The city of Sozopol is located on a scenic bay along the southern Bulgarian coast, about 35 km south of Burgas.
The city, which has a population of 5,000, is one of the oldest on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast and one of the country’s most popular seaside resorts. The romantic atmosphere of the city’s beautiful old town attracts visitors from all over the world.
Archeological research indicates that the city has a cultural tradition that is some 7,000 years old. The first settlement grew up on the Sozopol bay during the Neolithic Era, some 6,000 years BCE. In 610 BCE, the inhabitants of Milet, a city in Asia Minor, made the Sozopol peninsula their city-state and called it Apolloniya. The city-state enjoyed rapid growth during the first centuries of its existence. In the 5th century BCE, massive fortress walls were constructed to protect its monumental public buildings. Ancient writers describe The Temple of Apollo the Healer as colossal, housing a 13-meter high statue of the god. In 72 BCE, Apollonia was conquered by Roman legions commanded by Marcus Lucullus, who razed and plundered the city. The legendary statue of Apollo was removed to Rome as spoils of war.
Sozopol’s Old Town was declared a museum-reserve by Ministerial Decree № 320 on September 7, 1974. The reserve includes more than 180 residences, constructed from the middle of the 18th century to the beginning of the 19th century. Houses in the Old Town are built of stone and wood and conform to the so-called Black Sea school of architecture. The best known are The Marieta Stefanova House, The Kreanoolu House, The Todor Zagorov House, The Kurtidi House, and The Dimitri Laskaridis House, among others.
Two of Sozopol’s most attractive tourist destinations are the city’s archeological museum and art gallery. In 2010, during archeological excavations of the nearby Saint Ivan (Saint John’s) Island, researchers unearthed holy relics of Saint John the Baptist. Today these invaluable relics are in the care of authorities at The St. Cyril and St. Methodius Church and attract pilgrims from all over the world. Old Sozopol and the relics of Saint John the Baptist were voted the most important of “Bulgaria’s Wonders” in 2011.
Sozopol consists of an old part and new part of the town. The Old Town mainly offers romantic old houses for accommodation, whereas the new part of the town is full of hotels of different categories and prices, from small family hotels to luxury hotels, from bungalows to guest houses.
Bars and restaurants
Numerous of bars, restaurants, fast-foods, grill- and toast-bars are scattered along the alleys of Sozopol. They offer diverse Bulgarian and international cuisine. The resort is famous for its night life, the multiple clubs, discotheques and bars. Morski Skali and Milet sea-facing streets are dotted with small bars and restaurants.
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