Burgas (also transliterated as Bourgas; Bulgarian: "Бургас") is the second-largest city on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast. It is also the fourth-largest by population in the country, after Sofia, Plovdiv and Varna. It is the capital of Burgas Province and an industrial and tourist centre. The Burgas Lakes are located around the city.
Burgas International Airport is a connecting point to major Black Sea resorts in Bulgaria such as Sunny Beach, Nesebar, Sozopol, Dyuni, Elenite.
Bourgas is a successor of the Greek city of Pirgos (Πύργος), founded by colonists from Apolonia (now Sozopol) as a military and observational post against the other important settlement in the region – Mesembria (now Nessebar).
Besides Pirgos, the present-day city expands over the area of three other ancient settlements: Kastiacion, Skafida and Rossokastron.
In the Middle Ages, a small fortress called Pirgos (Πύργος being Greek for "tower") was erected on the place and was most probably used as a watchtower. It was only in the 17th century that a settlement named Ahelo-Pirgas grew in the modern area of the city. It was later renamed to Bourgas and had only about 3,000 inhabitants, most of them Greeks at the time of the Liberation.
Soon it became a major centre on the southern Bulgarian Black Sea Coast and a city of well-developed industry and trade. A number of oil and chemical companies were gradually built. Salt and iron are also mined and traded abroad.
In 1903, the railway station in Burgas opened, giving an additional boost to the city's expansion. Burgas, unlike many other Bulgarian cities, was not much affected by Communist-type urbanization and has kept many of its 19th and early 20th century architecture.