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SOZOPOL

The oldest town on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast is situated 30 km south of Burgas on a picturesque rocky peninsula. A 100-meter-long land bridge separates it from the mainland.

The first settlement here emerged during the 4th-3rd millenium B.C. Anchors and other equipment from the 2nd millenium B.C. discovered in the Sozopol Bay testify to active shipping since antiquity. In 610 B.C. immigrants from the rich city of Miletus in Asia Minor founded a Hellenistic colony and named it Apollonia Pontica in honor of the god Apollo. The strategic position of the settlement assured it an active role as an intermediary in the trade between the Athenian Union of seafaring city-states, the Hellenistic states of the Mediterranean and the Thracian formations. Culture and the arts flourished, temples and public buildings were constructed, exquisite sculptures were created, works of gold, silver, bronze, and marble were produced, and coins were minted. In order to protect themselves from the ever-increasing Scythian raids, the citizens turned to Philip of Macedon for help and the city was annexed to the territory of the Macedonian state for 30 years. During the 1st century B.C. the Romans conquered the city and built new, beautiful buildings, temples and a 13-meter statue of Apollo. The zenith of the city, during Roman rule, was cut short after three centuries by barbarian invasions. Later came Byzantine and Bulgarian periods (Khan Krum was its first Bulgarian ruler), which alternated as a result of the numerous battles between Bulgaria and Byzantium. During Ottoman rule, Sozopolis (as it was known after the 4th century) declined and became a poor fishing and vine-growing village. The contemporary town, divided into Old and New quarters, is a unique "museum" of the development of human civilizations. A specific atmosphere is created by the antiquated houses, crowded among the cobblestone streets and alleys of the Old Town of Sozopol. Private lodgings, hotels, motels and campsites are available for the numerous tourists.

LANDMARKS
• Archeological Museum, which preserves a rich collection of ceramic vessels and stone obelisks, reliefs, amphoras and coins.
• Ancient and Medieval Christian Complex in the centre of Sozopol.
• Remains of the fortification system, which girded the town during almost all the stages of its development.
• Architectural Reserve, which includes more than 1180 homes of the National Revival era, historical and memorial monuments of local and national significance.
• The Holy Godmother's Church (17th century).
• Remains of fortress walls on the municipality's territory: near the village of Rosen and the locale Bakarlaka (from late antiquity), a Thracian fortress in the locale of Ala Tepe, a late-antiquity and Thracian-Roman fortress in the village of Varshilo, a late-antiquity and medieval fortress in the village of New Panicharevo, a small fortification from the Hellenistic age in the village of Veselie, medieval fortresses in the villages of Krushevets and Zidarovo.
• Remains of fortresses near the coast strip and on it - at Atia Cape, in the locale of Budzhaka, at Cape Chervenka, at Cape Akra (St. Nikola), etc.
• Necropolises: in the village of Veselie (a necropolis mound from the Hellenistic era), in the locale of Lobodovo Kale, at Cape Atia (a shallow ancient necropolis mound).
• Prehistoric graves (dolmens): in the village of Rosen (two), near the locale of Vyatarnitsite, in the locale of Sadakovo Kladenche, etc.
• Religious buildings: St. George's Church (1867), St. Elijah's Church in the village of Indzhe Voyvoda, The Holy Godmother's Church in the village of Varshilo, The Holy Trinity's Church (19th century) in the village of Izvor, St. Ahtanasius' Church in the village of Krushevets, St. George's in the village of Zidarovo, the church of Cape Atia, the small monastery in the village of Izvor, the ruins of the church near the village of Rosen, etc.
• The ruins on the islands of St. Ivan and St. Peter: the remains of the St. John the Precursor's Monastery with its main temple - St. John the Precursor's Church, an ancient Greek temple of Apollo, an ancient lighthouse, a furnace from ancient times for refining iron and the Russian Military Cemetery.
• 107 houses - architectural monuments: in the villages of Zidarovo (8), Krushevets (5),settlement of Chernomorets is situated 10 km away from Sozopol. It has its own beachfront which stretches to the Gradina Campsite. There are rocky capes to the north of the village and a river and tall reeds to the south. Holiday homes, private lodgings in beautiful houses with gardens, many eating establishments offer all the amenities for a quiet holiday.
• The Apolonia Art Holidays, which are held each year at the beginning of September.

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