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World Heritage Site

for World Heritage Travellers

Nessebar

Nessebar
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The Ancient City of Nessebar at a peninsula in the Black Sea holds over 3,000 years of history, with Thracian origins and later becoming an important Greek colony and Byzantine settlement.

Originally a Thracian settlement known as Menebria founded in the 2nd millennium BC, the town became a Greek colony when settled by Dorians from Megara at the beginning of the 6th century BC, and was an important trading centre from then on and a rival of Apollonia (Sozopol). Remains from the Hellenistic period include the acropolis, a temple of Apollo, and an agora. A wall which formed part of the Greek fortifications can still be seen on the north side of the peninsula. Bronze and silver coins were minted in the city since the 5th century BC and gold coins since the 3rd century BC.

The town fell under Roman rule in 71 BC, yet continued to enjoy privileges such as the right to mint its own coinage. It was one of the most important strongholds of the Byzantine Empire from the 5th century AD onwards, and was fought over by Byzantines and Bulgarians, being captured and incorporated in the lands of the First Bulgarian Empire in 812 by Khan Krum after a two week siege only to be ceded back to Byzantium by Knyaz Boris I in 864 and reconquered by his son Tsar Simeon the Great. During the time of the Second Bulgarian Empire it was also contested by Bulgarian and Byzantine forces and enjoyed particular prosperity under Bulgarian tsar Ivan Alexander (1331-1371) until it was conquered by Crusaders led by Amadeus VI, Count of Savoy in 1366 and handed back to Byzantium. The Slavic version of the name, Nesebar or Mesebar, has been attested since the 11th century.

Monuments from the Middle Ages include the 5-6th century Stara Mitropoliya ("old bishopric"; also St Sophia), a basilica without a transept; the 10th century church of the Virgin; and the 11th century Nova Mitropoliya ("new bishopric"; also St Stephen) which continued to be embellished until the 18th century. In the 13th and 14th century a remarkable series of churches were built: St Theodore, St Paraskeva, St Michael and St Gabriel, and St John Aliturgetos.

The capture of the town by the Turks from the Byzantine Empire in 1453 marked the start of its decline, but its architectural heritage remained and was enriched in the 19th century by the construction of wooden houses in the Eastern Rumelian style typical for the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast during this period. After the Liberation of Bulgaria from Ottoman rule in 1878, Nesebar became part of the autonomous Ottoman province of Eastern Rumelia until it united with the Principality of Bulgaria in 1886.

Map of Nessebar

Legend

  • Cultural

Community Reviews


Naeem, Pakistan 31.10.14

Really Nesebar is an old city and also very green and sunny beach city.

You can feel here the anciant culture and life style of that time.i have visited this city in 2014.

Naeem, Pakistan


John booth New Zealand 07.12.12

Nessebar by john booth

Nessebar deserves its listing just on account of its location on a peninsular jutting out into the Black Sea. But by taking a short walk through the town I discovered streets of picturesque wooden houses, Byzantine ruins, and churches of many different hues, from the huge church of the Virgin Mary, the ruined church of St Sophia and the many small Orthodox churches which appear everywhere.

I reached the town by taking bus no.11 from Burgas station.


Bob Hale, USA

Holland America included Nessebar a few years back. We spent a half day taking in the old town. Unfortunately HAL's time table had us there before any shops opened; before any locals showed up for work. We met a few, and were delighted they could grasp some of our English. As true Americans, we grasped nothing of their Bulgarian! Rich in old word history, the town demands the visitor do some homework before walking the town. The guides are limited in English - after all, Bulgaria is still getting started in the tourist business.

Would I visit again? Indeed, and this time I'd opt for an over-night. The Bulgarian kitchens were just getting warmed up when we headed back to the ship. Next time, I want lunch!!

And, the people are all smiles.

RSH


Bruce w. Turner, United States of America

I've been to Nessebar twice. First time was in 2002, second time was August 2004. I brought my daughter along and she was really impressed by not only Nessebar but Bulgaria overall. My wife comes from Plovdiv, Bulgaria.We meet in Germany. My other intrest of Bulgaria, especially Plovdiv, is its place in our Christian History. I agree with the afore mentioned comments of Nessebar, and Bulgaria. I would love to live and work on the Black Sea Coast. Between,Nessebar and Primisko.


Gatis, Latvia

Nessebar may seem to be not very special, but if you care to find out its history - ouch, this place is quite interesting! Then you start to appreciate its numerous small Byzantine churches, ancient monuments (there is good museum), picturesque streets with specific houses.

I spent there one day - this was the best experience for me in Bulgaria.


Bojin Djinkov, Bulgaria

Nessebar is the town, where I live.For pictures you can see www.nessebar.boom.ru


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Site Info

Full name: Ancient City of Nessebar

Unesco ID: 217

Inscribed: 1983

Type: Cultural

Criteria: 3   4  

Link: By Name By ID

Site History

  • 1983 - Inscribed 

Locations

The site has 1 locations.

  • Nessebar