June 27, 2019

Trabzon The Coast of Black Sea

The Silk Road

Trabzon is a city on the Black Sea coast of northeastern Turkey. It is famous for its historical location as a prominent harbour on the Silk Road. During the Ottoman era, Trabzon was the focal point of the commerce as it connected Iran, Iraq, India, Russia and Caucasus, because of its port. Even during the earlier centuries, famed travelers Marco Polo had visited its port for its rich history. Evliya Çelebi, a Turkish traveler in the early 17th century, saved his travels in his memoirs called Seyâhatnâme [Book of travels] which had inspired many admirers to visit Trabzon.


Trabzon had also been recorded in the book of Xenophon, named as Anabasis. He was a famous Greek solider and the student of Socrates. He had arrived to this densely inhabited Hellenic city, Trabzon with troops from an expenditure on Persian soul.

Trapezus originated in 756 BCE, in the country called, Colchis. Its first settlers were thought to be from Sinope, a ancient Greek city on the south of the Black Sea. Later in the Roman Period, the Romans recognized Trapezus as a free city. According to the local legends, Saint Andrew
was the one to bring Christianity to the Trapezians.

Around the later part of the 1 st century, Arian who was a Greek commander and historian decribes his visit to the city. He also describes a temple dedicated to God Hermes, built within the city walls.

Later on, under the Byzantine rule, Trapezus had suffered a decline. In the long run, it served as a port where Muslim merchants arrived to do business with Byzantine traders. The last Emperor of Trebizond, David lost his battle against Sultan Mehmed II of the Ottoman Empire in 1461. Mehmed II sent over Turkish missionaries into this area. Even after this turn of events, the old ethnic Greek, Laz and Armenian communities remained within the city.

‘The City of Sultans’

Trabzon is often called the ‘City of Sultans’. In addition, it is the birthplace of the renowned Ottoman monarch, Suleiman the Magnificent.

Religious Sanctuaries; Hagia Sophia and Trabzon:

Furthermore, another magnificent destination in the city of Trabzon is the Hagia Sophia. This 13th-century Byzantine church, known as the Church of Divine Wisdom sits at the center of the city.  After the Ottoman conquest, its conversion into a mosque took place with a new name, Aya Sofia.

Similarly, Trabzon is also home to the Sumela Monastery that nests on the cliff of Melá Mountain (Black Mountain). The monastery symbolizes the dedication to the Virgin Mary. The name is translated as The all Holy One in Greek; a title generally used for Mother of Christ. The Sumela Monastery is one of the most important historic and touristic sites in Trabzon.

The Natural Beauty of Trabzon:

In the distance, lies the coast of Çamburnu. Specifically known for one of the most beautiful sunsets of the Black Sea. Many people also recommend a trip to Uzungöl. A large beautiful lake surrounded by thick, dense forests in the Demirkapi plateau. Uzungöl, a well known spot for traditional wooden hotels and rest houses that provides a stunning cultural experience.

Hence, Trabzon is fit for a sultan and has rightfully earned the nickname. A place worth visiting!