The town has been chosen because it poses different problems with respect to heritage:

-  This was a Greek town that became bulgarized between the wars due to exchange of populations. A recent quarrel over the statue of Apollo (Sozopol was called Apollonia) re-actualized the problem; the Orthodox church was against such a pagan effigy, whereas its supporters argued that it was good for tourism

- They recently found relics, supposedly of St. John the Baptist, which again produced debates as to heritage, tourism and faith

-  The town has become a center of nouveau-riche construction activity, destroying the traditional outlook and introducing dubious urban standards. The near-by Nessebar has been menaced for the same reason to lose its label of UNESCO heritage site.

-  Souvenirs, commercial art and kitsch will be a topic of discussion.

-  Sozopol is a center of festivals and various cultural activities. Even if those take generally place in the autumn, they present another topic discussion as to how culture participates to the construction of urbanity.

The town is an very old Greek colony, the former name was Apolonia Pontica, founded according to legends in 611 BC by settlers from Millet and Fokea. Sozopolis (= the city of salvation) was its Christian name from the 4th century on. It was of importance in Byzantium, then under the Ottomans as a port and ship-provider; it declined in the 19th century to become a fishing place. Hardly any ethnic Bulgarians lived there until the 20th century as the latter were not practicing fishing or sea trade. In WW1, in the 1920 populations were exchanged between Greece and Bulgaria. The exiled Greeks founded Sozopoli (in Halkidiki), whereas the Black sea dwelling was peopled by ethnic Bulgarians mainly from the inland of Thrace (Greek and Turkish). The trauma of this painful process was cautiously covered up by the communist ideology. It is after 1989 that the remaining Greeks became again visible. In 1974 the old city is declared “architectural reservation” and state-furthered tourism flourished. The new town outside of the peninsula grew during communist times, whan some industries were also developed here. After 1989 Sozopol expanded even further, this time due to easy money and deregulation. Besides bad taste of the nouveaux riches, hurting the child memories of many Bulgarians, it is known for the cultural festival of arts “Apolonia” (since the 84s, held in September), the painters and souvenir-producers, the churches and archeological sites, as well as the much promoted by the authorities relics of St. John the Baptist, found on an island near-by, of which quite recently a particle has been stolen. The municipality is dominated by the ruling party GERB.