SOZOPOL

 

Sozopol is located on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast, 35km south of Bourgas. Its central part- ‘The Old Town’, is situated on a little peninsula. The St. Ivan and St. Peter Isles are nearby. In the year 610 B.C. on the locality of today’s Sozopol a Hellenic colony was founded by the name of Apollonia Pontica. The name of the town comes from god Apollo. The town grows into an important merchant and port centre. The anchor becomes the emblem of Apollonia and an invariable sign on the coins which it mints.

The rich town turns into a centre of a highly developed art. In the year 72 B.C. the town is captured and sacked by the Romans, its bulwark is destroyed, and the famous statue of god Apollo is carried from the sanctuary to Capitolia in Rome. With the adoptio
n of the Christianity as the official religion and the separation of the Roman Empire the city is referred to as Sozopolis – the Town of Salvation. After the changes which took place on the Balkan Peninsula and the formation of the Bulgarian country in the year 681, the Black Sea towns, including Sozopol, remain within the borders of Byzantium. The coastal road and the southern bulwark run by the southern side of the town. In the whole south-east area of the bulwark are built 8 towers, the remains of which are seen on the rocky sea coast.
















The Sozopol houses from the end of the 18c. and the beginning of the 19c. are of particular interest. They are constructed from stone, lagged with wood, with high ground floors used for the storage of wine and food in the past.















The town is conquered for the first time by the troops of Khan Krum in the year 812 and it is included in the borders of medieval Bulgaria. Located on the border between two great empires Bulgaria and Byzantium, Sozopol goes repeatedly from Bulgarian under Byzantine power and vice versa. Bulgaria, which was divided into three kingdoms, was conquered by the Ottoman Turks. During the next few centuries the town becomes a little and an insignificant fishing settlement. About 100 houses are preserved from the epoch of the Bulgarian Revival. These houses are characterized with particular architecture which shapes the appearance of the old part of the contemporary town.

Today Sozopol welcomes thousands of tourists each summer and enchants them with its numerous natural and cultural sights, and the modern yacht port can satisfy even the taste of the most capricious yachtsman.

Nearby Sozopol the unique Thracian sanctuary Beglik Tash was discovered. It represents a circle of huge stones. The stones arranged in this specific way shape a clock, a calendar and an observatory. Beglik Tash is called the Bulgarian Stonehenge.

 

Only 10km south of Sozopol is situated the ‘Ropotamo’ reserve. The river Ropotamo is named after the Greek goddess Ro / in Greek Ro means ‘to run’, and ‘potamo’ means ‘a river’/, which gained the pirates’ mercy through its beauty and songs and stopped their forays on Ancient Apollonia. The firth of the river is one of the major tourist attractions in the reserve. In the firth area the river is calm and deep. The coasts are covered with dense forests, and a great number of lianas grow among the trees. 257 species of birds can be seen within the reserve, 71 species of which are in the Bulgarian Red Book. The reserve is a habitat of rare animal species. It is dwelled by 50 species of mammals: red deer and fallow deer, does, moufflons, foxes, jackals, otters and colonies of bats in the rock caves.