BOURGAS, the City on the Black Sea Coast
The development of the town is a natural result from the preceding social, economical, political and cultural development of the region.
The sea as a living and a romance has urged the citizens of the ancient Greek colonies Apolonia and Anchialo to look for a living and protection in the comfortable Black Sea bay.
The earlier signs of life in the crossroad location can be traced back to bronze and the beginning of the iron age.
A great quantity of finds attests the availability of life activities during the Thracian age which ranges over the second half of the VI century B.C. The name of Bourgas, the administrative centre of the Municipality Bourgas appears for the first time in 1306 in the poem of Byzantine poet Manuil Fill as Pirgos, the Greek equivalent of the Latin word Burgos, which means the Tower. Bourgas appears on the map for the first time in the year 1733. According to the English map issued in 1854, Bourgas occupies an area of 1 sq.km. Бecause of its crossroad position and the comfortable seaport the town starts to grow fast.
The sea on one side was a natural door and relation to different civilizations through which the settlers established contact with the achievements of peoples from near and far. From the sea they expected to earn their living. On the other side the sea was a point of departure for the export of wooden coal extracted from the Strandja mountain and for agricultural produce mainly grains, which came from the interior of the country. In the second half of the XVII century Bourgas had a brisk trade and in the beginning of the XIX century it acquired a strategic importance.
In the beginning of 1878 the town was liberated from the Ottoman oppression. After the liberation Bourgas gradually grew as a port and commercial centre of Southern Bulgaria. The town plan, effective since 1891 stimulated the construction of new churches, schools, residential and administrative buildings. The century-long economical and cultural contacts have shaped today's social and economical nature of Bourgas, the spirit of its citizens and the original atmosphere of the town.
Тhe free spirit, the artistic atmosphere and the creative energy of Bourgas, which distinguish the town among others, are a contribution of its prominent artists in the past and the present but also of its thousands of citizens.
"This is my life my strange and only verbal scenery" whore the great Bourgas poet Christo Fotev. The contact with the sea, the well-known scent of salt and seaweed, the quietness of the small and neat streets, the silver colour of the fresh caught fish and the dynamic rhythm of the contemporary town have born many pieces of art, which are the pride of the citizens of the town and its cultural institutions. Тhe Art Gallery and the Museum of Bourgas preserve the culture and the achievements of many generations. Тhe archaeological department of the Museum was founded back in the year 1925. The Drama Theatre "Adriana Budevska" has formed stages in the development of Bulgarian theatre, the Opera and the Philharmonic Society, the Puppet Theatre, the Folklore Ensemble "Strandja", the popular Music Band "Hot Sand". The Choir "Rodna Pesen" and other represent the variety of cultural institutions and the richness of the cultural offer in Bourgas. The traditional cultural events in Bourgas are widely and internationally popular: Тhe International Folklore Festival, the National competition of Popular songs "Bourgas and the Sea", the Musical Festival "Emil Chakarov", the National Competition of Children's Songs "Sladkopojna Chuchuliga" and many other.
Education is an essential part of the past and the present of Bourgas. With its 35 kinder gardens, 55 schools, 2 universities it equals the standard of many European towns. Here one can acquire general and specialized high education with many different specialities. The subject and specialties of education in the two universities. The University "Prof. Dr. Asen Zlatarov" and Bourgas Free University are also numerous.
The implementation of the educational environmental, religious and anti-drugs programs make Bourgas a modern cultural and educational centre. The town is a member of the International Association: Towns Against Drugs". The development of a modern health policy and sustaining of good public health services is another part of the image of Bourgas. Health projects like "Environment and Health", "General Practitioners", etc is being implemented in partnership with donators and thus high standards in the health care are achieved. Local, national and international competitions and tournaments are held in the sports facilities and complexes of Bourgas. The most modern Bulgarian stadium is located on the territory of the town. International basketball and volleyball contests, the international eurhythmics tournament "Julieta Shishmanova", the Parabalkan Olympic Games for handicapped people - this is only a part of the sports glory of Bourgas.
The Municipality of Bourgas is located in the South-eastern part of the Republic of Bulgaria, occupies an area of 468 sq.km. and has a population of 240 000 people. There are many interesting natural and tourist sites on its territory. The mineral spas and the resort by them are 15 km Northerners of the town. To the South of Bourgas is the Park Otmanli. The isle St Anastasia is located in the Bourgas Bay near the cape Atia. The Atanasovsko lake, became a reserve and was included in the list of Ramsar sites in 1976; the site Poda which became protected area in 1989 with the purpose of preserving the natural habitats of a large number of water birds and nest colonies, included in the Red Book of the Republic of Bulgaria; the protected area Vaya, included in the list of ornithological important locations in Europe, add to creating the full image of the municipality and the town as a region which successfully combines contemporary urbanism with natural preserved sites.
In spite of the concentration of a large industrial conglomerate around Bourgas, the conditions are created for serious changes in people's environmental culture, the protection and development of environment. Bourgas is a part of the Union of the European towns for sustainable development. The environmental program of Bourgas provides for the implementation of many projects of local, national and international importance, related to waste management, air monitoring, environmental management, environmental education, biological diversity protection, protected areas management, etc. The "Greener Bourgas" project has given Bourgas not only representation, but contributed its becoming a contemporary, green and well-tended town. Its partnership with Rotterdam Holland, Gomel Byelorussia, Zaporozie Ukraine, Alexandrupolis Greece creates new opportunities for investment and development.