The earliest signs of life in the region date back 3000 years, to the Bronze Age, but it was the Thracians in the 4th century BC, who left the biggest mark with their sanctuary at Beglik Tash along the south coast and a burial mound near Sunny Beach.
During the Roman Empire the region was of strategic importance and the fertile lands, natural mineral springs and effortless access to the sea (with plenty of fish) made settling easy. The name Burgas comes from the Latin word ‘Burgos’ (tower).
In the 18th century, during Ottoman rule, Burgas became the biggest port south of the Balkan range.
The city as such did not really start to develop until the late 19th century, after Burgas was liberated by Russian troops, led by Colonel Lermontov. After nearly 500 years of oppression, Bulgaria’s sights were firmly focused on Europe, in particular Imperial Austria, which explains why so much of the architecture in Burgas resembles turn of the century Austria. The first town hall was founded in February 1878, the first public library opened in 1888 and three years later the first urban plan of Burgas was presented. In the city centre and along the seafront many buildings from that era have been beautifully restored and add immensely to the beauty and charm of the city.