Black sea region, Turkey

The Black Sea, 1881

The Black Sea, 1881 Giclee Print
Aivazovsky Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky
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Dense forest and greenery the steeply rising mountains and foothills of the Black sea region, where the main crops are tea, tobacco and hazelnuts grown on the narrow coastal plain and lower hills.

Protected from Central Anatolia byhigh and desolate peaks, the Black Sea Comnene Empire of Trebizond was the last Byzantine foothold to submit to Turkish domination, eight years af ter the fall of Istanbul.

Zigana Pass, Eastern Black Sea Mountains

Zigana Pass, Eastern Black Sea Mountains Photographic Print
Keribar, Izzet
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The hilly terrain has hindered ready access to what are some of Turkey's finest sand beaches and scenic coastline. In the west, within easy reach of Istanbul are Kilyos, Sile, and Agva. To the east of these are Akcakoca, Amasra, a picturesque town with a Byzantine citadel, Sinop, the birthplace of Diogenes, the Greek satirist and philosopher, and Giresun, the native land of the cherry tree, introduced to Europe by the Roman general and epicure Lucullus.

For historical monuments Trabzon is the best endowed of the Black Sea towns, with a number of Byzantine buildings, the most notable being the ehurch of Saint Sophia and the 14th century Monastery of Sumela, which clings to a sheer rock face south of Trabzon.

Beyond Trabzon is Rize, the centre of Turkish tea cultivation. In early summer the mountain slopes here are bright with purple rhododendrons.

Safranbolu, south of Amasra, is a Ottoman market town by-passed by the 20th century, where the elegant spacious timber and adobe houses have been restored and present an unspoilt picture of traditional Turkish architecture in situ.

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