Fri, July 6th, 2012 - By

Spotlight on Burgas, Bulgaria


The city of Burgas (Bourgas) on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast is a centre for culture, industry and tourism. Its natural bay and the coastal lakes (Atanasovsko, Burgas and Mandrensko, full of different bird species) make for a beautiful natural setting.

Burgas

The city’s rich history begins with the Thracians, who built the fortress Tyrsis and the Aqua Calidae mineral baths, followed by the Ancient Romans (Colonia Flavia Deultemsium on the main road Via Pontica) and the Goths. Bulgarians and Byzantines followed in the Middle Ages, succeeded by Ottoman Rule. The city was eventually (1885) incorporated into the Principality of Bulgaria.

Lake Burgas, Bulgaria’s largest and right in the middle of the city, is on a major European migration bird path. It’s home to over 250 species of birds including several endangered types, as well as some International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red-listed animal species.  The saltwater Atanasovo Lake is also a biodiversity hot spot and crammed with storks, white and Dalmatian pelicans, cranes and raptors such as Marsh Harriers and the rare Red-footed Falcons. Other protected natural areas around Burgas include Mandra Lake, Poda, Chengene Skele, the Strandzha Natural Park and Usungeren.

Try visiting Burgas during some of its regular annual events, such as the city and fishermen patron saint St. Nicholas day on 6 December, the International German and Austrian music performances in April, the Three Week Festival of Opera and Classical Music in July and, of course, the International Folk Festival and the Spirit of Burgas in August.

Some unmissable visitor experiences can be had at the Regional Historical and Ethnographic Museums, the Sea Garden, the Art Gallery and Theatre and the Opera House (home to the Philharmonic Society and the State Opera). The 1855 Armenian Church with its intricate decorations and stained glass windows is both beautiful and sad, due to its association with the Armenian genocide.

Armenian Genocide Memorial, Burgas, Bulgaria

Image credits: Mihalorel, mikhail_kpansy_burke, Todor Bozhinov, Aled Betts

Karen Bryan

As well as writing about travel, Karen Bryan offers tips on saving money, frugal living and how to live well on less, on her site Help Me To Save

Posted : Friday, July 6th, 2012 at 10:00
Category : Spotlight
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