Citadel Of Trabzon

The citadel was built by the Byzantines and consists of three sections: the lower, central and inner castles. On the rocky hills of the lower castle stands a fortress of a more recent period named «the Beautiful Palace». The third part of the castle was constructed by the Ottomans under Mehmet the Conqueror. The altar and the pulpit of the Middle Fortress Mosque, which was originally the Panaghia Chrysocephalos Church and which was transformed later in 1461 into a mosque by Fatih Mehmet, is worth seeing. The old Saint Eugenius Church, which is a beautiful example of Byzantine architecture, has now also been transformed into a mosque with the name -sthe New Friday Mosque

The Church of Saint Sophia : Another of the beautiful ancient structures that adorn the city is the old Saint Sophia, which is now a museum. The walls of the church are covered with frescoes. The western gate of the building, which was renovated by the Seljuks, 1s as a whoie, a Seljuk work; the pointed arches ornamented with stalactites are very interesting.

Küçük Ayvajsli Church: The Kücük Ayvazil Church was the principal holy place of the Christians in Trabzon. This church, which was constructed by the Greeks during the 7th century, has now been transformed into a mosque as well. The wall-paintings and reliefs have been preserved and ore in an excellent state.

The Mosques of Trabzon : One of the most beautiful of the Ottoman works of the city is the Gülbahar Hatun Mosque, This was erected during the reign of Sultan Sellm the Grim in honor of his mother, Gülbahar Hatun, Her tomb is nearby. The Hatip Mosque was built during the 76th century, and the Pazar Kapı Mosque, which Is in the baroque style with one minaret, are among some of the other Ottoman relics. Other points of interest in the city incfude the Taş Han, dating from the 16th century, in the area of the Market Mosque, the bath of Tophane Hamamı and the Eight-Pilîar Bath.

The Sum el a Monastery: The Sumela Monastery of the Holy Virgin is a most interesting complex. It was built on the face of a steep and rocky cliff. 54 kilometers from Trabzon. The Convent was contructed by the Byzantines in 472 A.D. The structure is very interesting both for its architecture and its frescoes, especially those of the Virgin Mary. It is the most Important building remaining in the area from the Byzantine period. Where the original wall paintings exist, traces of these layers of frescoes can be seen. The small cells for the monks are now completely ruined. Some of the ornaments dating from the 19th century were decorated by craftsmer. from Istanbul.

According to tradition, the monastery was founded during the time of Justinian in the 6th century A.D. !t was dedicated to the Holy Virgin. The complex is reached by one set of stairs leading up to the entrance, some 3,900 feet in altitude. It was built on the side of a valley going down a thousand feet to the bottom, Most of the buildings at the site were built when the Byzantine Comnertl princes were ruling Trabzon. After passing Into the monastery, go down the steps that lead into the main courtyard. To the right Is a building that was erected in 1860 as a guest lodge, also here are several other buildings including a church in a grotto and a chapel. The grotto is enclosed with a heavily frescoed wall. The paintings of the church date from the time of Alexis III in the 14th century. The paintings In the small chapel are from about the mld-18th century. At the bottom of the cliff is a modern monastery.

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