchik. One aspect worth mentioning is the fact that the town is situated on a peninsula which measures 850 m in length and 350 m in width and that access to Nessebar is done through an isthmus.


The region undergoes constant change due to the fact that it is located at the seaside and the Black Sea enmeshes the land little by little. Just to understand the process, the peninsula had lost a third of its territory to the sea. In fact, the ruins of the ancient fortress are still visible under water at an 80 m distance from the shore.


The town dates back 3,000 years. The original settlement was dwelt by Thracians and bore the name Menebria/Mesembria. It is on the ruins of the ancient establishment that Nessebar was constructed. The town was an important port throughout the Turkish domination over the region and after it freed itself, it turned into a small fishing town.

In 1956, Nessebar was declared an architectural and archeological reservation. The town comprises a mixture of archeological styles: the ancient ruins of the fortified walls and gates date from the 3rd and 4th centuries, the churches from the 5th and 6th centuries, the cathedrals are from the medieval period (10th and 11th centuries), and the sixty houses were all built in the Renaissance period.


You can imagine the special tableau these differently constructed edifices create. Legend has it that throughout its existence, Nessebar has had more than forty churches. However, the historical data and archeological discoveries point solely to 26 of them.
Tourist Attractions

Nessebar still bears the imprint of the ancient city and caries on the cultural legacy bestow upon it by the passage of time. The tourists who want to “go back in time” have only to visit the four museums available in Nessebar: the Archeology Museum, the Ethnographic Museum, St. Stephan Church (which has frescos from the 17th and 19th centuries) and the St. Spas Church where visitors can admire frescos from the 17th century.


All the cultures that have passed through this region have left their mark on Nessebar, but the beauty of it all is that these pieces from the past combine harmoniously to form a whole. But even so, it is still noticeable how the region underwent transformations due to the different developmental stages it passed through.

The architectural styles specific for the Balkan area as well as for the entire region east of the Mediterranean Sea are reflected in the edifices erected in Nessebar which combine elements from the medieval and ancient times as well as from the transit period from the Middle to the Late Bronze Period.


Religious motifs are also visible in the architectural design of the buildings. These date back from the medieval time, but some have been altered so as to comprise the Byzantine elements.

So if you are wondering what is it that you can visit in Nesebar, you should know that the list is long. You can see the ruins of ancient fortifications, houses of worship from Antiquity, churches from the Middle Ages (5th-15th centuries), all encompassed within the boundaries of Nessebar. This goes to prove that the town is a living organism, having evolved in time but still bearing the traces of the past.


The Cultural Heritage Law impedes anyone from destroying the structure of the town, which means that constructions in the region are strictly forbidden if they taint the overall cultural ensemble. But even if this law was adopted, several interventions took place in the 19th century which were detrimental to this unique urbanization tableau.

More so, the measures adopted in order to bring stability to the seashore of the peninsula were also out of place. However, these had an important purpose and that was to hinder the Black Sea’s advancement towards the land.


Nessebar impresses through its authenticity. Nothing is changed in the architectural design of the edifices. Interventions are performed solely for maintenance and stabilization purposes. The architectural sites are opened for visitations and while this is good news for visitors it also has negative implications because the sites are prone to deterioration and this is conducted at a faster pace if they are used extensively for touristic purposes.

As long as specific conditions are imposed and the area is adequately prepared for tourists, the sites will be preserved better and visitors can appreciate them for a longer period of time.