Trabzon (Greek: Τραπεζούντα, Trapezounta) is a city on the Black Sea coast of north-eastern Turkey and the capital of Trabzon Province. Trabzon, located on the historical Silk Road became a melting pot of religions, languages and culture for centuries and a trade gateway to Iran in the east, Russia and the Caucasus to the North. Venetian and Genoese paid visit and sold silk, linen and woolen fabric. During the Ottoman period Trabzon, because of the importance of its port, became a focal point of trade to Iran, India and the Caucasus. Trabzon formed the basis of several states in its long history, and was the capital city of the Empire of Trebizond. Trabzon is famous throughout Turkey for its anchovies, which are the main meal in many restaurants in the city. Major exports from Trabzon are hazelnuts and tea. The city still has a sizable community of Greek-speaking Muslims, most of whom are originally from the vicinities of Tonya and Of. However, the Pontic Greek language (known as Ποντιακά, Pontiaka) is spoken mostly by the older generations.
TOURİST ATTRACTIONS Trabzon has a number of tourist attractions, some of them dating back to the times of the ancient empires that once existed in the region. In the city itself, one can find a hub of shops, stalls and restaurants surrounding the "Meydan", a square in the center of the city, which includes a tea garden. The Hagia Sophia (Turkish: Ayasofya Müzesi), a stunning Byzantine church, is probably the town's most important tourist attraction.
Trabzon Castle ruins are visible in the town but cannot be visited as they fall in a military zone. The outside wall of the castle now serves as the back wall of a military building.
Atatürk Köşkü is a lovely Victorian-era villa, which was given to Atatürk when he visited Trabzon in 1924. It houses period rooms and acts as a shrine to the memory of the Turks' beloved great leader.
Boztepe Park is a small park and tea garden on the hills above Trabzon that has a panoramic view of nearly the entire city. The terrain in Trabzon is such that although the view is far above that of the buildings below, it is still close enough to be able to observe the flow of traffic and the people moving about in the city.
Trabzon Museum is located in the town center and offers interesting exhibits on the history of the region, including an impressive collection of Byzantine-era artifacts.
Trabzon's Bazaar District offers interesting shopping opportunities on ancient narrow streets, continuing from Kunduracilar Street from the Meydan (town square).
Kostaki Mansion is located ob the north of Zeytinlik near Uzun Sokak.
Within Trabzon Province, the main attractions are the Sümela Monastery and Uzungöl. The monastery is built on the side of a very steep mountain overlooking the green forests below and is about 50km south of the city. Uzungöl is famous for the natural beauty of the area and the amazing scenery. Other important sites of interest include: Kaymaklı Monastery, Kızlar (Panagia Theoskepastos) Monastery, Kuştul (Gregorios Peristera) Monastery, Kızlar (Panagia Kerameste) Monastery, Vazelon Monastery, Hagios Savvas (Maşatlık) Cave Churches, Hagia Anna (Little Ayvasıl), Sotha (St. John), Hagios Theodoros, Hagios Konstantinos, Hagios Khristophoras, Hagios Kiryaki, Santa Maria, Hagios Mikhail and Panagia Tzita churches, Fatih Mosque (originally the Panagia Khrysokephalos Church), Yeni Cuma Mosque (originally the Hagios Eugenios Church), Nakip Mosque (originally the Hagios Andreas Church), Hüsnü Köktuğ Mosque (originally the Hagios Eleutherios Church), İskender Pasha Mosque, Semerciler Mosque, Çarşı Mosque, and the Gülbahar Hatun Mosque and Türbe.
FOOD Trabzon regional cuisine is traditionally reliant on fish, especially Hamsi (fresh European Anchovies similar to British Sprat or American Smelt). Trabzon, which meets 20% of total fish production in Turkey, has an important potential in the fishing sector in Turkey. Food in the Trabzon region represents the hearty lifestyle of the Turkish people who live on the shores of this Black Sea city. While not a gourmet-food center, there are some delicious regional dishes such as Akcaabat kofte (spicy lamb meatball from the Akcaabat district), Karadeniz pidesi (canoe shaped bread, often with ground beef, cheese, eggs), Sucuk (Turkish sausage and pastirma), kuymak (a Turkish fondue made with cornmeal and plenty of fresh butter and cheese), Vakfikebir ekmek (large country style bread), tava misir ekmek (deep dish corn bread) and kara lahana corbasi (bean and cabbage soup). Don't miss the Taflan kavurmisι (a cherry laurel dish served with onions and olive oil) and Kalkan (Flounder). Trabzon is famous for its hazelnuts and the traveler should experience them in any form. The Turks feel they are exceptionally good for your health. The best way to experience real Trabzon cuisine and culture is to get yourself invited to a local's home.
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