Saturday, April 18, 2009

Nessebar, Bulgaria

32 kilometers northeast from Bourgas, a naturally sculptured rocky peninsula in the Black Sea attracted the ancient Thracians at the end of the 2nd millennium BC. Around the year 510 BC by way of the sea came the Dorians and established the Greek colony of Mesembria. Even nowadays archaeological research supplies plentiful material about the long history of modern Nessebar. Greeks used to cut coins out of silver, bronze and even gold. Later, the Romans left traces of their own garrison. From the 7th century Mesembria turned into a bishop centre and an important Byzantine seaside town with its own rule, and in the beginning of the 9th century it was taken by the Bulgarian Khan Krum. Its cross-road location turned it during the following centuries into a military conquest in the case of each Bulgarian-Byzantine conflict.
Today, a narrow isthmus of about 300 meters separates the new town of Nessebar from the unique atmosphere of the town-museum. There, side by side live the ruins of the fortress wall and the gate of the Old Town dating from the 3rd – 4th century. Many of the churches are preserved there – all in all 23, each with a different system of chronology. The Old Metropolis and Saint Virgin Mary Eleusa are basilicas from the 6th century, and Saint Joan the Baptist, Saint Stephen, Saint Ivan Neosveteni, Pantocrator, Saint Archangels Michael and Gavril, Saint Paraskeva, Saint Todor were built in the period of the 11th – 14th century. They are unique examples of Medieval Byzantine and Bulgarian architecture, fresco and plastic. Features of these chapels are the exquisite ceramic elements inbuilt for the sake of decorating their facades.
Originally the town was populated only along the peninsula, but nowadays Nessebar is growing to the North and to the South along the coast. The fine sand, the small bays, the unique sand dunes increased beyond recognition the hotel construction in the region. It is already hard to the recognize the line between the hotels of Nessebar and the ones of the famous resort Sunny Beach on the north. A pedestrian walkway alongside the old streets of the peninsula with the typical houses of Nessebar, dinner in a catering site on the rocky beach of the Black Sea or other Bulgarian specialties, concert under the dome of the old church are things that can be seen and felt only here. There is no doubt that since 1979 Nessebar has turned into one of the top ten Bulgarian monuments on the UNESCO list.
The typical house in Nessebar has established itself a special place within the history of Bulgarian architecture. It is usually two-floored, with the first floor built of stone – and the upper floor – constructed with wooden boards impregnated with the salty taste of the sea, with bow-windows overhanging the cobblestone streets. Even today one can see stretched fishermen nets and fish delicacies drying according to ancient methods. Many of these houses are restored; they are preserved as monuments of culture and are accessible to tourist to view. One of them is the Bogotova house dating back to the 60’s of the 19th century and is situated in the centre of the Old town.

1 comment:

Aris do Mar said...

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Nice blog
Visit me?