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,
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.