Bourgas is the fifth largest town and second largest port in Bulgaria. It is the chief town of the Bourgas district, famous for its seaside resorts, vast vineyards, production of white wines and several large industrial enterprises.
The site was inhabited in ancient times. Thracian remains, Greek pottery and ruins of Roman towers have been discovered there. One of these Roman towers have given the name to the town. The present name is derived from the Latin ”burg” or the Greek ”pirgos”, both meaning ”tower”.
During the Russo-Turkish War of 1928-29 Bourgas was still a very small settlement. Yet because of its strategic importance General Dibich took up the Russian Army’s headquarters here. After the Liberation Bourgas had a typical Oriental aspect and its population did not exceed 6000.
As a town Bourgas did not develop until the 17th c. when fishermen from neighbouring Pomorie and Sozopol settled here.
Today Bourgas is a cultural and educational centre. It has an Archaeological and Historical Museum, a state library, theater, opera, lots of art galleries.
The Cathedral in the centre of the town is dedicated to the Bulgarian saints Cyril and Methodius. It was built during 1894-1905.
The industry in Bourgas grew rapidly and intensively. There is a ship-building yard, plants producing large-panel construction materials, railway trucks, electric cables, woodworking and others. The largest fish cannery in the country is built beside its own harbour. The largest industrial enterprise is the Petro-Chemical Combine - the biggest of this kind in Europe. It consists of 10 plants where over 30 products are produced. Production includes not only petrol derivative fuels, but also ethylene, polyethylene, plastics, rubber, etc.
The port of Bourgas was built in 1903. After 1948 it was extended and supplied with modern equipment for handling various cargoes.
The bay of Bourgas is the biggest gulf on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast (18 km from north to south, 14 km from west to east). The beach is covered with fine grained sand which is dark in colour, because of its iron content. It is recommended for rheumatic sunbathers.