The peninsula of Nessebar – the ancient city of Mesambria, called in the late Middle Ages Mesemvria and later Nessebar, was inhabited thousands of years ago, at the end of the Bronze Age. The ancient Thracians called it Melsambria, which means “city of Melsa”, the legendary founder of the settlement. Mesabria has two convenient harbors – southern and northern, where many remains of ancient vessels are still found today.
At the end of the 6th century BC, the first Greek settlers – originally Dorians – arrived. The city gradually grew, temples, a school and a theater were built.
Mesabria began minting its own coins around 440 BC, around which time the first gold coins were minted. The city has good trade relations with the polises of the Black and Aegean Seas and the Mediterranean. Finds testifying to the rich economic, cultural and spiritual life of this period are exhibited in the archaeological museum in the city.
In 72 BC the city was captured without any resistance by the Romans. After a short occupation, in the 1st century the city became part of the Pima Empire. Messemvria, as it was then called, with its intact fortress walls and large public buildings, continued to mint its own bronze coins and remained an important commercial and cultural center on the Black Sea coast of Roman Thrace. The city first became part of the Bulgarian state in 812, when Khan Krum stormed and conquered it, both Slavs and Bulgarians settled here. Nessebar, as the Slavs called the city, remained in Bulgarian hands for a long period, during the reign of Tsar Simeon the Great.
After almost 40 years of Byzantine rule, Nessebar again entered the boundaries of the Bulgarian state in 1304 during the reign of King Theodore Svetoslav. The city flourished during the reign of Tsar Ivan Alexander.
In 1366, the city was captured by the knights of Count Amedeo di Savoia and later ceded to the Byzantine emperor.
The city was attacked by the Turks for the first time in 1396. Its final fall into the hands of the Ottoman Empire took place in 1453, along with the capital Constantinople.
During the years of Ottoman rule, economic and cultural life did not stop. Churches were built, icons were inscribed.

The port of Nessebar continues to be the main foreign trade center of the Black Sea. Some of the monasteries and metos around Nessebar survived until the 18th-19th centuries. Many houses from the Renaissance period have been preserved – typical representatives of the Black Sea architecture, as well as many windmills, public baths and fountains.

The cultural heritage of Nessebar is preserved in five museum expositions.
The Archaeological Museum presents a rich collection of exhibits from Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.