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History

Sozopol is the oldest town on the Bulgarian Back Sea coast, dating back to 610 B.C. The city’s glorious history of more than 26 centuries has been well preserved in its charming spirit, character and ambiance. Founded by Greeks from Miletus, the town was originally named Apollonia, praising the Greek God of arts and crafts Apollo. Ancient Apollonia quickly grew in significance to the era’s trade industry, eventually becoming the middle grounds between Greeks and Thracians. At various times, Apollonia was known as Apollonia Pontica (meaning Apollonia on the Black Sea) and Apollonia Magna (meaning Great Apollonia). The symbol of the town – the anchor, present on all coins minted by Apollonia since the sixth century BC is proof of the importance of its maritime trade. The rich town soon became an important cultural center. At these times it was called Apollonia Magna.

Sometime in the 4th century, Apollonia is said to have accepted Chrisianity and, as many other cities named after Apollo, adopted the name Sozopolis, meaning ‘salvation city’. During the Middle Ages the town was the biggest fishing city on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, while developing and eventually realizing its tourism potential.

During the National Revival Period, the town was rebuilt with typical houses made of stones, white plaster external façades, wooden coatings and red tile roofs. Today, 45 houses enclose this 19th century architectural style and are preserved as national cultural and historic monuments.