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TRABZON

Trabzon or formerly known as Trebizond is in the Eastern Karadeniz region of Turkey. A major trade centre since times immemorial—for long, Trabzon was a main port-of-call on one of the main routes between Europe and Persia and beyond, which involved taking a ship across the Black Sea from Romania—and visited by Marco Polo among many others, Trabzon is today one of the major cities of Turkey's northeastern coast.

In medieval times, city served as the capital of Empire of Trebizond, which was ruled by the Komnenos family—which also provided several emperors to the Byzantine throne in Constantinople. The longest surviving rump Byzantine state, Trabzon was captured by Ottoman Turks in 1461, almost a decade after the fall of Constantinople.

The Sümela Monastery is a spectacular rock-hewn monastery perched dramatically on the narrow ledge of a steep cliff in the forests south of Trabzon. It was built in the fourth century, just before the Roman Empire split into east and west, by two Athenian priests, Barnabas and Sophronius, who, according to legend, found a miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary in a cave. The monastery's location in this geopolitically tumultuous corner of the globe naturally saw times of trouble and fell into ruin numerous times throughout its history, with its most thriving times falling under Byzantine and Ottoman rule.

Aya Sofya Museum is a beautiful and picturesque church converted into a mosque and later into a museum that still has stunning frescoes within—just like its namesake in Istanbul.

Uzungöl Lake is located up in the mountains at an altitude of 1090 m. A great number of broken rocks from the slopes filled up Haldizen stream and Uzungöl was formed in this way. The lake is 1000 m long, 500 m in width and 15 m in depth. - It is surrounded by forests. Uzungöl has an interesting view with the village houses around it. And there are some other small lakes on the mountains which are 15-20 km. from Uzungol. The lake is also surrounded by convenient tracks for hiking.

There are nice local meals really worth a try. Especially, pide and köfte are really famous with their taste in Turkey. Pide is kind of pizza which is made with a special bread and cheese. You can also try "kiymali" which is made with meat and served with butter.

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