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Updated on October 26, 2013

On Bulgaria's Black Sea, Nessebar is a "must see" destination for tourists, vacationers and anyone interested in ancient history

Nessebar (also transcribed as Nesebar or Nesebur; ancient name: Menebria and Mesembria) is an ancient town and one of the major seaside resorts on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast. Located in Burgas Province, it is the administrative center of the Nessebar Municipality.

Nessebar began as a small village called Menabryia, which was Thracian for "Mena's Town". It became a Greek colony of Doric origin in the sixth century BC, while all the other Greek settlements along the coast were Ionic. The Greeks called the town Messembria. It grew to be a large and well equipped town with city walls, a sewer system, water mains, an amphitheater and many buildings of religious importance, including a temple to Apollo.

The Pearl of the Black Sea

Often referred to as the "Pearl of the Black Sea" and "Bulgaria's Dubrovnik", Nessebar is a rich city-museum defined by more than three thousand fascinating years of history.

Nessebar is a one of the most prominent tourist destinations and seaports on the Black Sea, in what has become a very popular area with several large resorts. The largest of these, Sunny Beach, can be found immediately to the north of Nessebar.

Old Nessebar

Over the past three millenia, on several occasions Nessebar has found itself on the frontier of a threatened empire, and as such it is a town with a rich history.

The ancient part of the town is situated on a peninsula (previously an island) connected to the mainland by a narrow man-made isthmus, and it bears evidence of occupation by a variety of different civilizations over the course of its existence. Its abundance of historic buildings prompted UNESCO to include Nessebar in its list of World Heritage Sites in 1983.

Should you get the chance to visit, don't miss the museum in Old Nessebar, where you'll have the opportunity to view many examples of ancient artifacts and art. You'll find it just to your right after passing through the main gate of the old city. It's well worth the price of admission.

How to find it

show route and directions
A markerUnless you're already closer, you'll want to start by flying to Sophia, Bulgaria's capital -
Sophia, Bulgaria
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B marker -
Nessebar, Bulgaria
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C markerYou can fly as close as Burgas -
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Nessebar Photos

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So, what do you say?

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    • madoc profile image

      madoc 5 years ago

      A pearl well worth collecting! Thanks for helping me discover Nessebar.

    • Kumar P S profile image

      Kumar P S 5 years ago

      Wonderful place ! Thanks for sharing.