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Sozopol
Созопол
Sozopol is located in Bulgaria
Sozopol
Location of Sozopol
Coordinates: 42°25′N 27°42′E / 42.417°N 27.7°E / 42.417; 27.7
Country  Bulgaria
Provinces
(Oblast)
Burgas
Government
 - Mayor Panayot Reyzi
Elevation 0 m (0 ft)
Population (2009)
 - Total 5,753
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 - Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal Code 8130
Area code(s) 0550

Sozopol (Bulgarian: Созопол) is an ancient town and seaside resort located 35 km south of Burgas on the southern Black Sea Coast of Bulgaria. Today the town is mostly a seaside resort known for the Apollonia art and film festival (which takes place in early September) and is named after one of Sozopol's ancient names.

The busiest times of the year are the summer months, ranging from May to September as tourists from around the world come to enjoy the weather, sandy beaches, history and culture, fusion cuisine (Bulgarian, Greek, Turkish), and atmosphere of the colourful resort. The increasing popularity of the town has led to it being dubbed the Bulgarian St. Tropez, seeing stars like Ralph Fiennes, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Goldfrapp exploring its beauty and charm.[1]

Part of Burgas Province, as of September 2005 Sozopol has a population of 4,641. The town is located at 42°25′N 27°42′E / 42.417°N 27.7°E / 42.417; 27.7 and the mayor is Panaiot Reyzi. One of the most active and popular mayors had been Nikola Kaloyanov, who initiated numerous infrastructure changes to modernize the town in the 70s.

Contents

History

A reconstructed gate part of Sozopol's ancient fortifications

Sozopol is one of the oldest towns on Bulgarian Thrace's Black Sea coast. The first settlement on the site dates back to the Bronze Age. Undersea explorations in the region of the port reveal relics of dwellings, ceramic pottery, stone and bone tools from that era. Many anchors from the second and first millennium BC have been discovered in the town's bay, a proof of active shipping since ancient times.

The town, at first called Antheia, was colonized in Thrace on the shore of the Pontus Euxinus, principally on a little island, by Anaximander (born 610-609 BC) at the head of Milesian colonists. The name was soon changed to Apollonia, on account of a temple dedicated to Apollo in the town, containing a famous colossal statue of the god Apollo by Calamis, 30 cubits high, transported later to Rome by Lucullus and placed in the Capitol. At various times, Apollonia was known as Apollonia Pontica (that is, "Apollonia on the Black Sea", the ancient Pontus Euxinus) and Apollonia Magna ("Great Apollonia").

The coins, which begin in the fourth century BC, bear the name Apollonia and the image of Apollo; the imperial coins, which continue to the first half of the third century AD, and the Tabula Peutinger also contain the name Apollonia; but the "Periplus Ponti Euxini", 85, and the Notitiæ episcopatuum have only the new name Sozopolis. In 1328 Cantacuzene (ed. Bonn, I, 326) speaks of it as a large and populous town. The islet on which it stood is now connected with the mainland by a narrow tongue of land. Sozopolis, in Greek Sozòpolis (Σωζόπολις), in Turkish Sizebolu, in Bulgarian Sozopol, is in Burgas Province, Bulgaria. Its inhabitants, in the past mostly Greeks, lived by fishing and agriculture.

The town established itself as a trade and naval centre in the following centuries. It kept strong political and trade relations with the cities of Ancient Greece – Miletus, Athens, Corinth, Heraclea Pontica and the islands Rhodes, Chios, Lesbos, etc. Its trade influence in the Thracian territories was based on a treaty with the rulers of the Odrysian kingdom dating from the fifth century BC.

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 centre. At these times it was called Apollonia Magna.

Ruled in turn by the Byzantine, Bulgarian and Ottoman Empires, Sozopol was assigned to the newly independent Bulgaria in the 19th century. Almost all of its Greek population was exchanged with Bulgarians from Eastern Thrace in the aftermath of the Balkan Wars.

Ecclesiastical history

Traditional wooden architecture dominates the Old Town

Sozopol was Christianized early. Bishops are recorded as resident there from at least 431. At least eight bishops are known (Le Quien, Oriens christianus, I, 1181): Athanasius (431), Peter (680), Euthymius (787) and Ignatius (869); Theodosius (1357), Joannicius, who became Patriarch of Constantinople (1524), Philotheus (1564) and Joasaph (1721).

From being suffragan to the archbishopric of Adrianopolis, it became in the fourteenth century a metropolis without suffragan sees; it disappeared perhaps temporarily with the Turkish conquest, but reappeared later; in 1808 it was united to the See of Agathopolis. The titular resided at Agathopolis, in Ottoman days called Akhtébolou, in the vilayet of Adrianopolis (Edirne, in European Turkey).

Eubel (Hierarchia catholica medii ævi, I, 194) mentions four Latin bishops of the fourteenth century.

Fishermen's boats in Sozopol

The city remains a titular see of the Roman Catholic Church, that of Sozopolis in Haemimonto, suffragan of Adrianopolis. The seat has stood vacant since the death of the last titular bishop in 2000.[2]

Art flourished in the Christian era. The ancient icons and magnificent woodcarving in the iconostases are a remarkable accomplishment of the craftsmanship of these times. The architecture of the houses in the old town from the Renaissance period makes it a unique place to visit today.

Names

The original name of the city is attested as Antheia.[3] Coins were minted in the town bearing the inscription Apollonia, which date from the sixth century BC to the first half of the third century AD. During this period, appellations such as Apollonia Pontica (Apollonia on the Black Sea) and Apollonia Magna (Great Apollonia) have been recorded. By the first century AD, the name Sozopolis began to appear in written records (e.g., in the Periplus Ponti Euxini). After the town became part of the Ottoman Empire, the name was Turkified to Sizeboli, Sizebolu or Sizebolou. After Bulgaria took possession of the town, it was Slavicized to Sozopol.

Sozopol Gap on Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica is named after Sozopol.

Gallery

See also

References


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Contents
Black Sea Coast from a balcony at accommodation in Sozopol
Black Sea Coast from a balcony at accommodation in Sozopol

Sozopol (Bulgarian: Созопол) is a town on the Black Sea Coast of Bulgaria.

Get in

Numerous buses from all around Bulgaria arrive at summertime.

See

Make sure to visit the old town with very old church, ancient places,restaurants,old amphitheater,the port and the beach . Nearly camping all around the city are also popular for young people and backpackers. Nearly islands saint Ivan and saint Peter are too interesting. Image://www.martinez.bg/Photos/Sozopol1.jpg

Do

For a lesser known place to go and relax, there is a rocky area by the sea in the old town. Walk up past the old school (apparently an old school anyway) and over the car park and follow a little path down to the sea. There you can sunbathe on the rocks, swim in the sea or jump/dive off the rocks (some are quite high!) if you are feeling a little more adventurous. The sea is quite deep here and can be a little rough at times so make sure you take this into consideration if you are not a fairly strong swimmer. If you are into extreme sports, you can try an amazing Quad Bike safari near Sozopol - around the village of Marinka. [[1]]

Buy

Buying real estate in Sozopol should be a good deal. It is very nice and beautiful place, not yet discovered so much by tourists and not crowded.

Sleep

A good way to find a place to stay is to ask a taxi driver to take you to a place they know. This usually involves them taking you to a property they own or one owned by a family member or friend. The best place to stay is the old town where you will feel in the heart of the cultural side of Sozopol. The people are friendly and welcoming and it is not far to walk to the main part of the town for food, drink and to visit the shops.

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  • Useful links, [2]. Photos from Sozopol  edit







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