Best Things to do in Trabzon
Sumela MonasteryThis is the best preserved and most important monastery in Trabzon and sits dramatically perched on a narrow ledge of a steep cliff. Built by Athenian priests Barnabas and Sophronius in the 4th century it stands over 300m above the Altindere valley. It houses an icon of “the Virgin Mary” that was said to be painted by St. Luke and which Barnabas had seen in a vision at the exact site where the holy relic was found. For further information click
Hagia Sophia Church
Trabzon MuseumThe historical building was built in the 1900s as a residence for a rich Greek banker and known as the Kostaki Mansion. During the War of Independence it became a military HQ, a Governor’s house, a vocational high school for girl’s and in 1987 was converted to a museum to house archaeological and ethnographic exhibits.
Yeni Cuma MosqueBuilt in Byzantine times as the Hagios Eugenios Church and dedicated to Saint Eugenius who was the patron saint of the city. The construction date is not exactly known but an inscription date of 1291 has been found inside although the present building was probably built in the 14th century as a cruciform church. After the Ottoman conquest in 1461and it was converted into a mosque and the minaret was added on to it.
Gulbahar Hatun Mosque & TombGulbahar Hatun was the mother of Selim I and grandmother of Suleyman the Magnificient . Sultan Selim ordered architects to build this beautiful mosque and tomb for his mother and it sits in a very historical part of the city surrounded by old houses, narrow streets and the castle.
Iskender Pasha MosqueThe mosque is located in the city centre (meydan) and is perhaps one of the most important historical buildings in Trabzon. Although the exterior is not particularly attractive the inside is very beautiful and has wonderful original Arabic calligraphic writing.
BoztepeCome up here to watch a fantastic sunset and get a bird’s eye view of the city. Boztepe is very easy to reach using the dolmus minibus or city bus and once here you are rewarded with fabulous views of Trabzon, especially at night. Visit the tea garden here and have your brew served in traditional Samovar and there are also restaurants available for food.
Convent of the Panaghia TheoskepastosUntil the expulsion of the Greeks in 1923 this was a Greek Orthodox convent. It has some very interesting architecture although there is little left of its frescoes and in recent years the authorities have undertaken renovations and now charge a small admission fee.
Kaymakli MonasteryThis remains of this 14th century Armenian Orthodox Monastery has a main chapel and magnificent interior frescoes that are now somewhat faded but most certainly worth the effort of a visit.
Church of Panaghia Chrysokephalos or Fatih MosqueDating from the 13th century this was the cathedral church of the Emperors of Trebizond. Chrysokephalos translates to golden-headed which is in reference to the gold plated dome of the Comnenian dynasty. The frescoes, which most certainly rivalled or even exceeded those at the Haghia Sophia, were covered in layers of whitewash and the structure converted into a mosque after the Muslim conquest of 1461.
Ataturk's VillaThis pretty historical building sits in lovely gardens and overlooks a pine forest. The house is very well maintained, is full of 1930s furniture along with memorabilia of Ataturk who would stay at this residence when visiting Trabzon. There is also a small coffee shop in the garden.
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