Trabzon is the emerald green city of the Black Sea Coast. Spread along the shores of the Black Sea, Trabzon has a climate typical of the region. In summer the temperature ispleasantly cool, and in winter it is mild with an annual average temperature of 14.5 oC. It has a relatively high rainfall all year round, producing a landscape of lush greenery. Dense pine forests cover the mountains, and an abundance of crops flourish in the lower elevations and valleys. The area is home to many beautiful species of plant and wildlife, many unique to the region. The unusual and varied landscape has shaped the industry and culture of the area. The villages in the area were established in the valleys extending seawards from the mountains. Here the villagers cultivate crops such as tea, hazelnuts and maize and breed livestock. From June onwards, there is a general migration from the villages to the mountain plateau or ‘yayla’ where they take their livestock to graze in the fresh and green pastures.
Places to see
Boztepe, 100. yıl park, and Soğuksu are places for having picnic within the city. In addition to these, Çamburnu and Uzungöl, 48 and 100 km. from Trabzon towards east, respectively, and Altındere Vadisi National Park, 50 km from Trabzon towards south, are the places where one can enjoy spending free time and also taste local cuisine together with fish. City walls, which were built as three separate sections, namely the Yukarı hisar (upper fortress), Orta hisar (middle fortress) and Aşağı hisar (lower fortress), go back as far as the 5th century BC with early Roman traces. The Ortahisar was the centre of administration during the Ottoman time, and the. Aşağıhisar (lower fortress) the city's trade centre. Besides the walls, Sumela-, Vazelon- and Kuştul monasteries are samples of religious monuments built on terraces of and carved into the steep hills. The Sumela Monastery is the only one of its kind, has a world-wide fame, and is visited by thousands of tourists every year. Haghia Sophia museum, Saint Anna Church (Küçük Ayvasıl), Yeni Cuma Mosque, and Orta Hisar Mosque are historical places dating pre-Ottoman period.The Ottoman period is characterized by mosques, mansions, baths, bazaars and tombs. Gülbaharhatun Mosque, İskender Pasha Mosque, Çarşı Mosque, and the arsenal (Cephanelik) or Fatih tower are some of the important historical buildings worth seeing. Atatürk’s Pavilion, the Mansion of Kastelli, the building of Trabzon Archaeological and Ethnographical Museum, houses in Orta Hisar (Trabzon), Sürmene and Ortamahalle in Akçaabat are the precious examples of architectural styles used in the Ottoman period. Covered Bazaar or Bedesten, Eight Columned-Bath, and various tombs are other places to see.
Trabzon, historically and socio-culturally the most important centre of Eastern Black Sea Region, has a history of approximately 5000 years. It is believed that the founders of the city came to Trabzon from Middle Asia by passing over the Caucasus. The name of the city is first cited in the Xenophon's book Anabasis as "Trapezus" based on the table like shape of the Middle Tower (Ortahisar) and the Upper Tower (Yukarıhisar) parts which are the ancient centres of the city. In 7th century BC, the Miletans who came to the shores of the Black Sea for trade purposes invaded and colonised Trabzon. In his memoirs called “Anabasis”, Ksenophon, who wanted to transport his returning army via Trabzon after the wars with the Persians in 400 BC, reports the presence of some combatant and civilised tribes in the region such as Tibaren, Khalybi, Drill, Tzanni, Makron and Kolkh. In their books, some European historians claim these tribes to be of Turanian origin. After the collapse of the Alexander the Great’s large but short-lived empire, Trabzon was left to the Pontus Kingdom which was founded by a Persian nobleman in the North Anatolia (280-66 BC). With the occupation of this kingdom by the Romans, the Roman period started in Trabzon. From then on, Trabzon became an important base for the Roman military campaigns against the Persians. After the division of the Roman Empire as East and West in 395 AC, the region was left to the Eastern Roman Empire during which, Trabzon and its environs were attacked by different tribes of Turkish origin coming via Caucasus and Iran. Some of them gradually inhabited the mountainous territories surrounding Trabzon. However, the main and biggest heap took place after the victory of Turks in Malazgirt War in 1071. The Seljuks controlled large parts of Anatolia and their attacks resulted in the Seljuks’ gradual control of large parts of Trabzon region and the settlement of Cepni tribe of Oguzs on these lands. Being located on the historical Silk Road, Trabzon benefited commercially a lot during this period. Gradually, this made Trabzon richer and, therefore, attracted the Genoese and Venetian merchants. The Roman domination in Trabzon lasted until the seizure of Istanbul by the Crusaders in 1204. From this date until 1461, Trabzon was under the domination of the Comnenos dynasty as an extension to the Byzantium. On 15th August 1461, Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror conquered Trabzon to help achieve the unity of Turkey needed to control the gateway to the east (Iran) and north (Caucasia-Crimea). Since then, Trabzon has continued its significance as a gate opening to the east.