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Ancient City of Nessebar

The Ancient City of Nessebar is located on a small peninsula in the Black Sea wich is linked with the land by a long and narrow isthmus. Founded 3200 years ago, it emerged as a fortified Thracian settlement known as Mesembria, in the Middle Ages it was known as Mesemvria, and it was later renamed to Nesebar; later, in the 5th century BC, the Greek colonisers also constructed fortification facilities. After Romans conquered Mesembria, they used the fortification walls as well. The period, over which Mesembria was under the rule of the Byzantine Empire, was characterised by a construction boom (5th century AD). The wall by the town’s gate is the best preserved example of a fortification wall from this period. During the early Byzantine period a fortification wall was built on the southwestern shore as well. It has survived until the present day. After the capital of the Roman Empire moved to Constantinople and Christianity became the official religion, there was a boom of Christian temples built on the territory of Mesemvria.
The central ancient town is quite beautiful and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. 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. According to legends, the churches of Nessebar were no less than 41, this makes it one of the world's settlements with the highest number of churches per capita. Today there is information about 23 churches. Apart from the churches that have been transformed into museums, several other restored and well preserved temples can be seen in the Old Town.
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.
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