Trabzon.. A city with an open air museum that carries the traces of thousands of years of history spreading out to the whole corners of the world through its narrow cobble-stone pavements. A door, a bridge opening up to Asia adorned with breathtaking natural beauties formed by frequent rain…
On the west edge of Kachkar Mountain range, Trabzon is famous for the Monastery of Sumela that signs of 4000 years of Trabzon history in and around it at the point where the silk road leads to sea. Its ancient houses, mosques, churches and castles are among the masterpieces of this open-air museum. Trabzon, considered to be a door, a bridge to the present as well as the past, continues to connect both Asia and Europe with ancient port, airport and highways.
The higher plateus and woods reaching thousands of metres up from sea level are covered with outstanding natural scenes. You have the time of your life when you leave the villages behind enter a new world above the clouds and, which are covered with tobacca fields, hazelnut and tea plantations. Here it is, of course, easy to experience the revival of nature through the clothes of different colours that each woman years and the children with a smiling faces or old people over their 100s.
The people of Trabzon have the typical characterictic features of the Black Sea people. How excitable they are! Because they live between the mountains and sea, these circumstances of nature made them practical and ambitious. They are hospitable, lovely and generous. While dancing the “Horon” they happen to move their heads backward and step their feet down as hard as possible like the people who workshipped “Dionysos” in Mythology. You can see the rain, the movements of a boat on the sea and leap of anchovies while you watch them dancing the “Horon”. Anchovy that Evliya Çelebi (famous traveller) called it is and aphrodisiac and all kinds of dishes are cooked. The anchovy is the indispensible element of the courses and king of all fish. Also there is the love of Trabzonspor in everyones heart. No colour but purple mixed with blue exists in the hearth of Trabzon people, on the streets and in their shops.
Also there is the phenomenon of curved and long noses. The so-called nose which has always been the subject to jokes is a unique sign of Black sea person. Certainly such an important thing must be underlined with a moustache. The tolerance and ability to make jokes can make everyone laugh together.
78% of Trabzon is covered mountains, 22% with plateaus and it has untidy rivers and not plain fields. The highest mountains are Haldizen Mountain(3193m), Çakırgöl Mountain (3082m). Trabzon also has lakes such as Seragölü in Akçaabat, Çakırgöl in Zigana Mountain, Uzungöl, Balıklıgöl and Aygır Gölü in Çaykara. Turkey Cappadocia Tours
Bus trips from/to many cities in Turkey are available. Airlines such as Turkish Airlines, Istanbul Airlines, Onur Air have scheduled flights. There are also ships owned by both-lines Maritime and private, one sails to Istanbul – Trabzon and the other to Russia.
Transportation in Trabzon is usually made by “dolmuş” (onyl work in known lines), taxies, buses and some minibuses to some villages. There are also some daily tours provided by a few travel agents to touristic and historical places.
In the region where the mountains start to rise from the shore, the coastal line has the most rainfall. The annual amount of rainfall in Trabzon is 830,0 mm. Summers are warm, and the avarage temperature of summer months is 22 C, while winters are pretty warn with an avarage temperature of 7-8 C. January and February are considered to be the coldest of all, however the warmest July and August.
Fauna and Flora
The Black sea region has a lot of Growth Forest. The have the importance of preventing soil erosion, suppliyng fresh air and rich enviroment. From the sea level to the highest point of the mountains you can see many lakes and streams with every kind of trees around them.
In above sea level northern and eastern tree line is 300-400m, southern and western slopes 400-600m, you can see Hornbeam forests (carpinus orientalis),in 100-1000 m above sea level you can also find Chestnut. Especially around Of-Sürmene towns you can see Maritime-pine forests till 400m, between the heights 300-1300m. Alder woodland. 1300-1400m Beach forests, 1500-16000 m Fir forests, 1700-2100m Montane pine forests.
There are so many different typical vegetation in this region and 2500 all about Turkey. And also bears, wild boars, wolves,, jackals, goats, some wild cats,lynx, fox, and some other wild animals live in this region. Further more some birds of passage like hazzel grouse, snow ducks and some other birds stop at on these mountains.
Some young girls, at the age of marriage, sew or knit some garments by hand. They also paint them with dyer’s madder. These are “takunya” (a pair of special and simple shoes used in bath), picture frames, cups, water suits. And some souvenirs such as “kemençe” (kind of violin), cooper samovar and baskets are some of the special hand made goods of Trabzon.
Grilled anchovy, boiled anchovy, rice with anchovy, fried anchovy in pan, black-abbage soup, black cabbage filled with rice and meat, lazish pie, kuymak(a traditional dish made from flour, water, eggs and anchovy) are the local foods of this region.
IN THE SETREETS OF TRABZON
The Anatolian province, Trabzon, is the most talked about province after Istanbul and so much knowledge about it has been provided by foreigners.
Meydan square (Atatürk Alanı) is usually the first place for anyone on the way to come and see Trabzon like all of those wonderers.
You can begin your adventure in Trabzon sitting in the park sipping the special strong tea of Black sea or having your shoes polished as well. If you feel hungry, after eating “Döner” cooked using wood fire or dishes of vegetables at the restaurant around Ataturk square (Meydan Park), it’s time now to discover Trabzon.
In the north-east of Meydan square, after visiting the Iskenderpasa Mosque next to the Minicipality Building, you arrive at the hotel where Marco Polo forgot his bag during his visit to Trabzon in 1295. If you keep going along this road, it will lead you to port of Trabzon. There’s the castle park in the place where they call it “Güzelhisar” with Military casion (guesthouse) reached through short-cut.
If you happen to walk from Gazipaşa street in the north of Meydan Square down to the beach, you will be welcomed by the monument of Kanuni Sultan Suleyman who was born in Trabzon in 1495. There, you can walk around the beach, take a short boat trip in Ganita or sip your tea watching the spectacular view of the sunset in the tea house.
There are three streets parallel to one another in the west of Meydan square. Kunduracılar, one of the oldest streets of Trabzon, is located north of the others, and is one of the most popular shopping centres. This street is where you can buy traditional clothes and Trabzon – made silver products and leads you to the ancient bazaar called Kemeraltı, which is situated the famous old Bedesten, Alacahan, Vakıfhan, and Çarşı Mosque. You’ll be interested in the coopers streets and the procduction of cooper made things there.
The street in the middle (named Maraş street) is the one where the banks and business centres are. It’s pretty easy for you to see the Small Ayvasıl Church right after you call your beloved ones at the Post Office here int his street and send your post cards.
The third street in the west-south of Meydan Park is known to be a Long Street (Uzun Sokak) and to the end of it are the ancient Tabakhane bridge and Ortahisar district. Walking over the bridge just a few yards away, you can see the ancient houses, the old building of governership and the Fatih Mosque. If you walk pas the Zağnos bridge which is of historic value, you will have a chance to visit the city walls of Trabzon, the Zağnos Tower, the Atapark, the Gülbahar Hatun Mosque and tomb. In the west part of Atapark is located the government hall, directorate of security, stadium and St. Sophia Museum. Making your way to the south, the road will take you up to Atatürk Pavilion or Kisarna Mineral Water facilities once known as to be sold as remedy.
While, on the other hand, you head south in the Meydan square, the road will lead you up to Boztepe, one of the most beautfiul spectacular views of Trabzon Overlooking the city harbour, Russian Bazaar and the town of Akçaabat where the elevation is found to be 200-250 meters and former Apollon’s temple, you can sip your tea prepared in a special tea-pot called “semaver”. Besides, The Girls’ Monastery built on the cliffs of Boztepe, Kaymaklı Monastery lying 5km to the north and the arsenal on the way to Erdoğdu district are amongst the historical places to see.
It is belived that the name Trabzon stems from the word “Trapezus”. Due to the castle built by former inhabitants which resembled a table and the stones shaped like a table found by miners for the purpose of establishing colonies there. The word “Trapeza” synonymous with “table” was then converted to Trabzon meaning “Trapezus”, “Trapezunda”.
Poseidon, the king of seas, kidnaped the woman he loved and mated with her turning her into a sheep and himself into a ram and as a result of this “a golden ram” came into being. Just as Phrikos, whose father, the king Athames, was being sacrificed. His mother, Nephele (cloud) sent a golden ram and saved his life by flying on it. and was sincerely welcomed there. Then he sacrificed the golden ram, for the king of gods, Zeus, as a thanks giving by hanging its skin on a tree.
Many brave Arganaut warriers sailed of towards the Black sea to make their former leader the king remove the bad evil from their country to find out where the golden fleece was.
Thus, in this legend the first visitors of Trabzon were the Argonauts.The recent investigations show that the first settlements in and around Trabzon date back 7000 years B.C. According to the historian, Charles Texier, some Turani, tribes emigrated from Middle – Asia in 2000 B.C. and developed by forming civilations along the coast from the Cacaus region down to Black Sea and settled in this province.
On the other hand, the historian Strabon from Amasya, points out that soldiers were sent to the wars in Troia 1200 B.C. and he mentions it as homeland where silver was found away from the river “Halys”.
The emigrants from Miletos settled in Sinop 855 B.C. and returned to the region with their leader, Iskiris, 756 B.C. and establishing a colonial city which was received generously withhout coming face to face with any obstacles from the local people. For that reason, the colonists named the region “Euksenios Pontos”, which means “the sea giving friendship-hospital-happiness”.
Rom then on, Trabzon, governed by the kings from Sinop (originating from Miletos) became an important trade centre soon developing as a door opening up to Asia and issued in its own currency.
Greek armies returned to Trabzon as 8600 soldiers, formed by ten thousand of assigned soldiers against the king of Persia, the brother of Kyros, as they were defeated in the war of Kunaksa in the years 400 B.C. and the name of Trabzon began to be pronounced in association with this event known as “the retreat of ten thousands”.
In his work “Anabasis” the philosopher, Xenophon, who came to Trabzon with the soldiers narrates that they were generously welcomed by the local people, presented with precious gifts, and they offered sacrifices to God for their survival and that they organized festivals and competitions, somewhere an hour away to Trabzon.
Because there were some disputes and conflicts among the people in 50 B.C. the king, lonion, asked the ,romans for help, and have them the opportunity to capture Trabzon, with which they already had some interest. After then the city remained in the hands of the Romans.
Trabzon, a previliged city during the Romans period, soon was rebuilt by the Romans, especcially with the support of the emperor, Hadrian, who added a port breakwater, a hippodrome, a theatre, a castle keep and the aquaduct.
Being a pagan centre idolater until 300 B.C. the city soon became a christian centre due to Apostole Andrew’s activities, who came from Jerussalem and paganism started to be eradicated in the year 312.
In395, the Roman Empire disintegrated and the province of Trabzon got connected to the West Roman Empire, the centre of which was in İstanbul and thus the Byzantinia era began.
The Kommenos family rebelled against the occupation of Istanbul by Latins in 1204, establishing the Trabzon Kommenos State under the kingdom of Alexios, while alive, had good relations and agreement with the Seljuk Sultan, Alaeddin Keykubat, when his son-in law who was heir to the throne violated the treaty Alaeddin Keykubat besieged Trabzon with his men. The sudden storm and the continuing unfavourable weather conditions prevented the city rom being invaded just as it was about to surrender.
After the Ottoman Sultan, Yıldırım Beyazıt had widened the borders of the states all the way to Trabzon by capturing Samsun in 1398, the Trabzon Empire managed to survice only by paying taxes to the Ottoman Empire. The famous Ottoman Sultan, Fatih Sultan Mehmet, who conquered Istanbul in 1453, added Trabzon into the Ottoman territories in 1461 in order to put and end to the relations between Uzun Hasan, the sultan of Akkoyunlu and the Trabzon Empire against the Ottomans.
Preserving the quality of being and important city after Fatih, Trabzon was governed first as sanjak and state bu “shahzadahs” and “mutassarifs” (go-verner of a sanjak). One of the most important of these shahzadahs is Yavuz Sultan Selim. While he was the governer of Trabzon, he made himself remembered by his military expedition in Iran and began to be known by the name shahzadah “Yavuz” (brave heart) fighting shoulder to shoulder together with his soldiers against the enemies. In addition to his, Kanuni Sultan Süleyman known as “Magnificent Suleyman” world-wide and being ruler of the Ottoman throne for 46 years, was born in 1495 and lived in Trabzon for 15 years……..