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Bourgas (210,000 residents) is the largest city in South-Eastern Bulgaria. The amazing combination of historical background, sea, sun and virgin nature make Bourgas a favourite spot for many holiday-makers.

Bourgas coat-of-arms

Bourgas, panorama

Town history

Bourgas is a city with more than two-thousand-year-old history.

The earliest life can be traced back to the Bronze Age and the beginning of the Iron Age.

A number of finds, treasures and archaeological sites have witnessed to live activities during Thracian times - the second half of the 4th century BC.

As a Roman settlement the town is known as Deultum, and was established as a military colony for veterans by emperor Vespasian. In the Middle Ages, the town had two different names - Bourgos and Pirgos. The names derived from the Greek words meaning fortress, tower, provoked by the numerous fishing towers (bourgs) in the vicinity.

Burnt down in the 19th century, it was incorporated in the Principality of Bulgaria in 1885, brought back to life and turned into an important administrative, economic and cultural centre of Bulgaria.

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Bourgas, town center view

The fourth largest city in Bulgaria, Bourgas has always been open to the world and the world's economy and culture by means of its harbour with more than 1,500 vessels each year.

The Black sea itself is shaping the appearance of Bourgas, the spirit of its people and the original atmosphere due to the town's century-old contacts with various nations and civilizations.

Bourgas is a major centre on the southern Bulgarian Black Sea Coast and a city with well-developed industry & trade. It is part of the Union of the European towns for sustainable development.

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The District Museum of History (1925) housing an archaeological hall with a rich collection of items dating back to the old colonies in the region.

The Ethnographic museum with its exhibitions of traditional costumes, ritual accessories, fabrics and embroidery.

The Sts Cyril and Methodius cathedral (1894). With impressive frescos and wooden altar this is the biggest Bulgarian Orthodox church in Burgas

The Holy Cross Armenian church (1855). Built by the local Armenian minority supported by Bulgarians.

The St Virgin Mary Roman-Catholic church was built in place of the Old Catholic Church in 1936.

The Art Gallery (1945) with more than 2500 works of art - paintings, sculptures and fine art, the gallery is among the oldest in Bulgaria. It is located in a former Jewish synagogue (1910), a remarkable architectural monument built by the Italian architect Ricardo Toscani.

The Sea garden, rivalling the one in Varna, is situated on a hill next to the coast. Its open-air theatre houses the annual International Folklore Festival and the Golden Orpheus pop-festival. A philharmonic hall, an opera house, a drama theatre and a puppet theatre are in beautiful buildings, open all year round.

Bourgas hosts the famous Bourgas International Folklore Festival (founded in 1965). The town was granted membership of The International Council of the Organizers of Folklore Festivals (CIOFF) in 1978.

Since 2001, the town of Bourgas is a member of the International Festivals & Events Association Europe (IFEA).

Every year representatives of different continents meet at the seashore to present the folk heritage they bear deep in themselves:
- Classical German & Austrian music (end of April, 5 days);
- 'Theater in a Case' International Theater Festival (May & June);
- Festival of Opera and Classical Music (July, 3 weeks);
- International Folk Festival & Week of the Arts for Children (Aug);
- 'Bourgas & the Sea' International Pop- and Jazz- Meeting (Sep);
- Int'l Tournament for Standard & Latin American Dances (Dec).

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Bourgas, Sts Cyril and Methodius cathedral

Bourgas, town view Bourgas, the 'Holy Cross' Armenian church Bourgas, Sts Cyril and Methodius cathedral
Bourgas, the Sea park Bourgas, the Opera Bourgas, 'St Mary' Roman-Catholic church (1936)

Hover your mouse over the landmarks' thumbnails to enlarge the pictures.

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