Nessebar - one of the most ancient cities of Europe
Nessebar is one of the most ancient cities not only in Bulgaria, but even in the whole of Europe, which arose more than 3200 years ago, and it is extremely beautiful!
The mill is located in the middle of the isthmus connecting the peninsula, and today it is only a tourist attraction, as well as a kind of symbol of the city.
The ancient city of Mesambria Pontica was located on the peninsula of today's Nessebar. Later in the Middle Ages it was called Mesambria.
Messambria has two convenient harbors - southern and northern, where many remains of ancient vessels are still found today.
An interesting fact is that the legendary author of fables, Aesop, was born in Messambria around 620 BC and was of Thracian origin.
At the end of the 6th century BC, the first Hellenic settlers arrived - Dorians by origin.
The city gradually grew, as temples, a school and a theater were gradually built. It is surrounded by a massive fortress wall.
In 72 BC, the city was captured by the Romans. Messemvria, as it was then called, with its intact fortress walls and large public buildings, remains an important commercial and cultural center on the Black Sea coast of Roman Thrace.
After moving the capital of the Roman Empire to Constantinople and adopting Christianity as the official religion, favorable conditions were created for the revival of the Black Sea cities.
In Mesemvria, new Christian churches - basilicas - are being built, fortress walls, a new water supply system and city baths are being built. All this was carried out by the leading architects and builders of the empire, in the likeness of the capital prototypes. The central church of Mesemvria bears the name of "St. Sophia".
"St. Sophia", known as the Old Metropolis, is part of the architectural-historical reserve in the city, which is part of the UNESCO world heritage.
It is located in the supposed old center of the city.
It is a three-nave basilica with one semicircular apse, which is three-walled from the outside, with a narthex and an atrium (courtyard). The side aisles are separated from the central one by stone-built rectangular piers connected by brick arches. A second arcade steps above them. There are three arched windows on the east wall above the apse. The basilica had a gabled roof, which has not been preserved. In the apse, the synthron is preserved almost in its entirety. Inside, the church was plastered with mortar and frescoed. The entire floor was covered with a mosaic of small multicolored stones. To the right of the apse is a built-in marble block on which is carved a verse from an Old Testament psalm, and the fallen plaster reveals a piercing cry to future generations: "And let my cry reach you!"
The basilica was built immediately after the Council of Chalcedon in 451, when the Diocese of Thrace came under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constantinople.
The building was destroyed by the Avars in the 6th century and rebuilt at the beginning of the 7th century.
It acquired its current appearance after reconstruction at the beginning of the 9th century.
In the Middle Ages, the church was the cathedral of the Mesemvri Diocese.
It was abandoned towards the end of the 18th century.
The city first became part of the Bulgarian state in 812, when Khan Krum stormed and conquered it, and Slavs and Bulgarians settled here.
"St. Paraskeva" is an Orthodox church and part of the architectural-historical reserve in the city, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
"St. Paraskeva" is a single-nave basilica dating from the XIII-XIV centuries with a characteristic narthex and altar apse. To the east it ends with a five-walled apse. It is built of cut stone and bricks, in alternating belts.
The decoration on its facade is in ceramic style. Along the length of the northern and southern facades runs a row of blind arches, the tympanums of which are richly ornamented. The motifs – herringbone, sun, zigzag, chess, etc. – are made of stone and bricks. Above them, in belts, a decorative decoration of four-leafed and round glazed panels, embedded in the wall itself, develops.
The modern roof is gabled - a legacy from later centuries. The church developed in height as a typical cross-domed building - a cross expressed in the roof and above it - in the center - a drum with a dome. Above the vestibule stood a bell tower, which is evidenced by the stone staircase built into the wall separating the nave from the vestibule. Its roof structure has not been preserved. It is assumed that it was domed. There was probably a belfry above the narthex.
Its current roof was built later.
In the 12th and 13th centuries, the city developed active trade relations with the lands of the Mediterranean and the Adriatic, as well as with the principalities north of the Danube River.
The churches "St. Stephen" (11th century) and "St. John the Baptist" (11th century) were built and frescoed - they became the prototype of the masterpiece churches of Nessebar built later in the 13th - 14th centuries.
For 62 years, from 1201 to 1263, Nessebar, like the rest of the Black Sea cities south of the Balkans, was permanently included in the borders of the Bulgarian state.
After almost 40 years of Byzantine rule, Nessebar again entered the boundaries of the Bulgarian state in 1304 during the reign of King Theodore Svetoslav.
The city flourished during the reign of Tsar Ivan Alexander.
During the years of Ottoman rule, economic and cultural life did not stop. Churches were built, icons were inscribed. Paisiy Hilendarski mentioned the city in 1762 in his "History of Slavic Bulgaria", calling it Zamoria.
Many houses from the Renaissance period have been preserved - typical representatives of the Black Sea architecture, as well as many windmills, public baths and fountains.
Mesemvria was renamed Nessebar in 1930.
Nessebar was declared an architectural and archaeological reserve in 1956, and in 1983 the cultural monuments in the city were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Archaeological Museum - the city of Nessebar is included under number 6 in the 100 national tourist sites of Bulgaria.
How to get to Nessebar?
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