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Municipality of Nessebar is located on the most Northern Black Sea area of the Bourgas District. On the north it borders with municipalities of Biala, Dolni Chiflik and Pomorie.

The significant coastal line and its diversity create excellent conditions for tourism. The municipality center - the town of Nessebar is located on a small peninsula, 850 m long and 300 m wide. It is connected to the mainland and the new city by a narrow isthmus. The town is 20 km north from the International airport in Burgas. The municipality comprises 14 settlements with total area of 421 833 decars.

The beach area is one of the biggest in Bulgaria - 1517 decars with a total capacity of 139 450 sunbath spots. Sunny Beach, Ravda, Saint Vlas, Elenite are located in an immediate proximity forming a long beach sandy strip.

This forms Nesseber as the biggest tourist destination with 200 hotels, 630 private accommodations and 1000 restaurants and bars.

The town has a population of 12 207 residents with the majority of them Christian Orthodox.

The average height is 30 meters above sea level.

The climate in Nessebar is moderate continental with strong influence form the Black Sea and the air currents from the Mediterranean. The average annual temperature is 12.3 C with prolonged summer season from May till end of September. Snowfalls during winter are a rare occurrence.


The town is situated southwards of the last slopes of the ancient Hemus Mountain (today's Stara Planina), which gradually lower to the Black Sea and meets the sea at Cape Emine water.

The old town is long only 850 m and is 350 m wide. During the different periods of its existence it has lost 1/3 of its territory, which sank into the sea. Only 80 meters away from the coast one can still see remains of the fortress's walls under the water.

At present only the western wall with the gate is preserved, which defended the town from the mainland. The Nesebur Peninsula - the ancient Mesambria, which was called Mesemvria in the Early Middle Ages and later - Nesebur, was populated more than three millenniums ago, at the end of the Bronze Age. The ancient Thracians named it Melsambria, which in their language means "the town of Melsa" - the legendary founder of the settlement. Melsambria has had two harbours - a northern and a southern one. On those places are still being found remains of the ancient ships' equipment.

At the end of the 6th B.C. century, the first Greek colonizers arrived in the settlement - they were Dorians by origin. The settlement was gradually developed - new walls, temples, gymnasium and theater were built.

Mesambria began melting own coins around 440 B.C.

The town has reached its peak during the 3rd-2nd B.C. centuries when also gold coins were emitted. The numerous findings from that period, exhibited in the town's Archeological Museum, are proofs of the rich economic, cultural and spiritual life of the town.

In 72 B.C. the town was conquered by the Roman army. After a short period of occupation it was permanently included in the territories of the Roman Empire. Mesembria, as it was called at this time, has preserved untouched its fortress walls and the big public buildings. It kept making own bronze coins and remained an important commercial and cultural center on the Black Sea coast of the Roman Thrace. From that period are the bronze statue of Emperor Claudius, preserved parts of marble embossments, inscriptions and statues.

After the capital of the Roman Empire was moved to Constantinople and Christianity was adopted as an official religion, in Mesemvria were built new Christian temples -basilicas; fortress walls were erected, new water-supply system and town's termas were built.

The central church of Mesemvria bears the name Sveta Sofia (St. Sofia), as the one in Constantinople.

For the first time the town was included in the borders of the Bulgarian Kingdom in A.D. 812, when Khan Krum conquered it. Slavs and Bulgarians populated the settlement. The town was controlled again by Bulgarians and for a longer period in the reign of Tsar Simeon the Great. During the time of the first Bulgarian Kingdom Mesemvria was a cross-point of the Bulgarian-Byzantine relationships.

According the legends, during the rule of Tsar Ivan Alexander Nesebur had about 40 churches. At present the preserved ones are 26.

In 1366 the town was conquered by the knights of Count Amedei of Savoya and later turned over to the Byzantine Emperor.

For the first time the town was conquered by the Ottomans in 1396. It fell completely under the Ottoman rule, together with the capital Constantinople, in 1453.

During the centuries of the Ottoman rule the economic and spiritual life did not stop. The Nesebur's harbor continued to be a main import and export center on the Black Sea coast.

There are quite a lot of remains from the Bulgarian Revival period - many houses, typical representatives of the Black-Sea buildings and some of the windmills that have worked earlier in the town, a public bath and fountains for drinking water. Since the end of the last century Nesebur is a small town, the main means of living being fishing and agriculture - mainly vine-growing and flax-growing.

After 1959, the resort complex "Slunchev Bryag" (Sunny Beach) was built and international tourism started developing in the town and its surroundings.


The cultural inheritance of the ancient town is presented in four museum expo­sitions:

  • The Archeological Museum, which presents the rich material culture of Mesambria - Mesemvria - Nesebur, from the Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
  • The Ethnographic Museum - the "Moskoyani" house.
  • The church "Sveti Stefan" - 11th cen­tury - 16th century frescoes and an iconostasis from the 17th century.
  • Fortress gates and wall of Old Nessebar
  • Churches from the 11-14th century, elegant products of the medieval Bulgarian - Byzantine architecture
  • Over 100 two-storied National Revival houses with exposed wooden beams.