Trabzon was founded by the merchants from Sinope around 1.000 B.C. and today it
is the most important city in the region. It leans with its back against the Eastern Black
Sea mountains ant it is an important port city. The city is famous for its natural and
historical treasures . The famous historian Xenophon got lost and arrived in Trapezos
(which means table or plain in old Greek) with the remainder of his 10.000 soldiers. He
says that the local people were really happy to see them. The city has strategic
importance since it is located at the beginning of the road that connects Black Sea Coast to Iran and is right by
the famous Zigana pass. Trabzon was, therefore, of strategic importance and considered a
rich prize by many. Luluctuc conquered the city during the Roman times, but the city
managed to retain its "independent" status. Ruled by the Goths for a short time,
the city than became an important citadel for the Byzantines. Justinianus the Great
rebuilt the city walls. The Seljuks tried to take over the city several times but were
never successful. When Istanbul was invaded by the Latins during the 4th Crusade, the
Byzantine dynasty moved to Iznik. The two sons of the emperor come to trabzon and Alexios
Commenos become the emperor here. In 1461, the city entered under Ottoman rule.
The St. Sophia church is the most important
historical building in Trabzon, which is today a center of commerce and tourism. The firs
church built by the Commenos family in the 13th century was expanded later by
emperor Manuel Paleologos VIII in the same century. The church was converted into a museum
in 1957. Some faint frescoes are still noticeable inside.
There are several other important
Byzantine churches which were converted to mosques and are worth seeing for their
interesting architecture. Phanagia Chrysocephalos Church (Fatih Mosque), Saint Eugene
Church (Yeni Cuma Cami), Saint Anne and Saint Basil churches are some of those.