Bulgarian archaeologists have found the long sought after eastern gate of Apollonia Pontica, one of the earliest and most important ports on the western shore of the Black Sea. Located in the heart of modern day Sozopol, the gate was discovered beneath illegal shacks which had occupied the center for years. After clearing away the shacks archaeologists can now take a good look at what has been buried there all of these centuries.

The Ancient Gate of Apollonia Pontica

The ancient fortifications rise to a height of almost seven meters, making them the largest of their kind on Bulgarian soil. Their size is a testimony to the wealth and importance of Apollonia Pontica in the ancient world.

The town of Sozopol and its residents welcome the find, which adds to the historical wealth of an area already well known as a summer holiday destination.


A second surprise came in the form of a 5th or 6th century church found just outside the gate, for which there is no other historical data available. It is only a few meters away from the recently restored Saints Cyril and Methodius Church, where the now famous relics of John the Baptist are on display. Sozopol was Christianized early on, becoming home to a bishopric as early as 431. It grew into a major ecclesiastical center, with over twenty churches and five monasteries by the end of the middle ages.

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