Town under salt's spell
The latest Thracian beehive tomb in Bulgaria is located near Pomorie
17 June, 2017
The Monastery of St. George is located in the outer parts of the modern town of Pomorie.
The ancient beehive tomb.
The Church of the Transfiguration dates back to the 18th century.
Bulgarian Revival Period houses in Pomorie.
Yavorov monument in Pomorie.
The lovely seaside resort of Pomorie is situated on a small rocky peninsula in the Black Sea, some 20 km to the north of Burgas. The town's ancient name, Anchialus is rooted in the tradition of sea salt harvesting as it means “town nearby the salt works” in Greek. Today, Pomorie boasts the only of its kind Museum of Salt in eastern Europe, which presents the ancient technology of hand harvesting of sea salt through sun drying.
Anchialus was established in the 5th century BC as a marketplace of Apollonia. Prior to the arrival of Greek colonists in the area, it was a Thracian settlement. The Thracian ethnic background of its population is evidenced by the large number of Thracian burial mounds unearthed in the region. One of the mounds keeps traces of the interment of an affluent Thracian woman of the 1st century BC. One of her gold jewels had her name - Lesseskepra, engraved on it. The cult objects accompanying her to the underworld show that she was a priestess and a healer.
The famous Thracian beehive tomb of Pomorie dated to the 3rd or 4th century AD is located on the outskirts of town. It is believed to be an exemplar of the latest Thracian tombs in Bulgaria. The tomb has two antechambers, a dromos (passage) and a central chamber. The vault rests on a hollow circular column in the middle of the chamber. The column expands upwards like a mushroom to merge with the vaulted ceiling, which renders the construction unique. The traces found on the stair at the entrance suggest that the tomb had a two-leaved door, which was opened and shut many times, implying that the building was not just a tomb but rather a heroon (mausoleum), where religious rituals were performed.
Anchialus thrived under the Romans and Byzantines but the town was destroyed in a major earthquake in 740. Now some of its ruins are on the sea floor. The town was revived in the medieval period when it was alternating between Bulgarian and Byzantine rule until it fell to the Turks in the early 15th century. The town returned to prosperity in the 19th century. Many local landmarks of that period are extant: the Monastery of St. George, established in 1856 on the site of an ancient sanctuary, the Church of the Transfiguration, built in 1763-1764 as well as the Old Houses of Pomorie architectural reserve, encompassing several typical buildings of the Bulgarian Revival Period. The town hosts the annual Days of Yavorov Festival of Poetrry, dedicated to one of Bulgaria's greatest poets, Peyo Yavorov, who lived and worked in the town in 1899-1900.