From Academic Kids

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Map showing Nessebar's location in Bulgaria.

Nessebar (Несебър), previously known as Mesembria (Greek: Μεσημβρια) and before that as Menebria, is an ancient city on the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria, located in Obshtina Nessebar, Burgas Oblast.

In modern times Nessebar is a major tourist attraction in what has become a popular area with several large resorts—the largest, Sunny Beach, is situated immediately to the north of Nessebar.

Nessebar has on several occasions found itself on the frontier of a threatened empire, and as such it is a town with a rich history. The ancient part of the town is situated on a peninsula connected to the mainland by a man-made isthmus, and it bears evidence of occupation by a variety of different civilisations over the course of its existence. Its abundance of historic buildings prompted UNESCO to inscribe Nessebar on its list of World Heritage Sites in 1983.

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A panoramic view of Nessebar.

The ancient part of Nessebar, seen from across the bay into which the city's peninsula protrudes.


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Church of Christ Pantokrator
Church of St John Aliturgetos
Church of St John Aliturgetos
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Wooden houses on Nessebar's peninsula

The town has been settled for over 3000 years, and was originally a Thracian settlement known as Menebria. A wall which formed part of the Thracian fortifications can still be seen on the north side of the peninsula. The town became a Greek colony at the beginning of the 6th century BC, and was an important trading centre from then on. Remains from the Hellenistic period, when the town was known as Mesembria, include the acropolis, a temple of Apollo, and an agora.

The town fell under Roman rule in 71 BC, yet continued to enjoy privileges such as the right to mint its own coinage. It was one of the most important strongholds of the Byzantine Empire from the 5th century AD onwards, and was fought over by Greeks and Bulgarians, being captured in 812 by Khan Krum after a two week siege.

Monuments from the Middle Ages include the 9th-century Stara Mitropolia, a basilica without a transept; the 10th-century church of the Virgin; and the 11th-century Nova Mitropolia, which continued to be embelished until the 18th century. In the 13th and 14th century a remarkable series of churches were built: St Theodore, St Paraskeva, St Michael and St Gabriel, and St John Aliturgetos.

The capture of the town by the Turks in 1453 marked the start of the its decline, but its architectural heritage remained, and was enriched from the 19th century by the construction of wooden houses in the Plovdiv style typical of the Bulgarian Black Sea coast during this period.


External links

de:Nessebar fr:Nessebar ja:ネッセバー nl:Nessebar ro:Nessebar fi:Nessebar sv:Nesebur


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