Location: Nessebur has about 9 500 habitants. It is a lovely picturesque place situated on a small rocky peninsula and linked to the mainland by a narrow neck of land, 400 m long.
The town is located 36 km northeast of Bourgas and 427 km east of Sofia. It is one of the oldest European towns and is declared a monument of culture under the protection of UNESCO.
History: The ancient Greek polis Mesemvria appeared in the place of the Thracian settlement Mesambria(2nd millenium BC). In no time the polis became an important trading, craft and cultural center. A majestic statue of Apollonius was erected in it. During V-VIII centuries, Mesemvria was one of the most significant Black sea centers. In the end of this period it was a center of episcopate and also a naval base of Byzantium. In 812 Khan Krum captured the town but in 864 Tsar Boris yielded it to Byzantium. Its greatest efflorescense was reached under Tsar Ivan Aleksandur in the 10th century when about 40 churches and monasteries were built through donations. When Nessebur fell under Turkish yoke the fortified walls and many of the monasteries were demolished but its significance as a sea port did not change. The Liberation found Nessabar as a small fishermen's settlement, with well-developed viticulture on the hills above the town.
The town has existed for about three milleniums - first as the Ancient Mesambria, then as Mesemvria from the period of the Middle Ages and finally as the Bulgarian Nessebur.
Places of interest: Nessebar is best known for the old town (about 9000 years) on the peninsula. No one can say for sure whether the isthmus is natural or man-made. The largest number and best known buildings date from 11th to 14th centuries almost all of them churchies in the so called "picturesque" style: walls intersected by pilasters and lunettes, with stone, brick and ceramic ornaments and arches along the cornice. One of the oldest sanctuaries is the Basilica built on the coast most probably around the beginning of 5th century. The Old Bishop's Residence located in the centre of the town is probably the most impressive church in Nessebar. It is more than 25m long and 22m wide while its three naves were decorated with a colonnade and arches. St. Ivan the Baptist Church was built much later, in the 11th century, and is a typical cross-domed church with three naves, and four columns supporting the dome. One can see there fragments of frescoes dating back to the 13th century. The St. Stefan Church or the so-called New Bishop's Residence, situated in the vicinity of the harbour, was built in the 10th century. Its decoration is so picturesque that it marked the beginning of a typical local style, seen in the construction of churches of later times. The facade of the church is ornamented with built-in glazed ceramic figures of different colours and tiles. Besides well-preserved churches, one can see the remains of fortress walls (best preserved at the old town's gate and the port), authentic medieval, Roman and Greek street pavements, fortifications of different epochs, administrative and other buildings. Today the old part of the town has regained its original romantic atmosphere: narrow cobblestone lanes, tiny squares, two-storeyed period houses with stone-built ground levels and wooden upper floors jutting above the streets and external staircases, gift shops, pubs, tavern and lovely flower gardens.
Catering: The town is rich in restaurants, old-style mehanas and pubs ranging from the highest to the lower average class. Prices are somewhat above the average level of other old towns along the coast, though these are quite reasonable if compared to the nearby high-class resorts of Golden Sands, Albena or Sunny Beach.
Transport: There is a regular transport connecting Bourgas, Pomorie, Nessebar and Sunny Beach. Similarly to other seaside resorts during the peak season, there are a lot of private taxis and minibuses at competitive prices as well. Besides regular water transport to Bourgas, one can often hire local boatsmen to visit nearby places in the bay.