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Trabzon, Turkey


 Historical and beautiful, Trabzon, Turkey is the largest port located on the Black Sea, also the most important due to its location, acting as the point of origin for sea routes for other cities on the Black Sea. With origins dating back to the eighth century BC and its founding by Greek traders, Trabzon has seen both the Roman and Byzantine eras.

 Under Roman rule, Trebizond as Trabzon was called, gained prominence because of its access to roads that connected many points in the region. In the third century the Goths attacked and pillaged the city. Even though the inhabitants rebuilt Trabzon, it did not return to its place of prominence until the eighth century when trade returned to the established trade routes.

 More recently, during World War I, the Caucasus Campaign between the Russian and Ottoman armies saw Trabzon captured by Russian forces but they soon withdrew from the region in 1917 due to the Russian Revolution.

 The architecture of the city shows the influence of its Byzantine inhabitants along with the Ottoman and Comnenian eras. A grand example of Byzantine architecture is the magnificent Hagia Sophia, a favorite tourist attraction, which is a Greek Orthodox church built in the 13th century during the reign of Manuel I. It has also served as a mosque and briefly as a hospital by the Russian military, then in 1964 was converted into a museum as it is today.

Sumela Monastery, Trabzon Turkey Another amazing example of the architecture in Trabzon is the Sumela Monastery, located in Trabzon province. Perched high on the side of a steep mountain, visitors will be inspired by the breathtaking views and amazing beauty of the forests that stretch out below as well as the beautiful frescoes that adorn the walls within.
According to legend, the monastery was founded by two priests who discovered a sign of the Virgin Mary in a cave on the mountain in the year 386 AD under the reign of Theodosius I, Emperor of Rome.

 The Trabzon Museum has over 3,000 items on display in its ethnographic and archeological exhibits that include artifacts dating back as far as 3300 BC. There are collections featuring items from the Bronze Age through the Byzantine era ending in 1453. There are also exhibits featuring works from the Ottoman era and a selection of Islamic items.


 The museum is located in a mansion that in itself is an exhibit, with beautiful architecture, hand carved Baroque decor gracing the walls of every room as well as beautiful cut glass windows in many of the rooms.

 The museum was once the home of banker Kostaki Teophylaktos who lost all of his possessions due to bankruptcy in 1917. After being confiscated, the mansion changed hands several times, used as a military headquarters and as a residence for visiting dignitaries as well as government offices.

 The culture of Trabzon is one of openness regarding religion and lifestyle. The people of the region tend to be conservative and loyal with strong family ties, values and good humor. Hospitality and rural tradition make Trabzon, Turkey a wonderful destination. 

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