Sozopol is one of the earliest towns on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast and dates from 2,610 years ago. It is situated upon a picturesque peninsula. The archaeological findings testify to the presence of the Thracians as its first inhabitants. In 620 B.C. immigrants from the rich city of Milet - the largest Southern Greek centre on the Asia Minor coast - turned the old Thracian settlement into a rich Hellenic colony - the independent city-state Apollonia-Pontica.
Its strategic position gave it the opportunity of holding the ways to the coast of Black Sea Thrace and the Stranja Mountains that were rich in raw materials and gave it an active intermediary part in the commerce among the Athenian sea unions, the Hellenistic states in the Mediterranean area and the Thracian formations. Culture and art started flourishing, temples and public buildings were built, exquisite sculptures in the classical style of the ancient Greek art were made. Artefacts were made from gold, silver, bronze and marble, coins were minted.
Sozopol was especially renowned in antiquity for the temple of Apollo the Healer, whose bronze statue, 13 m high, was a work of the Athenian sculptor Calamis. In 72 B.C. the punitive march of the Roman legions of Marcus Luculus against Apollonia, which was an ally to Mitridat ˛V against Rome, completely destroyed the town's fortress wall, Apollo's temple and many other buildings. Only as late as the beginning of the 4th century, with the great political and ethnic changes in the Roman empire and the growth of Constantinople in its eastern part did Apollonia regain its former significance. This is the source of the town's new name - Sozopolis, the town of salvation. Sozopol resisted the barbarian invasions in the period from the 3rd to the 7th century A.D. It was annexed to Bulgaria's territory in 812 by Khan Kroum, and after that was continually conquered by Byzantium and regained from it (972-1366). In the 13th century it was an important harbour centre, a mediator in international commerce, an episcopal and metropolitan seat. The monastery "Sveti Yoan Predtecha" (St. John the Forerunner) on the Sveti Ivan isle was a spiritual and literary centre not only on a local and national, but also on an international level.
After the fall of Sozopol under Ottoman oppression in 1453 it gradually declined and turned into a poor fishermen's and wine-producers' settlement. It recovered in the years before the National Liberation in 1878 and especially after that because of the exclusive hardiness and vitality of its population. Today this charming sea town is a popular tourist resort best known for its casual ambience, two sandy beaches, and distinctive nineteenth-century stone and wooden houses