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Black Sea ( Safranbolu & Amasya & Trabzon ): Mediterranean Collection's selected tours.

   Black Sea Riches of the Silk Road
Black Sea Trabzon
Black Sea Sumela Monastery

Black Sea Trabzon
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Trabzon, the major city of the region, was founded in the 7th century B.C. by Miletian colonists, and it was at the center of the Comnene Empire established after the fall of Byzantine Istanbul. The exiled Byzantine court ruled until 1461, when the Ottomans conquered the area. The restored 13th-century Byzantine church, used for centuries as a mosque and now the Ayasofya Museum, is the jewel of Trabzon's monuments. Splendid frescoes, some of the finest examples of Byzantine painting, cover every surface of the interior church walls. Several other churches were converted to mosques, such as the Fatih Mosque and the Yeni Cuma Mosque. The Ottoman Gulbahar Mosque, a typical provincial-style building, is set in a lovely tea garden.
Wooden houses fill the old quarter in the ancient fortifications, and it still retains the spirit of a medieval town. The house in which Ataturk stayed has been made into a museum. Boztepe Park on the hills above Trabzon, offers a beautiful view of the city and the coastline. On the western slopes of Boztepe Will stands the Irene Tower, built by Empress Irene of Trabzon in 1343. Just east of the city, the village of Surmene has an impressive 19th century mansion known as the Kastel. Near Trabzon, south of Akcaabat, lovely highland meadows - Karadag, Hidirnebi and Erikbeli- are ideal hiking and picnicking grounds; The road inland from Trabzon winds through spectacular mountain landscape before reaching the Zigana Tunnel, the longest in Turkey. Nearby, Hamsikoy, a charming mountain village, has gained a national reputation for its excellent cuisine (including the best rice pudding), and is also conveniently near the Zigana Ski Center. Beautiful meadows and highland pastures (Gurgenagac Yaylasi, Kirazli Yaylasi and Solma Yaylasi) are ideal sites for outdoor activities and picnics. The traditional Kadirga Festival celebrates the annual summer migration to the high mountain pastures.

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