Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Introduction to Nesebar

In modern times, Nesebar 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 Nesebar. Nesebar 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 (previously an island) connected to the mainland by a narrow 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 include Nesebar in its list of World Heritage Sites in 1983. As of September 2005 Nesebar has a population of 10,194GRBulgaria and the mayor is Nikolay Trifonov.The town lies at 42°39′N, 27°44′E.

Originally a Thracian settlement known as Menebria founded in the 2nd millennium BC, the town became a Greek colony when settled by Dorians from Megara at the beginning of the 6th century BC, and was an important trading centre from then on and a rival of Apollonia (Sozopol). Remains from the Hellenistic period include the acropolis, a temple of Apollo, and an agora. A wall which formed part of the Greek fortifications can still be seen on the north side of the peninsula. Bronze and silver coins were minted in the city since the 5th century BC and gold coins since the 3rd century BC.
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 Byzantines and Bulgarians, being captured in 812 by Khan Krum after a two week siege only to be ceded back to Byzantium by Knyaz Boris I in 864 and reconquered by his son Tsar Simeon the Great. During the time of the Second Bulgarian Empire it was also contested by Bulgarian and Byzantine forces and enjoyed particular prosperity under Bulgarian tsar Ivan Alexander (1331-1371) until it was conquered by Crusaders led by Amadeus VI, Count of Savoy in 1366 and handed back to Byzantium. The Slavic version of the name, Nesebar or Mesebar, has been attested since the 11th century.
Monuments from the Middle Ages include the 5-6th century Stara Mitropoliya ("old bishopric"; also St Sophia), a basilica without a transept; the 10th century church of the Virgin; and the 11th century Nova Mitropoliya ("new bishopric"; also St Stephen) which continued to be embellished 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 from the Byzantine Empire in 1453 marked the start of its decline, but its architectural heritage remained and was enriched in the 19th century by the construction of wooden houses in the Eastern Rumelian style typical for the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast during this period. After the Liberation of Bulgaria from Ottoman rule in 1878, Nesebar became part of the autonomous Ottoman province of Eastern Rumelia until it united with the Principality of Bulgaria in 1886.Around the end of the 19th century Nesebar was a small town of Greek fishermen and vinegrowers, but developed as a key Bulgarian seaside resort since the beginning of the 20th century. After the departure of the greeks in 1925 a new town part was built and the historic Old Town was restored.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Houses of the national revival period

The wooden houses built in the end of XVIII c. and the beginning of the XIX c. are the best-preserved monuments from the time of the National Bulgarian Revival. They have their own original architecture which reveals the development of the typical Black Sea coast house and its significance as manifestation of the Bulgarian builder’s creative genius.
Constructed close one to another, the houses from the so characteristic narrow twisting streets that unexpectedly lead to the seacoast and create the unique atmosphere of harmony between Nature, man and town.The restored houses, more than 100 form picturesque architectural ensembles. One is situated around Ivan Alexander Street. Here the most interesting house is the one white washed second floor, decorated with the so-called shoulder-yoke. There is another ensemble near the Old Metropolitan church. Of great interest are the houses around the church St. Archangels Michael and Gabriel, especially the Nakov’s house and the Vardaliev’s, which is the only three-storied house.
The house of Moskoyani
Very famous is the house of Moskoyani made in 1840 on the South shore. It is remarkable architectural example. The living floor is spread out over the cellar. It possesses a rectangular dinning room with a carved ceiling. Around this room there are four large ones. During the cold winter months only the northern rooms were used warmed by the fireplaces.

The house of captain Pavel
The house of captain Pavel is built on the Southwest Coast near t he harbor station. Its entry gate is with a very interesting arch with a richly decorated outline. Looking at it, one gets the feeling that the second floor has just perched on the high stone cellar, used as a pub today.

The house of Jelu Bogdanov
The house of Jelu Bogdanov, built during the second part of the XIX c. faces the sea. Most of the architectural elements of the building are in baroque. The consoles, gracefully made in S-form are thick and the balcony-curved. A curved ceiling in the dinning room charms the visitors.

The Chimbulev’s house
The Chimbulev’s house – a typical pattern of the period, is situated on Mitropolitska Street. The facade is slopping, the second floor- covered with wood. There are overhanging jetties from three sides of the house.

The house of Ivan Markov
The house of Ivan Markov was built 130 years ago. It is A-shaped. The wooden ceilings of the rooms on the second floor have a rich geometric decoration.

The Lambrinov’s house
The Lambrinov’s house built in the middle of the XIX c. is near the coast, on Ivan Assen Street. Its corner position permits the projection of the jetties- so characteristic for the Nessebar houses. The most interesting thing here are the consoles of the jetties made as woodcarvings.