TRABZON ancient TREBIZOND was established by the merchants from Sinope in around 1,000 B.C. and has remained ever since the largest and most important city in the Black Sea Region - a position which it retained throughout the Byzantine and Ottoman periods. It leans its back against the Eastern Black Sea (Pontian) Mountains, and is one of the largest seaports of Turkey. The city is famous for its natural and historical treasures.
The St. Sophia church is the most important historical building in Trabzon, which is today a center of commerce and tourism. Being the first church built by the Comnenos family (which then ruled the Byzantine Empire) in the 13th century, it was later enlarged by emperor Manuel Palaiologos VIII. The church was converted into a museum in 1957. Some faint frescoes are still noticeable inside.
There are several other important Byzantine churches which were converted to mosques and are worth seeing for their interesting architecture. Panaghia Chrysocephalos Church (Fatih Mosque), Saint Eugene Church (Yeni Cuma Cami), Saint Anne and Saint Basil churches are some of those.