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Green Corridors - AKVE KHALIDE - THERMOPOLIS

AKVE KHALIDE - THERMOPOLIS

In the outskirts of Burgas city, district Vetren, localizes 15 km north of Burgas along E871/E773 towards A1.
The site is in regulation, existing developed infrastructure.

AKVE KHALIDE - THERMOPOLIS

History

Ancient and medieval city Akve Khalide - Thermopolis emerged around the hot mineral springs already in the 1st millennium BC during Thracian times. It was known as the most celebrated sanctuary of the Three nymphs, patrons of the mineral spring's healing craft. At the beginning of the 2nd century AD the Roman Emperor Trajan built large bath complex - thermae and a road station called Akve Khalide meaning hot water. The baths became very famous throughout the Empire and during the 6th century the Byzantine Emperor Justinian the Great built a large fortification to protect them from invaders.
The fortress called Thermopolis continued to exist during the following centuries in the boundaries of the Bulgarian state.
Thermopolis' fate was strongly influenced by events related to the establishment of the Latin Empire in 1204 after the Crusaders’ conquest of Constantinople and the following wars with the Bulgarian King Kaloyan. After the captivity and death of the Latin Emperor Baldwin I of Constantinople (Baldwin IX Count of Flanders) in the Bulgarian capital Tarnovo, Tzarevgrad, his brother Henry II launched punitive military campaign against the Bulgarian towns south of the Balkan Mountains in the winter of 1206. The knights of the new Latin empire prosecuted conquests over Adrianopol (Edirne) and Arkadiopol (Lozengrad), they decided to house in the warm baths of La Farm, as the bath was called by the chronicler Vilarduen. After three months stay and treatment in the hot baths, they were recognized by the Latin knights for “the best in the world”, nevertheless Emperor Henry II commanded that the city together with the baths is to be burned to the ground.


In the centuries after, the healing powers of the mineral baths continued to be used by the people even thought the complex was almost destroyed. First in 1563 Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent commanded establishment of a new oriental bath over the destroyed Roman pools in gratitude for healed gout.


Since 2008, on the territory of Akve Khalide have been conducted regular archaeological surveys. Among the revealed parts of the ancient city are the bath complex, some public buildings, 6th-13th century church, the Justinian fortress wall, Thracian necropolis and sanctuary. In 2012 starts a program for restoration, socialization and exposure of the cultural values as well as development of infrastructure to access the monuments.

Preservation

Visualization of the old city plan with the archaeological sites.
Setting boundaries and regimen for the use and administration of separate areas of the reserve "Akve Khalide" with a total area 36 acres. according to the Bulgarian Cultural Heritage Law. Restoration and conservation of the present immovable cultural property, regulations to access / areas, paths, setting up fencing and information signs. Restoration and integration of the oriental bath built in the 16th century - the only preserved monument of the early Ottoman architecture along the Black Sea coast. Establishment of a visitor center with multipurpose rooms and a museum. Creating electronic map of the terrain with marked routes. Screenings and audio guides (guide port) in different languages.


Festival of the Traditional Natural Treatment with demonstrations of ancient healing techniques using mineral water, mud and lye from Lake Atanasovsko.

Area Descriptions

15 km from Burgas, between districts Vetren and Banevo. Part of the nature park Mineralni bani. Next to the archaeological reserve can be found a sanatorium with spa and public fountains with mineral water.


The Archaeological Reserve consists of ancient and medieval baths, medieval Christian church, fortress walls and facilities connected to the defence system, Thracian tomb and other monuments.

Related routes

Project: Green corridors - promotion of natural, cultural and historical heritage in the region of Burgas and Kirklareli. Grant Contract №РД-02-29-173/01.07.2011.

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