1.         Ancient City of Nessebar (Bulgaria) (C 217)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1983

Criteria  (iii)(iv)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/217/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1991-1995)
Total amount approved: USD 21,290
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/217/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions

November 2010: joint World Heritage Centre/ ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/217/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2013

On 28 January 2013, the State Party submitted a detailed and comprehensive state of conservation report. An ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission visited the property from 20 to 24 November 2012 as requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011). The mission report is available online at the following web address:


a)  Management system for the property 

The State Party reports that the Management Plan for the property has been completed with a broad participatory process. It identifies a conservation policy to protect the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property and seeks to integrate different planning tools at the urban and regional level. It includes projects for immediate implementation to address long-standing issues at the property. Mechanisms to ensure adequate funding are included and the review of legislative and regulatory measures is considered to ensure a fully operational management system. For management arrangements, it has provisions for reforming the current institutional framework, for improving mechanisms for coordination and control as well as for strengthening the role of the state and local government, which are being discussed at the state level. An administrative unit has been established at the Municipality for the protection of cultural heritage and the implementation of the Management Plan. Two regional inspectors have been appointed at the Ministry of Culture to monitor the property. Comprehensive condition monitoring, including the identification of violations to the Cultural Heritage Act, has been carried out and monitoring maps were prepared. Working meetings with civil society have been convened to draft a project for the protection of the property and its buffer zone. The authorities also report that in November 2012, the Minister of Culture issued an Ordinance on the procedure for identification, declaration and provision of a status and determination of the category of the immovable cultural properties for the National Register of the Immovable Cultural Properties. This includes the process for the creation and adoption of regimes for the protection of heritage within the boundaries and buffer zones.

The mission considered the Management Plan as a crucial step and recommends its full adoption. It notes  that the further development and adoption of Urban Master Plan with provisions for land use, for the rehabilitation of infrastructure, zoning controls (including no build zones), as well as a precise conservation plan is needed to ensure the long-term protection of the property.  

b)  Regulations for tourism activities and components of urban infrastructure

The State Party reports that the current situation of tourism was evaluated. The Management Plan suggests basic guidelines for the development of an Integrated Multi-Institutional Tourism Strategy. “Rules for tourism activities, movable sites and elements of urban infrastructure, advertising and commercial outdoor activity” are in the process of finalization. In coordination with the Municipal Council, the Ministry of Culture developed scheme concepts for advertising and information elements. Work was also carried out to remove movable street trade at the property to clear public spaces around the medieval churches.

c)  Monitoring of the property

The State Party reports that since 2010, the property and its buffer zone were monitored as part of the condition assessment. Results have been used to identify priority measures, which have been integrated in the Management Plan.

The mission verified the on-going mechanisms for the monitoring of the property and recommended that capacities and resources be increased to continue with their systematic implementation.

d)  Removal of illegal constructions within the property, protection of the buffer zone and the sea coastline

The State Party reports that although the buffer zone is regulated by national law since 1991, no provision for its protection was granted until 2012; these have also been included in the Management Plan. It also notes that a minor boundary modification will be submitted for consideration by the World Heritage Committee. As for the moratorium on constructions in the buffer zone and coastal areas, it reports that until all legal provisions are adopted and enforced, the moratorium will remain. Also, the review process for projects has been enhanced and there is now greater coordination among the local state and municipal authorities for regular inspection of the property and the identification of projects subject to fines. Assessment of cases of illegal constructions was carried out and violations to existing regulations identified. Follow-up procedures on the specific cases are on-going to address their removal.


The mission reported that there are constructions currently occurring in contradiction to the moratorium. The mission recommended that mitigation measures be identified for those already constructed and that Heritage Impact Assessments be carried out for the existing proposals, particularly for the construction of pontoons and yachts at the port to ensure that there is no impact on the OUV of the property. The mission took detailed note of the areas where violations to existing regulations have occurred and recommended that they be promptly addressed. 

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note the progress made by the State Party in addressing the recommendations made by the World Heritage Committee and welcome the development of the Management Plan. They recommend that the Committee urge the State Party to continue its efforts to improve current conservation, management and protection conditions.


They also underline that the moratorium on any new constructions needs to be maintained and authorization of new construction permits within the World Heritage property, its surroundings and sea coastline area be halted until the Urban Master Plan and Conservation Plan are developed and adopted.

Decision Adopted: 37 COM 7B.73

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/7B,

2.  Recalling Decision 35 COM 7B.87 , adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011),

3.  Welcomes the progress made by the State Party in the implementation of its previous decisions and urges the State Party to adopt and implement the Management Plan;

4.  Takes note of the results of the November 2012 ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission to the property and requests the State Party to implement its recommendations, in particular:

a)  Approve effective legislative and regulatory measures, including those for new construction and development, for the management of the buffer zone and the surrounding sea coastline and for the regulation of tourism activities,

b)  Maintain the moratorium on any new constructions within the World Heritage property, its buffer zone and at the surrounding sea coastline until the development and approval of an Urban Master Plan and a Conservation Plan,

c)  Strengthen the protection status of the sea coastline and include mandatory heritage impact assessments for proposed developments,

d)  Make operational the proposed management system, including adequate staffing and resources for the implementation of the proposed projects,

e)  Implement priority conservation and maintenance works, as identified in the Management Plan, for the historic buildings and archaeological sites, and prepare a technical manual for conservation, rehabilitation and restoration,

f)   Develop capacity building activities for all professional staff involved with the conservation, protection and management of the property;

5.  Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015 , an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above.