You can also go to Nessebar, which is only 3km from Sunny Beach. Nessebar is one of the most ancient towns in Europe and is a combination of architectural artifacts that give the town its unique appearance and atmosphere. The town was established in the 6th century BC on the site of an ancient Thracian settlement, Mesembria that dated back to the 2nd millennium BC. Since 500 AD it has been a Greek, Byzantine and finally a Bulgarian colony. The peak of its development was during the reign of king Ivan Alexander, when the town was one of the most important sea ports in the Bulgarian State. Nessebar has more than 40 ancient churches, most of these in ruins. Remnants of an antique fortified wall with a gate dating from the 3rd or 4th century AD. The area also boasts more than 40 churches from the 5th and 6th centuries AD and from the Medieval Period (10th to 14th centuries) and 60 houses dating to the Revival period.