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Sozopol
The town of Sozopol (population: 4 987) is situated 31 km south-east of Bourgas, and 421 km south-east of Sofia. The town lies on a small rocky peninsula in the farthest southern part of the Bourgas Bay. A one hundred-metre long strip of land connects it to the mainland. After 1925 the town started to grow in the direction of Harmanite Area and today it occupies considerably larger territory on the mainland.
The first settlements
belonged to the Thracian tribes of Nipsei and Skirimian. In 7th century BC Greek colonisers settled there and called the town after Apollo, the God of arts. Apolonia developed mainly as a trading centre for honey, wax, corn, wine, olive oil, olives, textiles, jewellery, and pottery.
During the reign of Khan Kroum it was within the borders of Bulgaria and like all other sea towns it frequently fell under the rule of Byzantium. In the Middle Ages it preserved its status of a district town. It was severely devastated in the middle of 14th century during an attack by the Genoa fleet. Later it was conquered and sold by the knights of Amadeus of Savoy. After a long siege the town fell under Turkish rule in 1453. Only wooden houses have been built there ever since; the oldest samples can be observed even today in the unique old streets. Sozopol welcomed the Liberation as small fishermen’s settlement. Later the town became the biggest fishing centre of the Black Sea coast and developed recreation and tourism. The famous Tsar’s Beach is located to the north of the town. Nestled between the rocks to the south of the town is the Raiski Beach (Paradise) and further southwards – the Kavatsite. The Harmanite Beach is immediately to the south of the so-called “new” town. An ancient necropolis was found here in 1993 and excavations are still going on.
The landmarks in Sozopol are many, but none of them can be separated from the rest since all of them impact the visitors as an attractive ensemble. The ancient churches from the Revival Period - St. Zosim Church and The Holy Virgin Church. The following houses are quite interesting: the house of Dimitur Laskaridis (17th century, now an art gallery), a fish trader, Ana Trendafilova’s (the house with the sun), of Kourtidis, Lina Psarianova’s (now arranged as Stenata Restaurant), of Grandmother Koukoulissa Hadzhinikolova (today housing the office of Sturshel Newspaper), Metropoliev’s House (a medical centre at present), of Kreanoolu, etc. The old cobbled streets and high fences in front of which the old women sit and chat, knit laces and sell fig jam, are inseparable elements of a whole complex of three-centuries of history. Interesting places to visit are the Archaeological Museum and the Art Gallery.
At the beginning of September each year the town hosts the big Apolonia International Art Festival.
 
 

 
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