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About Obzor

The numerous architectural remains, fortress walls and columns testify to Obzor's millenium-long history. The Thracians were the first to settle here. The region was inhabited by the tribe of the nipses. Homer wrote about them in his "Odyssey" and pointed out that they defended Troy, and their king Resus was killed by Odysseus and Diomedes. Their capital was situated on the Cape of Emine. The nipses were farmers and hunters. They sailed in the sea using primitive boats. Herodotus described them as "well-built, fair-haired and wild".

In the 8th-6th century BC the Black Sea coast bustled with economic activities. The first ancient Greek colonies were founded along the Black Sea west coast - Apollonia (today's Sozopol), Odessos (Varna), Tomi (Constanta), Dionisopolis (Balchik). In 510 BC Messembria (today's Nesebar) was established. Soon afterwards, the colonists founded Navloch. Pliny the Elder mentioned this station for horse relay and fortress to the north of the Balkan Range. This was where today's town of Obzor now stands.

In 513 BC the Persian king Darius passed across these lands chasing the scythians. The former town of Navloch remembers also Alexander of Macedonia, the reign of Lysimachus, the invasion of the celts. The Thracian tribes rose, chased away the invaders and established the strong Odryssian kingdom. The end of the Thracian state came after the bloody battle near the Adrianople (Edirne). The Roman legions led by Marcus Terencius Luculus became the victors.

These are the remains of the Roman town Heliopolis - the Town of the Sun. The fortress could be entered via two fortified gates: a north one and a south one. In the place where now the centre of the town stands, a magnificent temple of Jupiter once rose. A powerful garrison guarded the town. Nowadays, ruins of some Roman baths, columns, capitals, as well as remains of a water conduit can be seen in the park and in the museum of Obzor. In the year 395 Byzantium was established in the place of the Eastern Roman Empire. Christianity began to spread along the area. The town of Anhialo (today's Pomorie) was a bishop centre, and Heliopolis was called Theopolis - Town of God.

In 6th-7th centuries, the Slavs came to this area, followed by the Proto-Bulgarians. In 681 the state of Bulgaria was established. Here lay the border with Byzantium along which protective banks were built, and the fortress was called Kozyak. Nowadays this is the name of a mount over the town. For centuries on end, Bulgarians and Byzantines fought in incessant battles in this place.

In the end of the 14th century Bulgaria was partitioned and divided into several independent parts. In the north-east of Bulgaria the boyar Balik established himself as an independent ruler. Following his death, the power passed into the hands of his brother Dobrotitsa, and later the whole region between the Danubian coast and the town of Varna was called Dobrudzha. Balik came to rule over the whole coastal region. In 1366 the count Amedeus of Savoy demolished all fortresses along the Black Sea coast. Such was the fate that befell the fortress of Kozyak as well.

In the course of many years the Balkan Peninsula, torn apart by hostilities and internecine wars, withstood the new invaders - the Turks. The Turnovo Kingdom (1396) and later the Vidin Kingdom (1398) were conquered by them. The last to surrender among the Bulgarian rulers was Ivanko - the son of Dobrotitsa. Thus the Second Bulgarian Kingdom fell under Ottoman domination.

In the 16th century the name Gyozeken (meaning "beautiful view") was mentioned for the first time. According to the Berlin Pact of 1878, which divided Bulgaria into the Principality of Bulgaria and Eastern Roumelia, the town of Obzor belonged to the state of Eastern Roumelia, and after the Unification of the two parts of Bulgaria in 1885 it became part of united Bulgaria again. After the defeat of the Preobrazhensko (Transfiguration) Uprising (1903), as well as following the wars of 1913 - 1918, a host of Bulgarians from the Thrace region came to settle here. The town expanded. The church "St. John Precursor" was built in 1918 in the place of an old temple. The town received its today's name Obzor in 1934.

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