15 km from Burgas, between districts Vetren and Banevo, Aquae Calidae is part of the nature park Mineralni bani. Next to the archaeological reserve can be found a sanatorium with spa and public fountains with mineral water. The Archaeological Reserve consists of ancient and medieval baths, medieval Christian church, fortress walls and facilities connected to the defence system, Thracian tomb and other monuments.
The balneology complex spreads over 6 decres and is 86 m long from north to south. This makes it one of the largest one in the world. Due to its healing mineral water springs Aqua Calidae – Thermopolis has existed for centuries. Empires fell and civilisations changed but people kept visiting the place through the Thracian, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and Bulgarian Ages. Because of the constant interest of visitors, a whole city emerged around the baths.
“Aqua Calidae – Thermopolis” was built around the hot mineral springs back in Thracian times, in the 1st millennia B.C. when the Thracians turned the hot spring in the most honoured sanctuary of the Three Nymphs. The legend of the Three Nymphs brought fame and popularity to the city even in the Roman Age.
Later on, during the late Middle Ages Aqua Calidae became known as Therma or Thermopolis (from the Greek for “warm city”). In 6th century, the ancient village had expanded the baths and built fortress walls.
Among the archaeological findings are over 200 antiquity coins, jewellery and cult objects. A curious fact is that 2/3 of the coins are autonomous bronze coins, minted in the nearby antiquity cities of Apollonia – Sozopol and Messembria – Nessebar. It’s obvious that, despite the often military altercations between the two cities, their citizens valued the healing springs of Aquae Calidae in equal measures and honoured their patrons – the Three Nymphs.