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.
Sometime in the 4th century, Apollonia is said to have accepted Christianity 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, cobbled streets and high fences in front of which the old women sit and chat, knit laces and sell green fig jams.
As the town has more than 2 600 years of history, there are relics of different periods and cultures to be seen: Greek-Roman monuments dating back to the Antiquity and architectural monuments from the Bulgarian Renaissance.
Among the architectural monuments, more than 45, are two ancient churches from the Renaissance period (14th century) - St. Zosim Church and The Holy Virgin Church and many houses dating back to the 17th century, several of which now-a-days are having social functions, hosting art galleries, restaurants, a medical center and a national weekly newspaper. The charming houses in the old town are considered as historic heritage and thus are protected by law; they cannot be destroyed nor rebuild, only resorted.