About 45 km south of Trabzon the Greek Ortodox Monastery of the Virgin Mary clings to the steep mountainside, high above the forest. The climb up, which takes about 30 minutes, is steep and you should wear good shoes.
The last monks were deported 1923 in the "exchange of population" between Turkey and Greece. There has been a monastery at this place since the 6th century. What you see today of the facade and colourful frescos dates mostly from the 18th century. During the last years the monastery has been heavily restored.
Where the trail up to the monastery begins there is a restaurant and souvenir shops. Food at the restaurant is excellent. I had lamb shish kebab with rice, salad, bread and orange juice for 9 750 000 TL.
During the summer Ulusoy runs buses from Trabzon once a day. The price Trabzon - Sumela - Trabzon is 10 000 000 TL.
- Museum Visits
- Religious Travel
- Historical Travel
The church Hagia Sofia was built in the 13th century on a terrace above the Black Sea. After the Ottoman conquest 1461 it was converted to a mosque.
The museum has some beautiful and well-preserved frescos with biblical motives.
The entrance fee is 2 000 000 TL.
After visiting the museum it can be nice to have a tea in the relaxing teagarden, especially if you have done a lot of walking as I did.
There are many dolmushes going from Meydan Parki to Aya Sofya, but you can also walk if you have time. The walk is
- Museum Visits
- Religious Travel
Trabzon - the city
There is a lot of traffic and many minibuses around Meydan Park and on Uzun Sokak and Maras Caddesi. In Meydan Park there is a teagarden and around the square there are several restaurants and kiosks where you can buy snacks.
Going west from the square you have a lot of shops selling cloths on Uzun Sokak and on Maras Caddesi there are a lot of banks and ATMs. Futher downhill is the bazaar area.
The otogar is a few kilometres from the city centre, but minibuses going to the otogar (or past the otogar) leaves frequently from near the Belediye (Town Hall).
archeological museum of Trabzon
hard to find...
when you ask the local shop owners or anyone passing through the road, "where is the museum?", they will certainly show you the way... but where they show you will lead ypu to the Hagia Sophia church :)
so, it is recommended that you try to find the city museum just by looking at a city map that you can get from the tourist information office in the Meydan.
the entrance of the 3 floored museum is a house of a jewish banker who lived in Trabzon at the beginning of the 20th century. the decoration of the house may be interesting and may be considered as oriental.
the first floor is reserved for the memories of the Independence War of Turkish nation, under the command of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. our leader Ataturk had used thºs place for a while. this part may not be attractive for the foreigners but the meaning of these items in the museum is significant to the Turks.
and the basement of the city museum is used as the archeological museum. the most important and interesting items are demonstrated here. these items are originating from many civilizations varying from the chalceolitic ages to the ottomans. especially the items taken from the Sumela monastery should be seen before taking the way to the monastery.
Uzun göl ( long lake )
Uzun Gol ( long lake ) is located 99 km far from Trabzon and 1090 m above the sea level
The lake is 100 m long 500 m widht and 15 m depth.There are also many bungalows around the lake and you can spend some time in this beautiful spot.
I get on the bus of Machka from the Russian Bazaar. it was almost 2 hours' way to arrive in sumela. after passing Machka, the road entered into the forest and a magnificient landscape escorted us.
on the right was a beautiful valley and a nice little river, and everywhere was fully dark green with the forest. the road was climbing up the mountain, and the height of the trees increased to about 40 meters.
the valley was deepening and there were little -and even big- waterfalls everywhere. the natural beauty was captivating.
then the bus came to its final destination and we saw the monastery over us. I looked at it with admiration, and began climbing a really steep way. when i reached the monastery, i was surprised that most parts were ýnder restoration. but those places I've seen was already enough for me.
the history of the monastery goes back to 386 AD. many priests and monks -including cardinal bessarion- came out of this place and when you look outside from one of the high windows of this monastery, you can say that it is the best places to be away from the outer world, and get closer to God.
about an hours' distance to Trabzon, lies the Uzungol province; with its fascinating natural beauty.
it is among the most famous and beautiful places of Turkey, so if a person has arrived in Trabzon, it is a must to get to Uzungol also.
you can find further information and photos on Uzungol, in
my Uzungol pages.
iskender pasha mosque
one of the most important historical places in Trabzon is surely the Iskender Pasha mosque. it stands in the city center (Meydan) and next to the tourist information office.
the outer look is not so attractive but inside of the mosque is beautiful. the writings in arabic letters (HAT) are exteremely beautiful and original.
It's been said that the beginning of the construction is 4. century, but ruins that can be seen today are from early 13.-14. centuries.. The external part with balcony which can be seen from valley was reconstructed with Turk style of architecture in the mid 19. century..
Restauration works are still going on..
I've been there five times.. There's a small path to arrive the top.. After 30 min journey you arrive the top and see the beautiful valley.. While having the path Sumela shows herself suddenly.. Stunning moments..
Uzungol means long lake. The lake is 99 km. far from Trabzon and 19 km. from Caykara. It's on 1090 m. high, surrounded by mountains, they're all green and stunning atmosphere of Kackars..
It's a turistic place, with campers.. There are tours around the lake of trekking, observing birds, botanic..
Sumela Monastery is one of the wonders of belief. It is 43 kms far from Trabzon city and close Macka district. Monastery is a big complex coming from Byzantine period. Its rich past witnessed many important changes. Trabzon was the capital of Comnenos-once held Byzantine crown. Ending of Ottoman Empire and chaotic conditions in Anatolia had negative effects to local Greeks and monks as well. So they left that sacred place. Today you may see its magnificence between the mountains, exciting frescoes-unfortunately some of them seriously damaged.
- Historical Travel
- Religious Travel
Gulbahar Hatun mosque and tomb
Gulbahar Harun was the mother of Selim I and thus, the grandmother of Suleyman the Magnificient.
the Sultan Selim made the architects build a beautiful mosque and a good tomb for his mother, and this mosque is one of the attractions of the city.
I went the mosque during a Friday prayer and it was quite full. around the mosque is the most historical property areas of the city. old houses, a castle and old narrow streets will provide you with a good feeling id you walk around under a soft rain.
It was constructed between 1250-1260 for King Manuel I. and for his family. In 1670 it converted to a mosque and in 1864 it was restaurated.
During the 1st world war, it has been used as an hospital, police station, store and after the war it again being used as a mosque. In 1964 again restaurated (attending of Edinbourgh University) and it's converted to a museum..
Ataturk visited 3 times this city and in his 2 nd visit he stayed at this Kiosk ( 1930) which was build by a bank owner with the name of Constantine Kabayannidis.
The new government decide to give this house to the Founder of modern Turkey as a gift
Now it serves as a museum.
- Theme Park Trips
a high hill over the city, Boztepe is a place of a great panaroma...
you can get there by busses from the Meydan, and watching the city from a bird's eye is a gerat feeling. also drinking tea from "Semavar"s in the sunset is possible.
here in this is a huge and funny writing "Trabzon" with even the same fonts as Hollywood.