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Landmarks of Nessebar

 The churches in Nessebur are 41. Not all of them have preserved their full brilliance but even their present condition strongly impresses tourists. One of the oldest sights is the Basilica situated on the seashore, built most probably at the beginning of 5th century. The building had three naves, however only the foundations have remained today. The Old Bishops Residence located in the centre of the town is probably the most imposing one of all the churches in Nessebur. It is more than 25 m long and 22 m wide. The three naves were decorated with a colonnade and arches; stone and brick laid with a mosaic covered floor. St. John the Baptist Church was built in 11th century and is a typical cross domed church with three naves, and four brick-laid columns supporting the whole dome. There are some fragments of frescoes preserved dating back to 13th century. There is a small archaeological museum arranged in the church.

The St. Stefan Church or the so-called New Bishops Residence was built in 10th century, too, and is situated in the vicinity of the harbour. It is three-nave. The exterior decoration is so picturesque that it marked the beginning of the future typical style of Nessebur expressed in the construction and decoration of churches of later times. The facade of the church is ornamented with built-in meanders of glazed ceramic figures of different colours, maiolicas and enamelled tiles that at the same time adorn and distinguish the architectural components. The main frescoes here were painted in 14th-15th centuries. The bishops throne and the altar were made of wood later in 17th century.

The subsequent picturesque style was best illustrated in the St. Todor Church; however only two facades have been preserved in their initial style. Today it has been restored, but the preserved decoration elements are unique in shape, colour, and variety of component combination. The St. Paraskeva Church was built in the same style. It is a small one-nave church. The ornaments match the architectonics of the building in a most natural way. Consoles with tiny arches slightly support the upper part of the dome and resemble childrens sandcastle. The St. St. Archangels Michail and Gavrail Church used to have a dome; its remains evidence of an interesting project and excellent performance. The restoration enables the tourists see the architectural conception in the typical picturesque style.

In the ideal centre of the town itself is the Pantocrator Church with domes on a rectangular foundation. The St. Yoan Aliturgetos Church is considered to be the most beautiful one perched high above the harbour. It has three naves and the decoration of the facades is of unique beauty, particularly the eastern one facing the sea.

The remains of many parts of fortress walls have been found as well as the square turret, the round turret, a large part of the authentic medieval street pavement, and some of the Roman and Greek pavements, fortifications of different times and epochs, remains of administrative and other kinds of buildings. In spite of its small size the town is ever surprising tourists with the antiquities appearing all over the place.

During the Turkish rule only one church was built in 17th century the St. Spas Church. The typical houses of Nessebur built in the unique style of 16th-19th centuries are interesting architectural monuments. So are the houses of Diamanti and that of Panayot Mouskoyani, which hosts an ethnographic exhibition, and that of Captain Pavel. The whole ensemble of the old quarters of Nessebur shows remarkable taste and mastership in the construction of houses, stone walls, and streets. The Turkish bath and the windmill at the beginning of the causeway are of particular interest.

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