Tucked away on a tapered, rocky cape on the southern coast of Bulgaria, Pomorie is a resort with unique natural features that has captivated the summer tourist market in droves. Its fine sandy beach contains traces of iron and stretches over 7 km encircling beautiful Pomorie Bay. Close by the salty Lake Pomorie and the other Bourgas Lakes provide a wealth of nature amidst a beautiful natural environment. Pomorie is also renowned as a balneological resort that offers a highly effective mud-cure for a host of ailments and diseases.Remeber, Pomorie is famous for its viticulture, so whilst you relax and enjoy all that this resort has to offer, be sure to taste its beautiful wine.
Pomorie lies 20 km from Bourgas, which is home to the nearest international airport, and 18 km from Bulgaria’s biggest beach resort, Sunny Beach.
A Dip Back in Time
Archaeologists believe that Pomorie was established by the Greeks in the 5th or 4th century BC as a colony of Apollonia, which is the resort known as Sozopol today. The town was named Anchialos, which originated from the ancient Greek words “anchi" meaning "near to" and "als" meaning salt. During the 2nd century BC it was conquered by the Messembrians from nearby Nessebar. Its occupation by Messembria was short lived and it was soon recaptured by the Apollonians who destroyed its fortified walls.
Under the Roman command of Marcus Licinius Crassus in 29 - 28 BC the walls were rebuilt and by the early 1st century AD the town was at the centre of the Odrysian Kingdom. Thracians inhabited the town and soon the area was proclaimed a city and part of the Roman territory of Thrace. Its borders stretched from Stara Zagora to the Tundzha in the west, Messembria in the north and Lake Bourgas in the south. It became a thriving port during the 2nd and 3rd century, but invading barbarian tribes during the middle of the 3rd century put an end to its prosperity and in 270 it was conquered by the Goths. Constantine the Great and Docletian restored the port to its former glory and its close proximity to Constantinople made it a key area for food supply. By the great Slavic and Avar invasion in 584 the city was captured and its fortifications destroyed again.
When the First Bulgarian Empire was formed to the north of the city it played a leading role in the many disputes but by 812 the city was incorporated into the Bulgarian Empire under Khan Krum. By 864 it was back in the hands of the Byzantine Empire leading to a major battle known as the Battle of Anchialus in 917. Still over the next two centuries much fighting existed until the Ottoman Turks conquered the Balkans in the 14th century. It remained under Turkish rule until the Russians liberated the town in 1878. Gradually back under Bulgarian rule the town lost its status as a key port to neighbouring Bourgasand established itself instead as a major wine and salt producing region. Its present name, Pomorie wasgiven in 1934 and derives from the Bulgarian words “po” meaning by and “more” meaning the sea.
Apart from soaking up the sun on Pomorie’s golden sands there is much to keep visitors occupied here. The Municipal Museum and Gallery houses antiquities found in the areas well as some great art by local painters. Lovers of ancient history will also enjoy the 3rd century Thracian beehive tomb. The Museum of Salt explains about the geographical make up and history of the area to give a clear picture as to why
High on the list should be the 7th century St George’s Monastery, which was founded by the Greeks who settled in the area. It was destroyed in the 14th century by the Ottoman Turks. The church which stands there today was constructed in 1856 and houses a wonderful collection of icons and iconostasis. Legend has it that the sight has healing properties and that in the 17th century a man was healed from an incurable disease and was blessed by St George; there is a well-preserved stone relief depicting the saint.
Pomorie’s architecture is peppered with flashbacks to the Bulgarian Revival era such as the museum house of the renowned Bulgarian poet Peyo Yavorov who lived in Pomorie at the turn of the last century. There is also a monument to him known as the Yavorovi Rocks. A couple of pretty churches also dominate the skyline in particular the 3rd century Domed Sepulchre to the west of the town as well as the Church of the Birth of the Most Holy Mother of God built in 1890 and the Church of the Transfiguration of God built in 1765.
One site not to be missed is the attractive Lake Pomorie, the most northerly lake belonging to the group known as the Bourgas Lakes. It has a long thin shape and covers an area of 8.5 sq km with a further 2 sq km of wetland. It is separated from the sea by a thin stretch of sand and a man-made dike. Geologically it is known as an ultra saline, natural lagoon and has been a protected since 2001. The lake gives the best produces the best sea salt in the northern part of the lake, whilst in the south it is renowned for its healing mud. It’s location on the migratory path known as the Via Pontica means that it has a rich array of birdlife consisting of 215 different species of birds, four of which are on the list of endangered species worldwide.
Pictures courtesy of www.pomorie.free.bg