Duration: 8 hours
After arriving Port of Trabzon, You will be picked up by your guide and taken to your luxurious vehicle to the city of Trabzon.
First stop is the sacred St. Sophia Museum, a smaller-scale version of the Hagia Sophia church. You will be amazed to see the church that converted into a mosque in the 13th century and later became a museum in 1957. The restoration was originally begun by a team of Russian researchers. During the summer of 1958, David Winfield and the team continued the restoration work at St. Sophia and in other surrounding buildings. Plaster was removed from the church, revealing paintings and a vault with a scene of the assumption of Christ. This was when the local authorities started to show an interest in creating a museum out of the building. After a series of restoration from 1959-1963, the church was subsequently converted into a museum, and remained in use for some decades. The authorities have announced to turn the museum into an active mosque in 2013.
Next stop you will explore the oldest continuously functioning mosque in the region, the Gulbahar Hatun Mosque, which was built in 1514 by Selim Yavuz and is dedicated to his mother whose tomb also lies here. This mosque is highly holy and considered to be the most exquisite mosque in the region by locals. The building was situated in the middle of a complex of buildings of which only the mosque and the tomb have survived. The Mosque is categorized in the Zaviye group which is an architectural style encountered in the early Ottoman period. It consists of an external area for prayers, a cell and the interior part surmounted by a big dome. The dome surmounting the external area was built upon the arches and marble columns whose helmets are in a diamond shape. There is inscription at the door which makes it clear that the mosque underwent repairs in 1885.
After enjoying traditional Turkish lunch at a local restaurant, your tour continues with a visit to the country residence of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the great leader of the Turkish Nation during World War I and the founder of the modern Turkish Republic. It was built by a Greek banker named Konstantinos Kappagianidis and an example of 19th century European architecture. Mustafa Kemal AtatÃ¼rk stayed in this house when he visited Trabzon in 1930 and 1937. Located in SoÄŸuksu, it was purchased by municipality of Trabzon in 1964 and has been serving as a museum since then. The mansion is still in its well maintained condition and you can still see what it was like in the early 20th century.
Before returning to your cruise ship, you will visit Ortahisar Buyuk Fatih Mosque, also known as the Golden-Headed Mary Church which was converted into a mosque by the Ottomans upon conquering the city in 1461. It is known to be the most important religious structure of the Byzantine period, although, quite interestingly, its structure most reflects the decorative arts of the Ottoman Empire.
After all the visits, your guide will return you back to port of Trabzon in the luxurious vehicle.