Excursions to the Far East and Black Sea Coast Sights

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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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