ARCHAEOLOGICAL AND ARCHITECTURE RESERVE "APPOLONIA-SOZOPOL"
Sozopol - the old town situated on peninsula Skamni.
35 km south of Burgas along republican road 99.
The fortress wall encircling the entire peninsula Scamni - the Old town of Sozopol, at the cervix of which stands the fortified city gate surrounded by two towers. Christian necropolis can be seen next to the four medieval churches in the city.
Apollonia - Sozopol is the oldest town along the Western Black Sea coast, founded as Millet colony in the late 7th century BC. Certainly the settlers' choice was influenced by the favourable natural and topographic characteristics. The settlement was established at the southern edge of the widest Black Sea gulf - the Burgas Bay. This ensured strategic access to the rich on timber and ores Strandzha coast, to the fertile plains of Thrace and the salterns on the other side of the bay.
The name of the city of Apollonia was probably chosen by settlers from Ionian cities Miletus and Fokea already by the preparation of their expedition. The sailors followed the will of the Delphic priestess Pythias in their desire to secure the favour of her master, the god Apollo, who would take them to the best shore. In the late 6th century BC the citizens of Apollonia honoured its patron, by erecting in his city temple a colossal bronze statue of Apollo the Healer, created by the famous antiquity sculptor Kalamis.
In the 6th century AD Apollonia was renamed S/i/ozopolis, meaning "city of salvation" as it was the case for other homonymous cities in the Roman Empire after the adoption of Christianity as official state religion /330 AD/. This probably corresponded to the needs of its people, because here was created one of the earliest Christian communities in the Bulgarian land. After the official recognition of Christianity in the Roman Empire, especially after the middle of the 5th century, Sozopol became an important Christian center.
Sozopol was the first major port north of Constantinople, which strengthened its military and administrative position in the Byzantine Empire during the 5th-6th century.
After the establishment of the Bulgarian state in 681 and especially in the next two centuries Sozopol often fell within the perimeter of military action against Byzantium. In 812 the city was captured by Khan Krum and included within the Bulgarian state.
During the Middle Ages Sozopol developed as one of the largest seaports on the Black Sea coast. Its proximity to the heart of the empire, Constantinople, enable them to actively use the rich resources of Thrace and Strandzha coast region and played an important role as economic and cultural mediator between Bulgaria and Byzantium.
Status of national archaeological reserve.
In Sozopol you can find archaeological museum with a permanent exposition showing the historical and cultural heritage of the city, and presents findings from archaeological expeditions over the years.
At the center of the reconstructed southern fortress wall along the promenade you can visit private museum presenting restored ancient military warehouse.
Restored and preserved is an early Christian and medieval episcopate situated next to the present church "St. George" in the center of the old town.
During 2011-2012 continues the research, conservation and restoration of the city gate of ancient Apollonia Pontica, and the medieval church "St. Nicolas".
In the city can be seen many old wooden houses constructed in the so-called Black Sea coast architecture style originated in the 17 century.
Sozopol is one of the biggest tourist centers on the southern Black Sea coast. Located 35 km south of Burgas. The modern town of Sozopol is composed of old and new part as the old part lies on a peninsula, which covered the ancient Apollonia Pontica. The city has a port from which depart many private yachts, fishing and tourist boats.