Founded in 510 BC by the Greeks, previously known as Mesembria, Nessebar is nowadays a major tourist attraction on the Black Sea coast. The ancient part of the town is situated on a peninsula connected to the mainland by a narrow man-made isthmus. In 1956 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. Its abundance of historic buildings prompted UNESCO to include Nesebar in its list of World Heritage Sites in 1983.
One of the oldest capital cities in Europe, the history of Sofia dates back to the 8th century BC, when Thracians established a settlement there. This is the administrative, cultural, economic, and educational centre of the country. Historic landmarks include the 10th century Boyana Church (one of the UNESCO World Heritage protected sites), the Alexander Nevski Cathedral (one of the world's largest Orthodox churches), and the early Byzantine Church of St Sophia. Sofia houses numerous museums, notably the National Historical Museum, the Bulgarian Natural History Museum, the Museum of Earth and Men. Sofia is one of the hippest cities in Bulgaria. It has a lively nightlife scene with many different night clubs, live venues, pubs, mehani (Bulgarian traditional taverns), and restaurants.
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