Highlights of Trabzon
Duration: 3 1/2 hours
Tour Code: TZX-002
This tour will get you acquainted with some of the sights of Trabzon, leaving you time to explore the city on your own.
After departing the pier by coach, the first visit will be made at the St. Sophia Museum, which was a church built by the Commenos family in the 13th century. St. Sophia was expanded by Emperor Manuel Paleologos VII in the same century, and then converted into a mosque in the 16th century. After looking around, you will see why this is the most important historical building in Trabzon, and was converted into a museum in 1957. You will notice that some beautiful, but faint frescoes are still visible inside this remarkable building.
From St. Sophia, the tour continues to the Gulbahar Hatun Mosque. The mosque was built in 1507, just below and to the west of the citadel by Selim I Yavuz for his mother, who is also buried here. This holy mosque is the oldest building in the town to have always functioned as a Muslim house of prayer (other, older buildings were only later converted into mosques).
Next, you will continue to the Yeni Cuma Cami, the "New Friday Mosque". This building, actually older than the Gulbahar Mosque, was originally built as a church; at the time, it was called the Christian Church of Eugenios. It stands to the southeast of the citadel, though what you see today is not exactly the original, that having fallen to the ravages of fire in 1340. A new cruciform church was built there on the same spot and later converted into a mosque after the conquest. This building is adorned with some of the finest examples of Ottoman calligraphy art.
Afterwards, you will also visit Bozepe, a 740-feet high scenic viewpoint to the south of the town. From this mountainside location, where once stood a temple of Mithras, you can take in the most spectacular view of the historic core of Trabzon. At the conclusion of this tour, guests will re-board the coach and be driven back to the pier.
Please note: Trabzon is a remote city that has limited facilities. This tour is mostly panoramic with optional walking at the stops. The guided walking portions of this tour total just over 2-hours and there are some steps at the entrance of the Gulbahar Hatun Mosque. Arrangements can be made with the guide to not participate in this guided portion of the tour. This tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned only to participate to the extent of their personal stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Guests must wear proper attire for an interior visit to the Mosques. Clothing should cover the shoulders and knees. Shoes must be removed and a head cover must be worn (provided by the tour guide) at the Gulbahar Hatun Mosque.