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Saint Sophia
Sumela Monastery














































Trabzon - An Historical Port City

Trabzon is the most important and largest port on the Black Sea coast. It is the starting point of the Iranian transit route and has connections with the ports of other countries with shores on the Black Sea. The city was founded by the colonists of Miletus, in the eighth century B.C. Trabzon, after living through the Roman and Byzantine Periods, became the capital city of the Pontus State in 1204. Trabzon was conquered by Fatih Sultan Mehmet in 1471, Yavuz Sultan Selim was the Prince here and Kanuni Sultan Suleyman (Suleyman the Magnificent) was born here. Most of the architectural works in the city are from the Byzantine, Comnenian and Ottoman Periods.


The most important structure in Trabzon is the Ayasofya (Saint Sophia) Museum. The church, which is used as a museum today, was constructed in the thirteenth century. The decorations at the entrance are remaining from the Seljuks, and the interior sections of the museum are decorated with various frescoes. The Gulbahar Hatun Mosque is the most beautiful mosque in the city. The Hatip and Iskender Pasha Mosques, from the sixteenth century, are among the other mosques in the city worth seeing. The old streets of Trabzon give the city a comp- letely different picturesque appearance. The historical houses in the back streets are worth seeing. The Kizlar Manastiri (Girls’ Monastery), remaining from the Comnenian Period in the fourteenth century and the Irene Tower are among the places frequented by tourists. The Altindere National Park is near Macka to the south of Trabzon. The magnificent Sumela Monastery, which is almost higher than the clouds, is in this national park. The monastery, perched on the facade of a cliff, at a height of 270 meters, assumed its most magnificent form during the period of the Comnene King Alexis III. The crowning ceremony of Alexis III was held here in the fourteenth century. A library, church, rooms of the priests, chapel, sacred water spring and kitchen are inside the monastery.

There are very beautiful high plateaus in the environs of Trabzon. These are the Erikbeli, Hidirnebi, Solma, Kirazli and Kadirga high plateaus. The famous Kadirga Festival is held every year in the spring at the Kadirga High Plateau. Hamsikoy, which is a famous mountain village to the south of Trabzon, is known for its delicious food, along with its natural beauties. The Zigana Tunnel, which is the longest highway tunnel in Turkey, is to the south of Hamsikoy. The Zigana Ski Center, on the old Zigana Mountain road on the upper sections of the tunnel, is interesting for ski lovers with its modern facilities. The silver market in the city is also famous. The famous interwoven gold and silver bracelets of Trabzon are sold here.