Trabzon in Bithynia et Pontus




The Hagia Sophia in Trabzon  

The ancient name of the city is derived from the Latin name Trapezunt(um). Founded around the 7th century B.C. by Greek settlers, the Roman emperor Hadrian had an artificial harbour built at the beginning of the 2nd century and the town expanded. The trading station on the Silk Road, which was busy in the Middle Ages and until the First World War, belonged to the Empire of Trapeze from 1204 to 1461, when the Comnen dynasty ruled. During this time the Byzantine cathedral Hagia Sophia and almost all other historically important buildings were built. Most of the churches were converted into mosques during the Ottoman period. So also the Hagia Sophia in Trabzon.



Inside the Hagia Sophia

Preserved Fresco  

At the time of the Hittite Empire, the region around Trabzon may have belonged to the Hajaša or Azzi region. There were trade relations from the Black Sea across the Pontic Mountains to the Iranian highlands. An argument for the settlement of the region in the Late Bronze Age states that the Mycenaean Greeks must have had contact with local inhabitants, since the coveted mineral resources (gold, silver, lead) at the eastern Black Sea could have formed the background for the mythological story of Jason and the Golden Fleece. Archaeological evidence from this period has not been preserved.


The Citadel  

During the Roman Empire, Hadrian (ruled 117-138) had Trapezuntum developed into the provincial capital, which made a name for itself as a shipbuilding centre with its artificial port built in 129 AD. The port was now the end point of a military road that led to the border of the Empire on the Syrian Euphrates. The Romans also had the upper citadel and the middle part of the city fortifications built or reinforced.


Reliefs over the portal of the Hagia Sophia  



When the armies of the Fourth Crusade unexpectedly attacked and defeated the Byzantine Empire in 1204 and established the Latin Empire in the conquered Constantinople, Tabezunt became the capital of a separate empire. Alexios I became the first Emperor of Trapeze in 1204, his younger brother David moved westwards and conquered Sinop, but ultimately failed in western Asia Minor at the Empire of Nikaia.

After the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453, the empire of Trapezunt held its ground for a few years under Ottoman rule. In Ottoman times the Eyâlet Trabosan was formed from the empire Trapezunt.
Until the 19th century, hardly any new buildings were erected. Instead of building mosques, the existing churches were converted.



The Atatürk House  



The so-called Atatürk House is located in a small pine grove in the district Soğuksu. Atatürk lived in this house from 1934 to 1937 during his visits to Trabzon. After his death the house was transformed by the city into an "Atatürk Museum" and opened for visitors. The interior was left in its original state.

Photos: @chim    
Translation aid:    
Source: Wikipedia and others