Where to see the famous Sozopol vampire

Museums in Sozopol

As a history buff it is no wonder why Sozopol is one of my favourite seaside towns. There is so much history buried in this place.

You probably haven’t heard about the Sozopol vampire. A vampire in Bulgaria? Yep, that’s correct. It is no surprise at all as Romania, the birthplace of Vlad Dracula, is our neighbour. In fact the Bulgarian vampire have lived in the 13th-14th century, almost two centuries before Vlad Dracula.

So replace the afternoon beach for a history lesson and visit these two museums in Sozopol. You can find the skeleton of the Sozopol vampire in the Sozopol Archaeological Museum. A map of the exact location of the two museums can be found here.

Sozopol Archaeological Museum and the Sozopol vampire

The skeleton of the Sozopol vampire
The skeleton of the Sozopol vampire

Sozopol Archaeological Museum (Археологически музей, Созопол) is in the Old Town of Sozopol, close to the harbour. The building of the museum once was a temple, St. Cyril and St. Methodius Temple.

The exhibition reveals the history of the town from the 6th BC to the 17th century AD. There are two sections: archaeology (5th century BC – 17th century AD) and Christian art (17th -19th century).

In the archaeology section you can see:

  • a collection of stone and lead anchors;
  • terracotta statuettes from the Apollonia necropolis;
  • painted antique ceramics from 6th-2nd century BC;
  • Greek painted vases from 6th-5th century BC and medieval amphorae;
Statuettes
Statuettes
Painted ceramics
Painted ceramics
Medieval amphorae
Medieval amphorae
Painted ceramics
Painted ceramics
Greek painted vases
Greek painted vases
Greek painted vases
Greek painted vases

The highlights of the Christian art section are a reliquary containing relics of St. John the Baptist and of course the vampire. The reliquary is found in the ancient monastery on the St. Ivan Island near Sozopol.

A reliquary containing relics of St. John the Baptist
A reliquary containing relics of St. John the Baptist

The skeleton of the Sozopol vampire is more than 700 years old. It was found during the excavations of the Monastery of St. Nikolay the Wonderworker in Sozopol. An iron stake is driven through his left chest. According to old believing this will prevent a man from rising from the dead.

The skeleton of the vampire

This vampire is considered to be a high standing man, because of the place of his grave, located in the monastery. You can also see a reconstruction of his face.

The reconstructed face of the medieval vampire
The reconstructed face of the medieval vampire

Useful information 
Address: Han Krum 2 Str., 8130 Sozopol
Opening hours:
From June to September
Every day: 08:30 AM – 06:00 PM
From October to May
From Monday to Friday: 08:30 AM – 12:30 PM and 01:30 PM – 05:00 PM
Saturday and Sunday: Closed
Admission: 8 BGN (~4 EUR, ~4,50 USD)

South Fortress Wall and Tower Museum Complex

Old houses on the way to the tower
Old houses on the way to the tower

From the 4th century until the 14th century AD the whole city was surrounded by a fortress wall. Only a small part survived till nowadays. You can see it in the South Fortress Wall and Tower Museum Complex (комплекс Южна крепостна стена и кула). The museum is located along the rocky coastline in the Old Town.

Metal cannonballs from 13th-14th century AD and battle stone balls from 9th-10th century AD
Metal cannonballs from 13th-14th century AD and battle stone balls from 9th-10th century AD

wall decoration

South Fortress Wall and Tower Museum Complex

stairs

fish

The most interesting exhibits in the museum are:

  • On the floor of the entrance hall you can see an image of the sun made by stone blocks from 2nd-1st century BC;
  • An ancient well from 4th-3rd century BC, which once was a part of a temple to Aphrodite;
  • A granary from 5th-6th century AD;
  • A watch tower from 11th century AD, which reveals splendid views over the Black Sea;
  • A restored chapel “St. Quiricus and Julietta” from 13th-14th century AD;
The tower
The tower
The restored chapel “St. Quiricus and Julietta”
The restored chapel “St. Quiricus and Julietta”
A statue of Apollo, the Healer
A statue of Apollo, the Healer

Useful information 
Address: 50 Milet Str., 8130 Sozopol
Opening hours:
From May to September:
Every day: 09:30 AM – 09:30 PM
From October to April:
Closed
Admission: 3 BGN (~1,50 EUR, ~1,60 USD)
Web site:  info

View of the sea from the museum
View of the sea from the museum
The view from the tower
The view from the tower
   

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Have you visited any of these two museums in Sozopol?

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