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.
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