Sozopol (Bulgarian: Созопол, Greek: Σωζοπολης) is a small, ancient town located 30 km south of Burgas, Bulgaria. The town is said to be too crowded in July, August and 1-10 September because of the Apolonia art and movie festival but is quiet in the winter.
Sozopol is the oldest town on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast. The first settlement at these places dates back to IV - III B.C. The undersea explorations in the region of the port reveal relics of dwellings, ceramic pottery, stone and bone tools from the bronze era.
In the Sozopol bay many anchors from II – I B.C .have been discovered, proof of active shipping since ancient times.
The town established itself as a trade and naval centre. It kept strong political and trade relations with the great cities of Elada – Milet, Athina, Corinth, Heraklea Pontica and the islands – Rhodos, Xios, Lesbos, etc. Its trade influence in the Thracian territories was based on a treaty with the rulers of the Odrissian kingdom back at the V century B.C.
The symbol of the town – the anchor, present on all coins, minted by Apolonia since VI century B.C. is proof of the importance of the trade. The rich town soon became an important cultural centre. At these times it was called Apolonia Magna (Great).
The ancient icons and magnificent woodcarving iconostatises are a remarkable accomplishment of the craftsmanship of these times. The architecture of the houses in the old town from the renaissance period makes it a unique place to visit today.