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Nessebar

Photo © Marie-Jose

Travel Guide Europe Bulgaria Nessebar

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Introduction

nessebar church

nessebar church

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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. In 1983 the ancient city of Nessebar was designated as an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today the old part of the town has regained its original romantic atmosphere: narrow cobblestoned 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. There are aslo several nice beach resorts with the largest being Sunny Beach. The total population of Nessebar is about 13,000.

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History

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 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, making 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.

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Weather

Nessebar's summers are warm, sunny and dry, with temperatures mostly in the 25-30 °C range during the day. Nights are generally balmy. Winters are relatively mild but not like typical Mediterranean places more to the south. Occassional snow and frost is definately possible, although it is not as cold as central Bulgaria.

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Getting There

By Plane

Bourgas Airport (BOJ) functions as the main gateway to the southeastern coastal region of Bulgaria, including Nessebar and Sunny Beach. There are regular flights in season (April-October) to dozens of places throughout Europe. Most of them are chartered flights and people arrive on package deals. There are some scheduled services, but also mainly in season. Only Sofia, Moscow and London have year-round flights.

By Bus

There are regular bus services between Burgas and Nesebar, roughly every twenty minutes from about 6:00am until 9:00pm, from the main Yug (South) Bus Station (next door to the Train Station). The service is run by two companies, the municipal BurgasBus service #11 and the privately-owned MiniBusExpres. Both take about 45 minutes and charge 6 leva each way.

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Getting Around

By Foot

Roads in and around the old town of Nesebar are quite narrow and cobbled. It is probably wise to park just outside of the town and go by foot. The cobblestones does make wheelchair access quite difficult but some streets have smoother surfaces.

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Sleep

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Andonov Family HotelMestastr. 12 8230Hotel94
Hotel Italia Nessebar19KIRIL I METODII STR.Hotel96
Guest Rooms Edelweissul.Edelweiss 5 (opposite the Municipality of NesebApartment89
Hotel Dalia20 Aurelia Str.Hotel-
Kiriosul. EmonaHotel98

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet access is widely available in Bulgaria, although about 60% of the population has regular access. Broadband internet is available through cable, ADSL, fiber optics, WiMax and LAN connections. You can also access internet with your mobile phone, via GPRS or 3G. Speeds are pretty fast in the capital. Outside Sofia, speeds are significantly lower. Internet cafes are available in most towns and cities, and in some villages. Computers are usually not available in libraries, or in public places such as train stations, but free wireless access is often available in such public places and in gas stations. Many pubs and hotels will also have WiFi that is free of charge to use. In recent years, wireless access has been growing, especially in biggest cities, but is still rather limited. Paid wireless access is also available. Speeds in Bulgaria are surprisingly good! In fact Bulgaria is in top 10 of the countries with fastest wireless Internet speeds worldwide.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to Bulgaria is: 359. To make an international call from Bulgaria, the code is: 00
There are three mobile operators in Bulgaria: Globul, MobilTel & Vivacom. You can buy phone cards from post offices, kiosks and other street vendors.

The pan-European standard number 112 for all emergency calls is working everywhere in Bulgaria since September 2008. If, for some reason, you can not connect to 112, dial 166 for police, 150 for ambulance and 160 for the fire department.

Post

Bulgarian Posts is the national postal service of Bulgaria. Services are fairly reliable and have been getting better and faster of the years. Still, it takes anywhere from days (domestic) to weeks (intercontinental) to send postcards, letters and/or parcels. They also have a very handy price calculator for all items, both priority as well as non-priority. Bulgarian post offices generally are open from 8:00am to 6:00pm, though some are also open on Saturday (mornings) or keep longer evening hours (mostly the central post offices in big cities or in tourist areas along the coastline). You can buy stamps and postcards at the post offices or at newspaper kiosks. Single stamps for domestic services start at 0.45 leva, for international destinations prices vary by region. For sending packages, you can also use more expensive but faster courier services offered by for example UPS or DHL. TNT and local ones like City Express or Econt are also options.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 42.6603497
  • Longitude: 27.7179353

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This is version 10. Last edited at 12:46 on Jun 24, 13 by Utrecht. 3 articles link to this page.

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