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Trabzon: A Turkish adventure, situated on the Black Sea




Trabzon is a city in north eastern part of Turkey situated on the coast of the black sea. Once known in the ancient world as Trapezus and Trebizond, it is the capital of the Trabzon province. The city has a population of around 1.3 million people. Founded by Miletion traders in 7th century BC the city has been ruled by many empires including the Goths, the Romans and the Ottomans. Trabzon was a part of the historical Silk Route, and as such, an important trade centre, being visited by merchants from countries like India, Iran, and Russia etc. who left a mark of their own culture, religion and language on Trabzon. Trabzon still retains its status as an important trading port exporting tobacco, livestock and foodstuffs.
The city has its own rich culture. Trabzonites are very open to other religions. Christians and Muslims live together, proud of their common cultural heritage. Trabzon is popular for its folk dance, Horon, performed by men and women of all ages, during festivities and other joyous occasions. Trabzon is a feast for every tourist’s eyes with its gorgeous sightseeing area’s and remains from its ancient history, mostly from the Byzantine period. The moment you enter Trabzon you are greeted, by its most important tourist attraction: The Hagia Sophia, a 13th century, well preserved Byzantine church. It has now been restored as the Ayasofya Museum. The walls of the church are decorated with frescoes, a very fine example of Byzantine craftsmanship. Then there is the Boztepe Park, a small park, situated on the Boztepe hills, which offers a magnificent panoramic view of the entire city.
There are some beautiful Ottoman monuments too, such as the mosque and mausoleum of Gulbahar Hatun.

Best time to visit /climate:

Trabzon’s climate is typical Black Sea, with high rainfall all year round. Summers are warm and humid, with the average maximum temperature reaching 28 degrees C .Winters are cool and damp, the average minimum temperature touching 5°C in January. Rainfall is very heavy in autumn and spring. Between December and March, snowfall is common and often heavy, sometimes snowing for a week or two. The best time to visit is summer, when the weather is warm and rainfall not too heavy.

Location on Google maps:


View Larger Map

Driving directions from Ankara to Trabzon:


View Larger Map

How to get there:

By plane: There are flights to Trabzon from Ankara and Istanbul.

By Bus: There are buses operating between Istanbul and Trabzon regularly, many times a day. There are also buses available from bilisi and Georgia.

By Sea: There are ferries from Soch, a Russian city along the Black Sea coast, twice a week.

PLACES TO STAY (HOTELS / RESTAURANTS ALONG WITH WEBSITE / CONTACT NUMBERS):

There are many hotels available in Trabzon. If you are on a strict budget, then the hotels near the port, down the Ataturk square, are the cheapest. But sometimes they are used for prostitution, so one has to be cautious. Some the top rated hotels are given below:

1. Novotel Trabzon
Cumhuriyet Mah kasustu Beldesi | Yomra, Trabzon 61250, Turkey
2. Aksular Hotel
Toklu Mah.Sahil Cad.No:465, Trabzon, 61040,Turkey
3. Zorlu Grand Hotel
Maras Caddesi No 9, Trabzon 61100, Turkey
4. Buyuk Sumela Hotel
Macka, Trabzon 61750, Turkey

Source: Trip Advisor

There are a number of places to eat in Trabzon. Local cuisine is by far the favourite in Trabzon. “Pide” (a kind of bread) and kofte (meat balls) are a hot favourite. “Akcaabat koftesi”, meat balls made in Turkish way with garlic, bread and meat, eaten with ayran, a kind of yogurt, is another local delicacy. “Lahmacun”, a kind of pizza, with mince meat topping and thin bread, is also something one should try. Sea food is also popular. Besides these, there are many restaurants selling cuisines of other countries.
Some of the top rated restaurants are as follows:

1. NIHAT USTA
AKCAABAT, Trabzon, Turkey
2. ARI BUFE
Bolluk Sk., Trabzon, Turkey
Phone: 0090-462-230 58 08
3. Kilcik Fish Restaurant
Meydan, Trabzon, Turkey
4. YalIncak
YalIncak, Trabzon, Turkey

Source: Trip Advisor

BLOGS / SITES ABOUT ISTANBUL (WITH SMALL EXCERPTS FROM THESE BLOGS):

1. A brief history (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trabzon)
The city was one of a number (about ten) of Milesian emporia, or trading colonies along the shores of the Black Sea. Others include Sinope, Abydos and Cyzicus (in the Dardanelles). Like most Greek colonies, the city was a small enclave of Greek life, and not an empire unto its own, in the later European sense of the word. Early banking (money-changing) activity is suggested occurring in the city according to a silver drachm coin from Trapezus in the British Museum, London.
Trebizond’s trade partners included the Mossynoeci. When Xenophon and the Ten Thousand mercenaries were fighting their way out of Persia, the first Greek city they reached was Trebizond (Xenophon, Anabasis, 5.5.10). The city and the local Mossynoeci had become estranged from the Mossynoecian capital, to the point of civil war. Xenophon’s force resolved this in the rebels’ favor, and so in Trebizond’s interest.

2. Things to do, sightseeing and attractions:

http://www.kultur.gov.tr/EN/Genel/BelgeGoster.aspx?17A16AE30572D31395FB1C5180B6EBD698CDA43385F0101A
• Ataturk Palace
Situated in a small pine grove in the Soguksu area, this mansion was constructed at the beginning of the 20th century and belonged to Greek banker Karayannidhis, who was forced to abandon it 20 years later. Ataturk stayed at there in 1924, 1934 and 1937 during his visits to Trabzon, and it was formally presented to him a year before his death. It was then decorated with furniture and décor from that period, filled with photographs of the leader and opened by the city’s municipality as Ataturk Museum.

• Sumela monastery
http://wikitravel.org/en/Trabzon
Sumela Monastery (Turkish: Sümela Manast?r?; Panagia Soumela, “Virgin Mary of Soumela” in Greek) is a spectacular rock-hewn monastery perched dramatically on the narrow ledge of a steep cliff in the forests south of Trabzon. It was built in the fourth century, just before the Roman Empire split into east and west, by two Athenian priests, Barnabas and Sophronius, who, according to legend, found a miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary in a cave. The monastery’s location in this geopolitically tumultuous corner of the globe naturally saw times of trouble and fell into ruin numerous times throughout its history, with its most thriving times falling under Byzantine and Ottoman rule.
The twentieth century, however, was not kind to the monastery. It was abandoned following the chaos and inter-ethnic violence at the end of World War I, and the population transfer of Trabzon’s (formerly Trebizond) Greek population back to Greece. Its remote location gave it some sanctuary, but its frescoes still attracted the occasional casually hurled rock by a bored shepherd. The beautiful frescoes today suffer from decades of heart-wrenchingly pointless vandalism by travelers—judging from the various alphabets and names scrawled across these impressive religious works of art, it appears that just about every culture in the world has taken part in the desecration. The buildings themselves have been fairly heavily restored in recent decades, as the Turkish government has stepped in to protect the monastery and to turn it into a museum.

3. Photo Gallery:
1. Photos of Trabzon by a traveler: http://www.pbase.com/dosseman/trabzon
2.Huge collection of photos: http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/Middle_East/Turkey/Black_Sea/Trabzon/

4. You Tube Videos:
1. THE SUMELA MONASTERY ?N TRABZON TURKEY:

2. Trabzon – Agia Sophia, Frondistirio and Karadeniz:




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