Pomorie is a concrete labyrinth of high-rising hotels and apartment blocks inhabited by Russian tourists and holiday-home owners. The town is the descendant of ancient Greek Anchialos, and has been a major production centre of sea salt ever since, with some of its salt pans now being part of the Museum of Salt. In the 2nd Century BC the neighbouring colonies Mesembria and Apollonia disputed bitterly the authority over Anchialos and its precious salt.
Salt made ancient Pomorie a wealthy city which minted its own coins and hired masters from the East for the decoration of its public and private buildings with exquisite architecture elements. The city had the affluence necessary for organising sports competitions; the so-called Severia Nymphia were held to honour several Roman emperors. Besides Greeks, Thracian aristocrats lived in the city. They grew in prominence in the last centuries of Thracian independence, and under the Romans secured their places in the local administration.
The people of Anchialos used to be buried in a large necropolis of mounds, where beautiful gold jewellery from the period of the 1st Century BC to the 1st Century AD has been discovered. One of the mounds holds one of the most interesting strange Roman monuments in Bulgaria – the Pomorie Tomb.
The tomb is situated at the end of a dirt track through a vineyard near Pomorie. It is hidden under an unusual elliptical mound with impressive proportions – the axes are 63 m and 53 m, and the height is 8 m. The tomb is built of red bricks; a 22-metre-long corridor leads to a circular chamber with diameter of 12 m. Five niches adorn the walls. A mighty column in the middle of the chamber rises up to the dome and blends with it in a manner that makes you think that you are under the cap of a giant mushroom. The column is hollow, and there is a staircase inside leading up to the top of the mound. Climbing is forbidden, but visitors can peek inside.
The tomb was built between the 2nd and 4th centuries. Its unusual shape has never been sufficiently explained. According to some, it wasn't a tomb but a temple.