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|Nickname(s): The city of sea and lakes
The city of the dreams
|• Mayor||Dimitar Nikolov|
|• City||253.644 km2 (97.932 sq mi)|
|Elevation||30 m (100 ft)|
|Population (Census February 2011)|
|• City||200,271 (within city limits)|
|• Urban||212,902 (municipality)|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+3)|
|Area code(s)||+359 056|
Burgàs or Bourgàs (Bulgarian: Бургас, pronounced [burˈɡas]) is the second-largest city on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast and the fourth-largest in Bulgaria after Sofia, Plovdiv and Varna, with a population of 200,271 inhabitants, according to the 2011 census. It is the capital of Burgas Province and an important industrial, transport, cultural and tourist centre.
The city is surrounded by the Burgas Lakes and located at the westernmost point of the Black Sea, at the large Burgas Bay. The LUKOIL Neftochim Burgas is the largest oil refinery in south-eastern Europe and the largest industrial enterprise. The Port of Burgas is the largest port in Bulgaria, and Burgas Airport is the second-most important in the country. Burgas is the centre of the Bulgarian fishing and fish processing industry.
There are several possible origins for the name of the city, which is similar to Burgos, a city in Spain. When the city was founded, the inhabitants of the surrounding country got into the fortified village, named "pyrgos" (Greek: Πύργος) or "burgos" as meaning "tower" or "fortress" (see: Burgus). By another theory, the city's name comes from Latin, or a Gothic name meaning signified consolidated walled villages (Gothic "baurgs").
Burgas is situated in the westernmost point of the bay of the same name and in the eastern part of the Burgas Plain, in the east of the Upper Thracian Plain. Burgas is located 389 kilometres (242 mi) from Sofia, 272 km from Plovdiv, and 335 km (208 mi) from Istanbul. To the west, south and north, the city is surrounded by the Burgas Lakes: Burgas, Atanasovsko and Mandrensko, which are home to several hundred bird species. Pan-European corridor 8 passes through the city, the European routes E87 and E773, and the longest national rout I/6.
The St. Anastasia Island is a part of the city.
|Climate data for Burgas, Bulgaria|
|Record high °C (°F)||20.1
|Average high °C (°F)||6.5
|Daily mean °C (°F)||2.1
|Average low °C (°F)||−1.4
|Record low °C (°F)||−17.8
|Precipitation mm (inches)||44.3
|Avg. precipitation days||10.8||8.3||8.6||7.3||5.9||4.4||3||2.2||4.9||7.9||7||10.5||80.8|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||77.5||89.6||127.1||177||248||273||328.6||303.8||243||164.3||99||62||2,192.9|
Flora and fauna
The Burgas Wetlands are highly recognized for their significance to biodiversity and as a resource pool for various products utilized by people.
Lake Burgas is Bulgaria's largest lake and situated in the middle of the city. It is important for migrating birds. Over 250 species of birds inhabit the lake area, 61 of which are endangered in Bulgaria and 9 globally, attracting keen birdwatchers from all over the world; the lakes are also home to important fish and invertebrates. In the site have been recorded several IUCN red-listed species of animals - 5 invertebrates, 4 fish, 4 amphibians, 3 reptiles, 5 birds and 3 mammals. Situated along the second largest migration path of birds in Europe, the Via Pontica, the site is an important stopover and staging site for a large number of water-birds, raptors and passerines. Yearly during migration and wintering more than 20,000 (up to 100,000) waterbirds congregate there.
The Atanasovo Lake is one of the two salt-water lakes in the Black Sea region and contains rare and representative examples of wetland habitats. It is a hot spot for biodiversity, with many red-listed species of plants and animals. It is a well-known bottleneck site for migratory birds, with around 60,000 raptors and 240,000 storks, pelicans and cranes passing over the site and often landing in large numbers for staging. The highest numbers in Europe of migrating White Pelicans (Pelecanus onocrotalus), Dalmatian Pelicans (Pelecanus crispus), Marsh Harriers (Circus aeruginosus) and Red-footed Falcons (Falco vespertinus) have been recorded here.
- Burgas Lake Protected Area
- Atanasovo Lake Protected Area
- Mandra Lake Protected Area
- Poda Protected Area
- Usungeren Protected Area
- Chengene Skele Protected Area
- Strandzha Natural Park
Burgas is divided into the following neighbourhoods:
Currently a new city plan is being considered which will open the city to the sea and includes several residential neighbourhoods and a new highway junction.
The Thracians built the first settlements in the area now known as Burgas: the mineral baths of Aqua Calidae and the fortress Tyrsis. Under Darius I became part of the Achaemenid Empire, before the Odrysian kingdom was built. Greeks from Apollonia built in area of Sladkite kladenzi (today Pobeda-neighbourhood) a marketplace for trade with the Tracians kings.
During the rule of the Ancient Romans, near Burgas, Colonia Flavia Deultemsium (or Dibaltum, or Develtum) was established as a military colony for veterans by Vespasian. The Romans built the Colonia on the main road Via Pontica. It was the second most important city in the province Haemimontus.
Bulgarian and Byzantine Middle Ages
In the Middle Ages, there were some important settlements in the area: the fortress Skafida, Poros, Rusokastron, (Battle of Rusokastro), the Baths of the Byzantine, Bulgarian and Ottoman Emperors Aqua Calidae and the a small fortress called Pyrgos was erected where Burgas is today and was most probably used as a watchtower. Under Byzantine Empire became an important city on the coast of Black Sea. The Bulgarian ruler Krum built with the Erkesiya a 140 km longer border wall from the Black Sea (near Gorno Ezerovo) to the Mariza River.
1206 the Latin Emperor Henry of Flanders (see Fourth Crusade) destroyed Aquae Calidae, who was now known as the Thermopolis at this time, The Baths was later rebuilt by the Byzantines and Bulgarians again. Poros 1270 was mentioned in a document of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Close to Poros in 1304 took place the Battle of Skafida, when the Bulgarian Tsar Todor Svetoslav defeated the Byzantines and conquered the southern Black Sea coast.
It was only in the 17th century that a settlement renamed to Ahelo-Pirgas grew in the modern area of the city. It was later renamed to Burgas again and had only about 3,000 inhabitants. In the early 19th century Burgas was depopulated after raids by kurzdhali bandits. By the mid-19th century it had recovered its economic prominence through the growth of craftsmanship and the export of grain. The city was a small town in İslimye (Sliven) sanjak in at first Rumelia Eyalet, after that in the Silistra Eyalet and Edirne Eyalet before the liberation in 1878.
In the 17th and 18th centuries Burgas became an important port for cereal and possesses its own grain measure, the Burgas-Kile. The town was the regional centre of trade an administrative centre of the Burgas Kaaza. In 1865 the port of Burgas was after Trapezunt the second most important Ottoman port in the Black Sea. Burgas was at this time the major centre on the southern Bulgarian Black Sea Coast.
After the liberation until 1945
It was a department centre in Eastern Rumelia before incorporated in the Principality of Bulgaria in 1885. From the late 19th century Burgas became an important economic and industry center. The first development plan of the city was adopted in 1891 and the city's layout and appearance changed, especially through the newly constructed public buildings. In 1888, the city library was founded, in 1891 the sea garden was created and in 1897 the Cathedral of the Holy brothers Cyril and Methodius was built. In 1895 Georgi Ivanov opened the first Printing house in Burgas, followed by the house of Christo Velchev in 1897, which changed in 1900 his name in Velchevi Brothers Printing house.
The opening of the railway line to Plovdiv on 27 May 1890 and the deep water port in 1903 were important stages of this boom and led to the rapid industrialization of the city. In the period after 151 factories were founded. Among them were the Sugar refinery founded by Avram Chaliovski, the Great Bulgarian Mills of Ivan Chadzipetrov and the oil and soap factory Kambana. In 1900 the mineral springs by the ancient Aquae Calidae were included in the urban area. In 1903, the new building of the Burgas Central railway station opened.
Founded in 1924 in Burgas Deweko (now HemusMark AD) was the first pencil factory in Southeastern Europe and became in 1937 official supplier to the Bulgarian Monarchy. 1925 opened in Burgas a specialized high school for mechanics and technologies. The following year, a large covered market was opened. Because of the cold wave in winter 1928/29 the Black Sea iced in late January and early February, so that the island of Sveta Anastasia could be reached on foot. 1934, Burgas already had 34 260 inhabitants.
During World War II on 9 September 1944 Red Army troops occupied the city and soon the whole country. In the following People's Courts, especially members of the wealthy families of the intelligentsia and members of the Bar Association were convicted. The two Chambers of the People's Courts met in Burgas in the former building of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Burgas (now the seat of the Governor of the Province Burgas).
After the Communists took power in 1945, the German and Italian School and the People's University was closed and over 160 factories and businesses (including the large companies Great Bulgarian Mills, Veriga, Plug, Dab, etc.), shops, baths and other private property were nationalized. The nationalization and inability to lead by the new rulers led the companies to the collapse of the food supply and the shortage of goods of daily life in the city. The political repression against the population of Burgas continued for the next few years. Access to universities and other higher education in the Bulgarian capital was refused for the young people of Burgas and some of them were interned in prison and labor camps.
The Haganah organised after the end of the Second World War several convoys for the European survivors of the Holocaust, which expired on Burgas ships towards Palestine. These convoys approximately 12,000 people emigrated, including the Jewish population of the city. In the following years the city centre of Burgas, unlike many other Bulgarian cities, was not much affected by Communist-type urbanization and has kept much of its 19th- and early-20th-century architecture. A number of oil and chemical companies were gradually built.
The terrorists of the Movement 2 June, Till Meyer, Gabriele Rollnik, Gudrun Stürmer und Angelika Goder was arrested on 21 June 1978 in Burgas by West German officials and then brought into the Federal Republic.
Today the local port is the largest in Bulgaria adding significantly to the regional economy. Burgas also holds annual national exhibitions and international festivals and has a vibrant student population of over 6,000 that add to the city's appeal. The historical society also maintains an open-air museum at Beglik Tash and Develtum.
2012 bus bombing
On 18 July 2012 a terrorist attack was carried out by a suicide bomber on a passenger bus transporting Israeli tourists at the Burgas Airport. The bus was carrying forty-two Israelis, mainly youths, from the airport to their hotels, after arriving on a flight from Tel Aviv. The explosion killed Bulgarian bus driver and five Israelis.
During the first decade after the liberation of Bulgaria, in the 1880s the population of Burgas numbered about 6,000 inhabitants. Since then it started growing decade by decade, mostly because of the migrants from the rural areas and the surrounding smaller towns, reaching its peak in the period 1988-1991 exceeding 200,000.
|Highest number 211,587 in 1991|
|Sources: National Statistical Institute, „citypopulation.de“, „pop-stat.mashke.org“, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences|
Ethnic linguistic and religious composition
- Bulgarians: 171,898 (93.2%)
- Turks: 3,800 (2.1%)
- Gypsies: 3,422 (1.9%)
- Others: 1,330 (0.7%)
- Indefinable: 666 (0.4%)
- Undeclared: 19,155 (9.6%)
Government and politics
Burgas is an important industrial center. The most notable industrial enterprise is LUKOIL Neftochim Burgas - the largest oil refinery in South-eastern Europe and the largest manufacturing plant in the Balkans.
- Prof. Dr. Assen Zlatarov University
- Bourgas Free University
- Burgas Regional Historical Museum
- Ethnographic Museum
- Archeological Museum
- Museum of Nature and Science
- Roman City of Develtum
- The Roman and medieval Baths of Aquae Calidae
- The Poros Fortness
- The Rusokastro Fortness
- The Erkesiya-Border wall
- City Gallery
- Theatre Adriana Budevska
- City Beach
- The Burgas pier
- Sea Casino
- Navel of Burgas
- The building of Regional Customs Burgas
- Burgas Central railway station
- Opera House
The modern building of the Burgas Opera House is home to the city’s two major musical institutions; the Burgas State Opera and the Philharmonic Society of Burgas.
A municipal park built in 1910 for the residents of Burgas by the city’s chief gardener, Georgi Duhtev.
Churches and monasteries
- Bulgarian Orthodox Churches
- Saints Cyril and Methodius Orthodox Cathedral
- Holy Theotokos Orthodox Church
- Saint John of Rila (Ivan Rilski) Orthodox Church
- Holy Trinity Orthodox Church
- Saint Demetrius Orthodox Church
- Saint Athanasius Orthodox Church
- Saint Nicholas Orthodox Church
- Saint Poimen of Zographou Orthodox Church
- Holy Theotokos Monastery
- Saint Anastasia Monastery on the St. Anastasia Island
- Armenian Orthodox Church
Armenian Apostolic and Orthodox Church Surp Hach (Church of the Holy Cross) was built in 1853 an is one of the oldest in the city and has been named as one of the city’s monuments of culture. With stained glass windows and intricate decoration inside, the picturesque church was built in 1855.
- Catholic Churches
- International Audition for performances of German and Austrian music
- Burgas Sailing Week
- Petja Dubarowa-Contest
- Erata na Wodoleja-Theatre Festival
- Three Week Festival of Opera and Classical Music
- Burgas Marathon swimming
- Kiteboarding Regatta
- Spirit of Burgas
- International Folk Festival
- Every 6 December Burgas pays respect to its patron saint, St. Nicholas, also the patron saint of fishermen.
- WDSF Burgas Cup
- PFC Naftex Burgas
- PSFC Chernomorets Burgas
- Neftochimic Burgas 1986
- F.C. Master Burgas
- F.C. Olimpic Burgas
- F.C. Sveti Nikola Burgas
- BC LUKoil Neftomchimic
- BC Chernomorets
- Cycling Club Bourgas
- VC Lukoil Neftochimic
- Yacht Club Port Bourgas
- Windsurf Club Burgas
- Rowing Club Lukoil Burgas
- Rowing Club Tschernomorez Burgas
- Water polo Club Tschernomorez
- Water polo Club Neptune
- Boris Aprilov (1921–1995), writer
- Rousy Chanev (b. 1945), actor
- Georgi Chilikov (b. 1978), footballer
- Dimitar Dimitrov (b. 1959), football coach
- Georgi Djulgerov (b. 1943), film director
- Petya Dubarova (1962–1979), poetess
- Hristo Fotev (1934–2002), poet
- Prodan Gardzhev (1936–2003), Bulgarian Olympic champion - wrestling
- Valentin D. Ivanov (b. 1967), astronomer
- Raina Kabaivanska (b. 1934), Bulgarian Opera singer
- Georgi Kaloyanchev (1925–2012), actor
- Apostol Karamitev (1923–1973), actor
- Radostin Kishishev (b. 1974), footballer
- Georgi Kostadinov (b. 1950), first Bulgarian boxing Olympic champion
- Georgi Mihalev (b. 1968), competitive swimmer
- Avraham Ofek (1935–1990), sculptor
- Irena Petkova, opera singer
- Nikola Stanchev (b. 1930), first Bulgarian Olympic champion
- Kostas Varnalis (1884–1974), Greek poet
- Zlatko Yankov, (b. 1966), footballer
- Nedyalko Yordanov (b. 1940), writer
- (Bulgarian) National Statistical Institute - Main Towns Census 2011
- Norman Polmar: The Naval Institute guide to the Soviet Navy, 5. Ausgabe, United States Naval Institute, Naval Institute Press, 1991, p.447
- Ward, Philip. Bulgaria, a travel guide. Pelican. p. 168.
- Wright, Joseph, 1892, A Primer of the Gothic Language, glossary & section 182.
- Pan-European corridors
- "Climatological Normals for Burgas, Bulgaria (1953-2011)". Climatebase. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
- "Ramsar Convention". Ramsar.org. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
- Herwig Wolfram: Die Goten: von den Anfängen bis zur Mitte des sechsten Jahrhunderts : Entwurf einer historischen Ethnographie, Verlag C.H.Beck, 2001, S. 130
- Ivan Karayotov, Stoyan Raychevski, Mitko Ivanov: История на Бургас. От древността до средата на ХХ век., Tafprint OOD, Plovdiv, 2011, ISBN 978-954-92689-1-1, S. 60–65
- Burgas, Bulgaria (Eyewitness Travel), Jonathan Bousfield and Matt Willis, Dorling Kindersley Limited, London, England, 2008, p. 210.
- Etudes historiques. A l’occasion du XIII Congrés international des sciences historiques - Moscou, août 1970. Acad. Bulg. des sciences, 1970, p. 243 and p. 252.
- Claude Charles De Peyssonnel: Traité sur le commerce de la Mer Noire, Band 2, Cuchet, 1787, p. 151
- Karayotov/Raychevski/Ivanov, p. 301
- Karayotov/Raychevski/Ivanov, p. 112–113
- Wael B. Hallaq, Donald Presgrave Little: Islamic studies presented to Charles J. Adams, BRILL, 1991, S. 211
- Regionalmuseum Burgas. "History of Burgas" (pdf) (in Bulgarian). Retrieved 2012-01-26. , Regionalmuseum Burgas. "History of Burgas" (in English). Retrieved 2011-08-26. Abstract
- Karayotov/Raychevski/Ivanov, p. 220–228
- Article: Bulgaria in Meyers Konversations-Lexikon
- R. J. Crampton: A concise history of Bulgaria, Verlag Cambridge University Press, 1997, p. 121
- Karayotov/Raychevski/Ivanov, p. 210–220
- Nikolova/Panaiotov: p. 300
- "History of HemusMark AD" (in Bulgarian). Retrieved 2011-09-01.
- Karayotov/Raychevski/Ivanov, p. 236
- Portal decommunization. "Chronology of the Bulgarian Communism (bulg. Хронология 1944–1947)" (in Bulgarian). Retrieved 2012-08-02. "9 септември 1944. В условията на започнала съветска окупация....Съветските войски завземат Шумен, Разград и Бургас."
- Karayotov/Raychevski/Ivanov, p. 246-250
- Burneva/Murdsheva: Deutsch als Fremdsprache(n) an bulgarischen Hochschulen in Hiltraud Casper-Hehne: Die Neustrukturierung von Studiengängen "Deutsch als Fremdsprache": Probleme und Perspektiven ; Fachtagung 17. - 19. November an der Universität Hannover, Universitätsverlag Göttingen, 2006, p. 238
- Gaby Coldewey: Zwischen Pruth und Jordan: Lebenserinnerungen Czernowitzer Juden. Böhlau Verlag, Köln/Weimar 2003, p. 105.
- Idith Zertal: From catastrophe to power: Holocaust survivors and the emergence of Israel, University of California Press, 1998, pp. 118-120, 139, 208, 298
- Eckhart Dietrich: Angriffe auf den Rechtsstaat: die Baader/Meinhof-Bande, die Bewegung 2. Juni, die Revolutionären Zellen und die Stasi im Operationsgebiet Westberlin (aus Originalurteilen mit Erklärungen und Anmerkungen), 2009, p. 84
- (Bulgarian) Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
- (Bulgarian) National Statistical Institute - Towns population 1956-1992
- (English) Bulgarian National Statistical Institute - towns in 2009
- (English) Citypopulation.de
- "Pop-stat.mashke.org". Pop-stat.mashke.org. 2011-02-01. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
- (Bulgarian) Population on 01.02.2011 by provinces, municipalities, settlements and age; National Statistical Institute
- Population by province, municipality, settlement and ethnic identification, by 01.02.2011; Bulgarian National Statistical Institute (Bulgarian)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Burgas|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Burgas.|
- Official website
- Public-Private Partnerships portal of Burgas
- Information about Burgas
- Burgas Video Portal
- Factor Newspaper, Bourgas news
- Burgas Regional Administration
- Nikola Gruev's gallery of Burgas
- Public transportation in Burgas