Nessebar The City of Nessebar

Nessebar - a small piece of land embraced by the sea, tied with a narrow rope-like neck to the quay of the continent.

The time and waves were merciful and have left us, the descendants, this marvelous creation of the nature, together with the ruins of the built by our ancestors architectural inheritance.The town is situated southwards of the last branches of the ancient Hemus Mountain (today’s Stara Planina), which gradually lower to the Black Sea and at Cape Emine their rocks touch the water.

The old town is long only 850 m and is 350 m wide. During the different periods of its existence it has lost 1/3 of its territory, which sank into the sea. Under the water, 80 meters away from the coast still can be seen remains of the fortress’s walls.

At present is preserved only the western wall with the gate, which defended the town from the mainland. The Nesebur Peninsula - the ancient Mesambria, which was called Mesemvria in the Early Middle Ages and later - Nesebur, was populated more than three millenniums ago, at the end of the Bronze Age. The ancient Thracians named it Melsambria, what in their language means “the town of Melsa” - the legendary founder of the settlement. Melsambria has had two convenient harbours - a northern and a southern one, in which still are being found remains of the ancient ships’ equipment.

About the end of the 6th B.C. century, the first Greek colonizers arrived in the settlement - they were Dorians by origin. The settlement was gradually fortified; temples, gymnasium and theater were built. The settlement transformed itself in a classical polis - a town with the respective structure, functions and administration.

In the town were built ships, a number of handicrafts was developed - mainly processing of metal. Mesambria began making own coins around 440 B.C.

The town has reached its boom during the 3rd-2nd B.C. centuries when also gold coins were emitted. It maintained busy trade relations with the towns along the Black and Aegean Seas, as well as those on the Mediterranean coast. The numerous findings from that period, exhibited in the town’s Archeological Museum, are material expression of the rich economic, cultural and spiritual life of the town.

Nowadays, Nessebar is one of the most popular resorts among foreign tourists for its ancient spirit and well-preserved remains. According to legends, the churches of Nessebar were no less than 41, which, when compared to the small population of the town, make the latter one of the world's settlements with the highest number of churches per capita.

Nessebar Situation of Nessebar

The town of Nessebar extends over a small rocky peninsula. It lies 37km northeast of Bourgas, 100km of the sea capital of Bulgaria - Varna and 430km of the capital Sofia. Its beach is considered to be one of the finest along the Black Sea coast due to a large sandy strip of land between the town and the village of Ravda, covered with clean golden sand.

During the summer of 2004 at  Nessebar harbor anchored a white ship, which proudly raised its flag, on which was written Marina Palace. It is still there, in the glamour of its four stars, always ready to meet guests from different lands.

Nessebar Fortification Walls

The sea was the first, but not the last bar against the attacks of the enemies. During the centuries a lot of fortified systems have been built which made of the peninsula an impregnable fortress. After excavations and following conservation and restoration have started the discovered parts of the defense system became one of the imposing monuments of the past which welcomes and accompanies the guests of the ancient Nessebar today. The first inhabitants on the peninsula – the Thracians, started the fortification of the settlement in the VIII c. BC. A fortified wall with a gate has been found from this period. It was made of hewn stone joined by mud. The wall that can be seen nowadays is 2 m high. The oval shaped bends of the walls typical for the Thracian building can be found on it. The oval shaped bends of the walls typical for the Thracian building can be found on it. During the time of Hellenistic colonization / VI c. BC / the colonists from Megara did not start immediately the construction of a new defense system. They built a new wall later, in the end of the V c. and the beginning of the IV c. BC. The work lasted till the III c. BC. Big stone blocks were used, their face sides being specially polished, placed in line, without any solder. The inner part of the wall was felled with broken stones and soil. Some three meters of this wall are saved nowadays. The Greek wall was well studied in the west part of the town. It can be seen that in some places it overlaps the later one – the Byzantine. Nessebar being conquered by the Romans, the found defense system was preserved and used during the following centuries. After the decay of the Roman Empire the Byzantine rulers undertook an active constructional work and in the middle of the V c. AD a new fortified wall has been built in opus micstrum – alternation of stones and bricks. The best-preserved part of it can be seen today near the city gate, opposite to the strip. Here the wall was faced with big orthogonal hewn stone blocks. The gate was flanked with two square towers on both sides of which round and semicircular towers were symmetrically placed. Two gates – a drawbridge like one and a twin leafed gate closed tightly the access to the town. During the Early Byzantine period a fortified wall was built on the South – West Coast, near the port. Above it there was a row of panoramic brick arches that now give to the coast a very special picturesque view. Fragments of this wall have been found out some 80- m southwest into the sea. The early Byzantine system has been used during all the Middle ages. In the time of war attacks of the enemy part of it was destroyed seriously but it was quickly rebuilt. The first reconstruction was deled to the end of VI c. and the beginning of the VII c., after the attacks of the Avars. After khan Kroum conquered the city in the year 812 he pulled down the wall. Later, in the end of the century it was rebuilt of bricks. In the end of the XI c. the defense system was repaired once again. During the reign of King Ivan Alexander the walls were definitely reconstructed. After the town was subjected to Ottoman rule in 1453, the defense system lost its strategic importance and, left without any special cares, gradually declined.


  • Many European travellers claim that Bulgaria is Eden of Earth.
  • Bulgaria is a country in Southeastern Europe and is situated on the Balkan Peninsula. To the north the country borders Rumania, to the east – the Black Sea, to the south – Turkey and Greece and to the west – Yugolsavia and Macedonia.
  • Bulgaria is a parlamentary republic with a Nationala Assembly (One House Parliament) of 240 national representatives. The President is Head of State.
  • The Republic of Bulgaria covers a territory of 110 993 square kilometers. The average altitude of the country is 470 metres above the sea level.
  • The last census (in 2001) showed that 7 973 673 people live in Bulgaria.
  • The Bulgarians use the Cyrillic alphabet.
  • The National Holiday of the Republic of Bulgaria is the 3 rd of March – The Day of  Liberation from Ottoman rule.
  • Nine National sites are included in UNESCO List of World Cultural and Nature Heritage.
  • Many hotels in Bulgaria offers opportunity for a great holiday and enteretainment
  • The official monatery unit in the Republic of Bulgaria iscalled the LEV.
  • The Leva in Bulgaria are of emissions not earlier than 1999. The Bulgarian paper notes comprise the following denominations: 
  •  1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 Leva


  •  The following coins are in circulation:


  • made of yellow metal: 
  • 1, 2, 5  stotinki


  • made of white metal:
  • 10, 20, 50 stotinki


Key Telephone Numbers                                                                                 

Ambulance 150                                                                                                             

Fire Brigade 160                                                                                                                

 Police 166

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