Beach resort in Bulgaria
PomorieExcellent10 Reviews 4.8/5
Known in antiquity as Anchialo (which was situated near the present-day vineyards) it was established by Apollonia in 400 b.c. to counter the influence of rival Messembria. The colony became wealthy producing salt - extracted from the nearby lake - and wine for trade and export. Later renamed Paleokastro (Old Fortress) by the Greeks, it was a thriving place and a regional administrative centre under the Romans, who knew it as Ulpia. The latter were so fond of the curative mud that they minted coins depicting the healing nymphs. Destroyed by barbarians, it was later rebuilt by the Byzantines in 784.
The area was the site of numerous battles between Bulgarians and Byzantines, the most famous being in 917 when Tsar Simeon emerged victorious. A Bulgarian chronicler of the period, Simeon Logofet, wrote: "The whole Byzantine army was defeated and turned running, crying a frightful noise; some were stepped on, others were killed by the enemy; it was bloodshed not seen for a long time." Conquered by the Ottomans in 1453, Pomorie became the most important town on the coast next to Varna. The heirs of the last Byzantine dynasty chose to re-locate here after the Ottomans conquered Constantinople.
A fire in 1906 destroyed much of Pomorie or it would today most likely resemble Nessebur. This is an inestimable loss as the "newer" construction, consisting largely of crumbling industrial and residential buildings, makes the approach into town something other than a pleasurable experience. Near the eastern tip of the five kilometre-long peninsula, a picturesque ensemble of a half-dozen Revival-style houses compensates somewhat for the blight at the other end of town. In between, the centre is bi-sected by the main drag, Tsar Boris 1, which serves as the locus for locals and visitors who rub shoulders with fishermen from the small harbour nearby. Farther north is something of a beach but its iron-content ferrous sand can be uncomfortably hot during summer.
Besides tourism, local mainstays include agriculture, salt production, fishing, and wine production (Pomorie brandy and Dimyat white wine are excellent). The curative mud and balneology spas attract primarily elderly visitors, who don't seem to mind that there's not much else to do.
What to See and Do A museum collection is arranged in the house of Peyo Yavorov, the reknown Bulgarian poet and there is a monument to his honour near the Yavorov Rocks. The old churches – the Transfiguration Church (dating back to the 18th–19th centuries have a valuable iconostasis and icons) and the Assumption Church (19th century). The Monastery of Saint George, situated 500 meters east of the bus station, was originally of medieval construction but now occupies more modern facilities and is mainly of interest for its greenery-filled courtyard.
Pomorie is famous for its mud therapy, known since Thracian times. The three-kilometre-long lake has a 70% salt content, four times that of sea water. It yields an ooze containing curative salts and hydrogen sulphide useful in treating diseases of the locomotory system, nerve system, respiratory system, gynaecological and heart diseases, etc.. The local sanatorium, situated next to the lake in the north part of town, is among the country's largest. The first mud curing establishment was constructed in 1902.
Just south of town near the Europa campground is a mound-topped Thracian tomb. A 22 meter-long corridor leads to a 12 meter diameter hall with a hollow cylindrical column in the centre. The column, three meters in diameter at the bottom, mushrooms out at the top where it connects to the rounded ceiling and walls. Unique for its shape and building technique, it was constructed during the 3rd century by the Romans and probably belonged to a highly-placed Thracian official in the regional Roman hierarchy.
The beach is interrupted by a series of closely-spaced rock jetties, presumably constructed to protect the narrow strip of sand from washing away; however, they also prevent waves from lapping the sand clean and the beach is dirty and littered with bits of debris.
The resort offers all kinds of accommodation; from cheap bungalows to middle class hotels and deluxe houses.
Food and Drink Two restaurants of note are both located on Knyaz Boris I. Tsarevets, near the ensemble of traditional houses, resembles an old Bulgarian fortress and overlooks the sea. Peneka closer to the centre is bright and spacious with marble and tile decor, good food and service.