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• The town of Nesebar is one of the oldest towns in Europe. It is the successor of the ancient Thracian settlement called Mesambria founded in the Second century AD. Its name means town of Melsa. Since 510 AD it was turned into Greek colony town by Dorian settlers. They called it Mesambria and turned it a rival to the town of Apollo for the Black Sea trade. There was a theatre and a temple of the Greek God Apollo in it. Brass and silver money were coined there, and in the third century AD - golden ones.

• It was occupied in 72 AD by a Roman garrison. The town was of secondary importance during the Roman era. It started to play important role again in III-IV century. Around the year 680 the town was an Episcopal centre, and in VII-VIII century - an important, and strong and protected Byzantine naval base. In the year 812 Khan Krum conquered the town. In 864 Boris I yielded the possession of the town to Byzantine, but king Simeon captured it again. Since XI century the Slav name Messebar or Nessebar has been used together with the original name Mesambria. During the Second Bulgarian Kingdom the town rulers were either Bulgarians or Byzantines. The peak of its development was during the reign of king Alexander I when the town was one of the most important centres in the Bulgarian State. The official documents issued in Mesambria gave evidence of donations given to Nessebar for the building of churches and monasteries; according to the legends - more than 40.

• The crusaders led by Amedei VI of Savoy captured the town in 1366 and gave it to the Byzantines. The chronicles of Mesambria gave us information about the time when the town was enslaved by the Turks in 1371. The town kept its importance as an important harbour during the Turkish slavery: ships were built; corns, wood, etc. were exported. After the liberation it was turned into a small fishing town.The town was proclaimed an architectural and archeological reserve. The remnants of an antique fortified wall with a gate dating from III-IV century, the churches from V-VI century and the ones dating from the medieval period (X-XIV century), which are fine works of the medieval Bulgarian and Byzantine architecture, the 60 houses of the revival period, give the town unique appearance and atmosphere.

• The Roman Bath In the village of BANYA


• The village of Banya is particularly attractive with its open swimming pools with mineral water. The greenhouses, The Old Roman Bath and Churches create a pleasant and interesting atmosphere. The village is a climatic resort of local importance; of interest are also the historic ruins nearby.

• The Roman Bath in the Village of Banya• Banya is a famous mineral water resort which is situated just

6 km from Razlog.• The Old Roman Bath in the village of Banya is known as

Bulgarian Bath as well. It’s not known when it is built. It is considered to have been built during the Roman rule. During the second half of the 1st Century AD the Roman emperors conquered the lands which are now known as South Bulgaria and the province called Thrace was established. Building and housing construction was very developed during the rule of the emperor Trajan . There is an assumption that the Roman Bath was built during the Trajan’s rule ( 98- 117 AD) or during the rule of his successors but not later than 249- 251 AD. In other words, the Roman Bath in the village of Banya is almost the same age as the famous Trajan Column which was erected in Rome in 113 AD by the Emperor- Trajan himself.

• Secondly, Banya was under the Roman rule during 1st Century AD.

• There was a story about one court lady who was from Justinian’s Court. She was here for medical treatment. It was she who took the initiative to build a church. There is a slabstone from this time, that reminds the date of the event- 12th June 538 AD, i.e. during the first half of the 6th Century AD. This confirms that Byzantines as well as Romans knew about mineral water springs in Banya and they used the curative water for medical treatments.

• One big argument is also the style of the building- in characteristic Roman style- 4 rows flat hard- burned bricks, a row of stones and again bricks. The Bath ceiling is in a shape of vault with an opening for leaving water vapours. The opening was also built of bricks. A pool was also built and niches for the clothes of the bathing people, and there was a candlestick with chimney.

• During 1735 the Roman Bath was reconstructed. The marble stone which was put above the Bath entrance, give us the evidence for it. On it there are some inscriptions in Old Bulgarian language and in Arabian language.

• The text in Old Bulgarian language has the following meaning:

• “ From the Jesus Christ Birth”• Hadji Zaho• The text in Arabian language has the meaning:• “ An Owner of Good Deeds”• Hadji Zaho

• During the reconstruction the master builder and also a donator- Zaho built two extra supporting columns on the outer side.

• There were some mineral water springs around the Bath. The people used them for washing clothes. In some of the water springs different old coins are found .

• The most valuable are those from Alexander the Great.

The Inscriptions in Arabian Language written on the marble stone placed above the Roman Bath entrance

Inside the Old Roman Bath- The Niches for the clothes of the bathing people

Inside the Roman Bath- the Niches for the Clothes of the Bathing People

The Entrance of the Roman Bath- You can see the marble plate above the entrance

The Roman Bath- You can see in the background a woman who still uses water springs for washing clothes. The water temperature is above 60 degrees and more. The Bath and the mineral water springs around it, are really a very big tourist attraction.

The Roman Bath in Banya

• With the Financial Support of the Programme “ SOCRATES/ COMENIUS 1”