The Far East and Black Sea Coast Sights

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

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Published 07/06/2016

Fodor's 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 is 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, but as images are forbidden in mosques, visitors are ushered into a section of the building from which a fraction of the frescoes can be glimpsed above large sheets of cloth.

Sight Information


Kayakmeydan Cad., Trabzon, Trabzon, Turkey



Sight Details:

  • Free
  • Daily sunrise–sunset

Published 07/06/2016


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