Excursions to the Far East and Black Sea Coast Sights


Aya Sofya (Church of the Holy Wisdom, or St. Sophia)

Aya Sofya (Church of the Holy Wisdom, or St. Sophia) Review

Trabzon's best-known Byzantine monument is this well preserved 13th-century church sitting on a bluff overlooking the Black Sea that was converted into a mosque in Ottoman times. The highlights are the wonderful Byzantine frescoes housed in the west porch: technicolor angels on the ceiling, Christ preaching in the Temple, the Annunciation, and the wedding at Cana—all executed in a style that shows strong Italian influences. Often overlooked are the graffiti of ships, carved into the outside of the apse by sailors for good luck. A shaded tea garden near the entrance is a popular place for breakfast. It was officially reopened as a mosque in 2013, though most of the frescoes are only visible behind large sheets of cloth.

    Contact Information

  • Address: Kayakmeydan Cad., Trabzon | Map It
  • Phone: 462/223–3043
  • Cost: Free
  • Hours: Sunrise–sunset
  • Location: Trabzon
Updated: 11-25-2013

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