Bourgas district – Cities

The town of Bourgas is situated at the most western part of the Bourgas Bay on a peninsula surrounded by three lakes-Burgasko, Atanasovsko and Mandrensko lakes. The town has a population of 191 000 inhabitants. It is the second biggest town on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast. Bourgas lies at a distance of 387 km from Sofia. The town is a district center, a seaside resort and a port. Bourgas is the municipal center of 14 settlements.

The first inhabitants of the town were the Thracian people. During archaeological excavations were discovered settlements from the Halcolith and the Bronze Age in the Bourgas lake, while on the southern coast of the Mandrensko lake were discovered the remains of the ancient fortress of Skafida, at the bottom of the Bourgasko Lake was discovered the ancient Poros. Bourgas is the successor of the Roman town Debeltus. During the Middle Ages here was built a fortress having the name of Pirgos which controlled the road leading to Mala Asia. The first written evidence for the town is from XIII c. The town got its present-day name in XVII c. Before the Liberation the town had a population of 3 000 inhabitants. Today Bourgas is an important economic and agricultural centre.

The tourist sights of the town are: the sea garden, the cathedrals "Sveta Bogoroditsa"/Holy Virgin/ (1895), "St. St. Cyril and Methodius" (1895), the Armenian Church (1855), the Catholic cathedral, the church "St. Ivan Rilski", the Art Gallery (with its rich collection of icons and the works of local artists), the History Museum and the Ethnographic Museum.

The Bourgas mineral baths have been used ever since ancient times. Near the mineral spring from IV c. B.C. existed a Roman thermal bath. The Bourgas mineral baths are a national spa and mud-treatment center. They are situated at a distance of 15 km northwest of Bourgas. The mineral water has a temperature of 41oC and a capacity of 50 liters per second. The mineral water is suitable for treating diseases of the locomotory system, the nervous system, impaired metabolism and other diseases.

Bourgas District is a combination of natural resources and precious archaeological monuments. During the Ancient Times 4 major centers developed along the coastline - Mesembria, Anhialo, Debelt and Apolonia.

On the territory of Bourgas District are located the following natural landmarks: the "Strandzha Mountain" Natural park, the reserves " Ropotamo", "Atanasovsko Lake", "Pyasachna lilia"/Sandy Lilly/, "Vodnite lilii"/Water Lilies/ and the natural phenomena - "Lavskata glava"/The Lion's head/ along the Ropotamo River, ‘"Skalnia Sphinx"/The Rocky Sphinx/ near Sozopol, "Razdelenata Kanara"/ The Split Rock/near Sinemoretz.

The most famous seaside resorts are "Sunny Beach", "St. Vlas", "Arkutino", "The Dunes" and "Elenite".

The district is also known for its wineries in Pomorie, Nessebar, Bourgas, Slavyani, Karnobat and Sungurlare.

Tourist sights

The Archaeology Museum in Bourgas is located in a building which was proclaimed for a monument of culture. The museum houses the biggest exhibition of ancient period anchors on the Balkan Peninsula.

The Ethnographic Museum in Bourgas displays collections of folk costumes, textiles and ornaments from the region. The museum is located in a building from 1873 which was proclaimed for a monument of culture.

The Armenian Church in Bourgas was built in 1855 from the Armenian population.

The "St. Anastasia" Island is a small island at a distance of 3 sea miles east of Bourgas. In the past there existed the "St. Anastasia" monastery whose church from XVII c. is well-preserved till present days.


The town of Nessebar

The town of Nessebar

The town of Nessebar has a population of 9 200 inhabitants and lies at a distance of 42 km northeast of Bourgas. The town is the center of a municipality of 13 component settlements. The town was known under the name of Mesembria until 1934. It is one of the oldest towns in Europe. The Old Nessebar is situated on a small rocky peninsula of the Black Sea. The town is the successor of the ancient Thracian settlement of Menabria. In 510 B.C. the town was transformed into a Greek colony-town under the name of Mesembria by the Dorian settlers. Silver and bronze coins were minted in the town and later in III c. B.C. gold coins as well. During the Middle ages the town changed its belonging several times moving from the Byzantine to the Bulgarian limits and vice versa. It is a Byzantine domain until VIII c. and after 812 entered the limits of Bulgaria. In XI c. it was known under the name of Meseber. The town reached its greatest bloom in XIV c. during the reign of King Ivan Alexander.

On the small territory of the peninsula were discovered 41 churches, the oldest of which dates back to V c. The tourists can see the remains of the ancient fortress wall with its gate dating from III-IV c., the Nessebar churches from V-VI c. and the later ones from X-XIV c. which are fine works of the middle age Bulgarian-Byzantine culture.

The town fell under the Ottoman yoke in 1453 when its fortified walls were demolished. More than 80 houses from the Revival period of XVII-XIX c. have been preserved. They belong to the so-called Nessebar type of closed two-storey town houses.

In 1956 the Old town was proclaimed for an archaeological reserve and was later on included in the UNESCO Cultural Heritage List. Near Nessebar is situated the "Sunny Beach" resort with a perfect climate and a beach line of 150 m width.

Tourist sights

SunnyBeach resort is situated near Nessebar and has a perfect climate and a beach line of 150 m width.

Elenite is a holiday village situated on the Black Sea coast along the eastern slopes of Stara Planina. Elenite lies at a distance of 17 km from Nessebar. The holiday village is built on a steep terrain with housing buildings which resemble the Nessebar houses.

Sveti Vlas/ St. Vlas/ is a resort village lying at a distance of 4 km from Elenite and 13 km from Nessebar. The resort is situated at the foot of the Emine part of Stara Planina. Sveti Vlas has a narrow and stony beach line. The resort has a sanatorium for the treatment of diseases of the locomotory system. In the Middle Ages here existed the medieval "St. Vlas" Monastery.


The town of Pomorie - ancient tomb

The town of Pomorie - ancient tomb

The town of Pomorie has a population of 13 500 inhabitants and lies at a distance of 22 km northeast of Bourgas. The town is the center of a municipality with 16 component settlements. The town is situated on the narrow rocky peninsula of the same name jutting out 3,5 km in the Black Sea. The town is surrounded by the sea from the south, east and northeast and from the Salty Lake from the north. The beach line is covered with fine sand which is black on many places because of the rich composition of iron, manganese, aluminum and magnesium. Pomorie is well-known for the healing effects of the Pomorie healing mud extracted from the Salty Lake.

The town was founded in V c. B.C. from the inhabitants of Apolonia /Sozopol/ and had the name of Anhialo. At that time people extracted salt from the Salty Lake, manufactured and traded with wine. During the period of the Roman Empire the town had the name of Ulpia and was a prosperous regional and administrative center.

Pomorie was destroyed by the barbarians and was later restored after an order from the Byzantine Empress Irina. During the Middle Ages the town was known under the name of Tuthon. The town was captured by the Turks in 1453.

The tourist sights of the town are: The ancient dome tomb from III c., the churches " Preobrazhenie Gospodne" from XVIII c., the monk monastery " St. Georgi" (1856) and the church "Uspenie Bogorodichno"/The Assumption/ (XIX c.), the Pomorie Lake and the architectural reserve of old Pomorie houses.

Tourist sights

The ancient tomb Pomorie dates back to III-IV c. Today are preserved only a corridor of 22 m length and a central round room with a diameter of 12 m. In the middle of this room is erected a round hollow column which is widening towards the top at a mushroom shape merging with the curve of the vault. The corridor is covered with a semi-cylindrical vault which turns into a ring-shaped semi-cylindrical vault above the round room supported by the external wall and the column in the middle. This is a unique architectural decision which has no analogue in Bulgaria and represents an ancient Thracian burial ritual.


The town of Karnobat

The town of Karnobat

The town of Karnobat has a population of 20 000 inhabitants and lies at a distance of 56 km northwest of Bourgas. The town is the center of a municipality with 30 component settlements. The settlement is situated in the Karnobat Field at an altitude of 215 m.

The town is mentioned in an Ottoman document from 1460 as a road station under the name of Karin Obasa. The town was known under the name of Polyanovgrad until 1962.

The town has an ancient history dating back to the Neolith, the Ancient and Middle Ages. The present-day town is the successor of the Roman settlement-fortress Markeli. After the foundation of the Bulgarian State in 681 the region became the arena of military actions between Bulgaria and Byzantine. In 792 khan Kardam defeated the Byzantine troops and the settlement entered the limits of the Bulgarian state. The first written evidence for the existence of Karnobat is from 1153 from the Arabian scholar and traveller Al Idrisi. The town fell under the Ottoman yoke in 1371 and was a small administrative centre at that time. During the Revival period were built the churches "St. Yoan Bogoslov", the Community centre (1862) and the first public school was opened in 1864.

The tourist sights of the town are: the remains of the medieval fortress Markeli, the clock tower (1841), the church "St. Yoan Bogoslov", the house-museum of Dimiter Polyanov, the gallery of Bencho Obreshkov and others.

Tourist sights

The clock tower in Karnobat was built in 1841 by master-builders from Tryavna.

The medieval fortress Markeli lies at a distance of 8 km from Karnobat. Here were discovered remains of a basilica dating back to VI c., an ancient Bulgarian church from X c. and ancient Bulgarian ground fortifications.


The town of Obzor

The town of Obzor

The town of Obzor lies at a distance of 38 km northeast of Nessebar and has a population of 2 000 inhabitants. The town is situated on the Black Sea coast. Obzor is a national climatic seaside resort. There are remains from the Ancient-Hellenic colony Navlohos. The Romans called the town Templum Yovis. The remains of the temple of Jupiter are situated at the centre of Obzor. To the west of the town are situated the remains of the Bulgarian fortress Kozyak. The first written evidence for the existence of Obzor was found in the Ottoman documents from 1646 and 1676.

The tourist sights of the town are: The Ancient Temple, the remains from the medieval fortress Kozyak, Cape Emine, the village of Emona which is the home village of the Thracian king Rez, one of the Trojan War heroes.

Tourist sights

The medieval fortress Kozyak lies at a distance of 3 km west of Obzor in the Kaleto site.


The town of Primorsko

The town of Primorsko

The town of Primorsko has a population of 2 400 inhabitants and lies at a distance of 52 km from Bourgas. Primorsko is a municipal administrative centre of 5 settlements. The town was known under the name of Kyupria until 1934. Primorsko is situated on the Black Sea coast between the vast beaches of the Stomoplo Bay and the Devil Bay. The settlement is a port town specialized in fishery as well as a national seaside resort.

During archaeological excavations were discovered remains from the Eneolith, the early Iron and the late Middle Ages. The present-day town was founded in 1879 with the name of Kyupria which it had until 1934. It was proclaimed for a town in 1981.

10 km to the west of Primorsko is situated the village of Yasna Polyana which is of international popularity among the admirers of the great Russian writer Lev Tolstoy.

The tourist sights of the town are: The reserves " Ropotamo", "Zmiiski ostrov"/The Snakes island/, "Arkutino", "Wodnite lilii"/ The Water Lilies/, "Maslen Nos", The Dyavolska River and the church "Uspenie Bogorodichno"/ The Assumption/ in the village of Yasna Polyana.


The town of Sozopol

The town of Sozopol

The town of Sozopol lies at a distance of 32 km southeast of Bourgas and has a population of 4 700 inhabitants. It is a municipal centre of 12 settlements. Sozopol is a small town situated on a small peninsula- a rival of location to the town of Nessebar. The first human presence dates back to the IV millennium B.C. During the II millennia the land has been populated by the Thracian people.

In 611 B.C. Greek settlers from Mala Asia settled over the remains of the Thracian settlement and founded the town-state Apolonia. They named the town after the God Apollonius - the God of Arts. At that time the town was the biggest and the richest along the Black Sea coast. At the beginning of I c. the town was burned down by the Roman troops. It has had the name of Sozopol since IV c. which means the Saved Town. After the end of the Roman Empire the town remained on the territory of the Byzantine state and in 812 khan Krum conquered the town and added it to the limits of the Bulgarian state. There are more than 194 monuments of culture in Sozopol.

The tourist sights of the town are: the old part of the town, the churches "Sveta Bogoroditza"/Holy Virgin/ (XV c.). "St. Zosim", "St. St. Cyril and Methodius" (XIX c.), the Art Gallery, the Archaeology Museum, the ‘St. Ivan" Island and the "St. Cyril" Island.

Tourist sights

The old town of Sozopol has preserved a large number of buildings from XVIII and XIX c. They are two or three-storey buildings of wood and stone. Usually the first floors were used for warehouses for fisherman's tackle, agrarian tools and wine vats, while the second floor was used for living. The typical silhouette of the bay-window overhanging houses and the cobblestone streets give a Revival period charm to the town.

The Kavatzite is a seaside resort located east of the town in a beautiful bay. In close proximity to the resort is situated the "Pyasachna Lilia"/Sandy Lily/ reserve.

The Dunes is a holiday village. It is situated at the AlepuBay at a distance of 8 km from the municipal centre. The houses are low and have the typical characteristics of the Bulgarian and Mediterranean architectural styles.


The town of Aytos has a population of 21 000 inhabitants and lies at a distance of 30 km northwest of Bourgas. The town is a municipal centre with 16 component settlements. The settlement is situated in the Aytos Field at an altitude of 92 m. During the Revival period the town was known under the name of Orlovo.

The region of Aytos has a rich history. The archaeological findings tell that it originated in V c. B. C. Khan Tervel is the first Bulgarian ruler of the town of Aytos. The Aetos fortress played a key role in the defense system of Bulgaria against the assaults of Tatars, Avars, and Crusaders. The town was conquered by the troops of Sultan Murad in 1378. The mosque from that period was proclaimed for a historic monument.

The Aytos mineral baths are situated at the eastern part of the town. They have a temperature of 41oC and a capacity of 30 litres per minute. The water is suitable for treating gastric, kidney and liver diseases.

The tourist sights of the town are: the church "St. Dimiter", the Chengeliev's house-museum, the remains of the Aetos fortress, the rocky formation "The Three Brothers" and others.


Tourist sights

The town of Malko Tarnovo has a population of 2 800 inhabitants and lies at a distance of 79 km south of Bourgas. The town is the centre of a municipality with 12 component settlements.

Malko Tarnovo is situated at the heart of Strandzha Mountain in the valley between the Mecha Reka River and the Rezovska River at an altitude of 290-350 m. The town is a contemporary settlement which has been populated since ancient times. The ancient Thracian settlement on these lands belonged to the state of the Asti tribes with Bizia as its capital. /in present-day Turkey/. In the region of Malko Tarnovo there are hundreds of Dolmens, a Thracian dome tomb, sanctuaries etc. Here were discovered architectural fragments, statues and coins from the Roman and late-Ancient epochs.

There is no evidence for the history of the settlement during the period of the Second Bulgarian State. The town fell in the Ottoman yoke after the capture of Odrin/present-day town of Edirne in Turkey/. Malko Tarnovo became part of the Bulgarian State in 1913.

The tourist sights of the town are: the church "Uspenie Bogorodichno"/The Assumption/ (1830), the Thracian dome tomb by the Mishkovo field at a distance of 3 km from the town, the Thracian town of the dead at the Propada site, the History Museum, the catholic temple and the Bratanov's cave. 10 km northwest of Malko Tarnovo is situated the village of Brashlyan - an architectural and historical reserve.

Tourist sights

The Thracian tomb is the first excavated tomb in the region of Strandzha Mountain. It lies at a distance of 5 km northwest of Malko Tarnovo at the Propada site. The tomb was erected on a hill. There are more than 40 mounds in the region.

The cult complex "Mishkova niva" lies at a distance of 13 km southwest of the town. In the region were discovered a dome tomb, a Roman villa and a necropolis with mounds.

The Thracian dome tomb was a heroon. Heroon is a tomb of a mythological or real priest or hero. Heroons are Orpheus and king Rez, who took part in the Trojan War.

The dolmens in the Municipality of Malko Tarnovo are tomb formations of huge stone blocks from the Bronze and early-Iron Ages. They are among the first architectonical formations. The Dolmens are characteristic formations for Strandzha and Sakar Mountain. The stone blocks form monumental tombs-temples as if built by mythological beings.

The village of Brashlyan is an architectural and historical reserve. There are ancient two-storey houses in the village built of rough stone. The second floor is with thick planks. The village lies at the northern foot of Strandzha Mountain and has a population of 50 people.


Ahtopol

The town of Ahtopol

The town of Ahtopol is situated in the Municipality of Tzarevo at a distance of 11 km southeast of the municipal centre. It has a population of 1 200 inhabitants. Ahtopol is the most southern town on the Black Sea coast. There is a port in the town. The settlement is specialized in fishery, vine and fruit growing.

At the site of the present-day settlement existed the ancient Greek colony Agatopol. During XIII-XIV c. the settlement was a trade port and until 1829 it was a bishop's centre.

The tourist sights of the region are: the church from XVIII c., the mouth of the Veleka River and other.


The town of Tzarevo

The town of Tzarevo

The town of Tzarevo has a population of 6 000 inhabitants and lies at a distance of 70 km from the district centre. Tzarevo is a municipal centre with 12 component settlements. The town is situated on the Black Sea coast by a picturesque bay. The settlement is a port town and a seaside resort.

The town was founded in the ancient times by Greek colonialists. During XII c. the town was known under the name of Vasiliku. In the Ottoman documents from 1488 it is mentioned with the name of Vasilikyuz as well as with the Bulgarian name of Bosilkovo. The town was established on its present-day place in 1880 after its destruction by an elemental fire. After 1913 the town went back to the limits of Bulgaria and was populated by refugees from Eastern Thrace.

The tourist sights of the town are: the chapel "St. Georgi", the church "Uspenie Bogorodichno"/The Assumption/, and the church "Tsar Boris" (1830).


Grapes, The town of Sungurlare

Grapes, The town of Sungurlare

The town of Sungurlare has a population of about 4 000 inhabitants and lies at a distance of 63 km northwest of Bourgas. Sungurlare is a municipal centre of 29 component settlements. On the territory of the settlement were discovered remains of ancient settlements. There is evidence for the existence of the town in the Ottoman registry books from XVI c. and 1731, where it is mentioned under the name of Sungurlare. Between the years 1829-1830 forty-four families immigrated to Southern Russia and founded the present-day village of Nikolaevka in Krim District, Ukraine.

The region is specialized in the production of wine, grains and technical cultures.


Church, The town of Sredets

Church, The town of Sredets

The town of Sredetz has a population of 9 000 inhabitants and lies at a distance of 32 km southwest of the district centre. Sredetz is an administrative centre of 32 component settlements. In the region of the present-day town there are remains of a Thracian and a Roman settlement. There are also well preserved dolmens and ore-mines. Sredetz is a rich agricultural region. It is specialized in the production of grains and technical cultures, fruit and wine growing. In the region of the town there is a park with a dam-lake.


A group for authentic folklore, town of Kameno

A group for authentic folklore, town of Kameno

The town of Kameno has a population of 5 000 inhabitants and lies at a distance of 21 km northwest of Bourgas. Kameno is a municipal centre with 12 component settlements. In the region of the town there is a Thracian necropolis and a tomb mound. The first evidence for the existence of the town is form the Ottoman registry books from 1730.The town is specialized in the production of sugar beet, sunflower, fruit and vegetable growing.

A tourist sight is the church "St. Georgi" from 1893.


Mayor's Office, the town of Bulgarovo

Mayor's Office, the town of Bulgarovo

The town of Bulgarovo has a population of 2 000 inhabitants and lies at a distance of 21 km northwest of Bourgas. On the territory of the town were discovered settlement mounds, remains from prehistoric settlements from the Bronze and Iron ages and from the Ancient Times. The town was mentioned in the Ottoman registry books from 1676. After the Russian-Turkish Liberation War of 1828-1829 almost the whole population immigrated to Moldova. The settlement was known under the name of Urum Eni Kyoi until 1934. The town is specialized in the production of grains, fruit and vine growing.

The tourist sight of the town is the church "St. Anastasii" built in 1854.


The village of Ruen is the administrative centre of 41 settlements. The village is situated between the Emine and Aytos part of Eastern Stara Planina at a distance of 46 km from the district town of Bourgas. It has a population of 2 000 inhabitants. The village was known under the name of Ulanlii until 1934. A Thracian tomb was discovered in the region of the village. The village is mentioned in the Ottoman documents from XVI c. 

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