1. Analysis and evaluation of the legislative protection

The actual legislative protection of the property and the protection zone (legislative statute and regime – boundaries and prescriptions for conservation) deserves the following positive assessment:

  • The present statute of legislative protection of the property according to the CHA – “Archaeological Reserve” – is adequate to its outstanding universal value. In the same time, the statute of the property before the enforcement of the CHA (“Architectural and urbanistic reserve”) gives grounds to launch a procedure for granting a statute of “group architectural and urbanistic immovable heritage site “historic settlement” with a category “national significance” (after the art. 47, items 3 and 5 and art, 48, it. 2 of CHA). By October 2012 this procedure is under preparation.

  • The boundaries of the protected territory of the Archaeological Reserve, according to the Decree of the Council of Ministers from 1991, have been regulated. The boundaries encompass a territory larger than the territory of the property also including the new territories for strengthening of the north coast and the isthmus.

  • The boundaries of the protection zone of the Archaeological Reserve – on the mainland and in the aquatory – have been regulated. These have also been accepted as boundaries of the buffer zone of the property (the boundaries were submitted to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre in 2005 and 2007).

  • Prescriptions for the conservation of the property have been adopted (1981 and 1985).

The following problems in the legislative protection of the property are specified

  • The discrepancy between the boundary of the property legitimated by its inscription, and the boundary of the Archaeological Reserve, according to the national legislation, to a certain extent hinders the spatial planning policy, the management of “The Ancient City of Nessebar”, and the international monitoring on the property (SCHEME № 5: Evolution of the boundaries of the protected areas until 2011).

Scheme 5: Evolution of the boundaries of the protected areas until 2011

  • A part of the mainland protection zone of the Reserve – the areas to the East of the current boundary of the protection zone – no longer meet the requirements for a buffer zone as pointed out in the Guidelines (§ 103-107), since the areas are entirely built-up.

  • The existing prescriptions for conservation of the property are too general, old-fashioned and insufficiently comprehensible for the inhabitants of Nessebar. There are no regulations for the protection/buffer zone of the property, which contradicts the requirements.

  • There are no protection regimes for of the individual heritage sites; there are gaps in the research, identification and protection of the heritage sites from modern times, the intangible heritage is insufficiently studied; the procedure for protection of newly-excavated archaeological sites (for instance the Necropolis on the mainland) remains unfinished; the statute of some individual heritage sites is incomplete.