Established in 1961 the Archaeological Museum – Sozopol preserves and presents the rich cultural and historical heritage of the millennial city. The museum is included, under No. 8, in the “100 National Tourist Sites of Bulgaria”.
The exhibition, spread over several halls, includes over a thousand exhibits in museum modules, which visualized the historical narration of the city and the region from the 5th millennium BC to the 18 century AD. The museum holds the richest collection of ancient Greek vases, 7th – 3rd century BC in Bulgaria. Remarkable are the collections of stone and lead anchors and stocks, 2nd – 1st millennium BC, antique and medieval amphorae, 6th century BC – 14th century AD. In the halls of the museum, history connoisseurs can feel the spirit of past eras. The historical narration reveals the secrets of the sunken prehistoric settlements and Thracian fortresses along Meden Reed. The accent of the exposition is the history of ancient Apollonia, founded in 610 BC. Urban culture, burial customs and ancient Greek painted pottery are presented. Of interest are the antique marble friezes and ceramic architectural details, the collection of small terracotta figurines and fragments of the most ancient water supply system, discovered in Bulgaria, dating to the end of the 5th century BC.
Apollonia during the Roman period, 1st – 4th century AD, is presented mainly by finds from the necropolis – amphorae, coins, ceramic and glass vessels. The exhibits of late antiquity and the medieval age are connected with the development of Sozopol as an important administrative, cultural and religious center. Of utmost importance is the marble reliquary that held the relics of St. John the Baptist, discovered in 2010 during the excavations of the medieval monastery on St. John’s Island. A special place among the medieval exhibits is the collection of Sgraffito ceramics and medieval ornaments. The Ottoman period in the history of Sozopol (1453-1878) is presented by coin treasure from the 18th century and late medieval pottery.
The museum’s exhibition is constantly updated with new museum modules, presenting the latest archeological discoveries. Tens of thousands of Bulgarian and foreign tourists visit the museum annually.
The museum hosts the International Francophone Festival “Soleil” and “Apollonia Festival of the Arts”. In its halls are organized art exhibitions, chamber concerts, music competitions and master classes.