Port: Trabzon, Turkey
3 - 3.5 Hours
This tour will acquaint you with some of the sights of Trabzon, leaving you time to
explore the city on your own.
The first stop will be St. Sophia Museum, which was a church built by the Commenos family in the
13th century, expanded by Emperor Manuel Paleologos VII in the same century, and then converted
into a mosque in the 16th century. After exploring it, you will understand its historical importance in
Trabzon and its conversion into a museum in 1957. You will notice that some beautiful but faint
frescoes are still visible inside this remarkable building.
From St. Sophia you continue on to the Gulbahar Hatun Mosque, built in 1507 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).
Then 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, 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 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.
You will also visit Boztepe Hill, an eminence 740 feet high to the south of the town. From here,
where once stood a temple of Mithras, you can take in the most spectacular view of the historic
core of Trabzon.
After an orientation tour of this great Black Sea city, return to the pier.