Aquae Calidae near Burgas is a new tourist destination in Bulgaria. During the Roman times it was a bath. Before that, the place was used by the Thracians as a sanctuary. Later on it was rebuilt several times over the centuries. It has been utilized nowadays until a decade ago. Currently it is a museum.
I have heard about the site recently and put it in my travel plan. At the beginning of the summer holiday I managed to visit it just after the island of Saint Anastasia.
In the post below you can read detailed information about the place and how to get there.
You can visit some of the most beautiful places in Bulgaria via organized daily tours. Have a look here for several options from the biggest Bulgarian provider for day tours from Sofia – Traventuria.
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How to get to Aquae Calidae
Aquae Calidae is located about 14 kilometers northwest of the center of Burgas between the villages of Vetren and Banevo, now districts of Burgas. The place is accessible by car. You can have a look at the location on the Google map here.
Why visit Aquae Calidae
The history of the place is quite rich. The mineral springs were firstly used by the Thracians, who in the first millennium BC made a nymph sanctuary there – known as the Three Nymphs. Other remnants of such a nymph sanctuary in Bulgaria can be seen near the village of Kasnakovo, Haskovo region.
Note: A nymph in ancient Greek folklore is a minor female nature deity, source wikipedia.
In the 1-2 centuries, after the Romans conquered the Balkans, they built public baths in the area, which were mentioned in written sources like Aquae Calidae, meaning Hot Water.
In the Early Middle Ages, the village around the baths was known as Therma or Thermopolis. In the 8th century the region fell within the borders of Bulgaria. Then, over the centuries, the place being a tempting area, changed its rulers several times – either Bulgaria or Byzantium.
At the beginning of the 13th century, Therma was destroyed by the Latins and Knights of the 4th Crusade led by Emperor Henry of Flanders. Then, for a long time, the area remained in oblivion.
In the 16th century, under the rule of Sultan Suleiman Magnificent, a Turkish bath was built on the site.
After the Bulgarian Liberation, the bathroom was known as Aitos Mineral Baths.
Currently, the Aquae Calidae tourist site includes the restored Suleiman Magnificent Bath, where visitors can explore and learn the story from a 3D movie with an impressive finish that I am not going to tell you, because it is interesting to see. Outside the bathroom there are solid remains of the great Roman baths that can be examined as well.
Aquae Calidae is an interesting place, unconventional and unique. If you wonder what to see in Burgas and like places combining rich history and ancient ruins of different ages, I recommend you to visit Aquae Calidae!
More information about the place, working hours, and price can be found on the official website.