The modern city of Trabzon is the largest port along the Black Sea coast. Trabzon is probably best remembered from the classic novel, 'The Towers of Trebizond', and many earlier pieces of travel literature, although little remains of the romanticized image of exotic culture and architecture. 

One of the highlights is Aya Sofia, the medieval church with outstanding Byzantine frescoes, the Russian Market and the old houses and mosques dotted around the town. 

Another famous landmark is constituted by the Sumela monastery on the slopes of the Zigana Mountains to the south of Trabzon. 

Many people consider its origins to be extremely old, and this opinion is widely held among the Byzantine Greek community of the Black Sea coast. According to the legends, the monastery was originally founded in the reign of Theodosius and rebuilt in the sixth century in the reign of Justinian by Belisarios, one of his commanders.

However, foreign experts who have conducted on-site investigations found that there is nothing to substantiate this hypothesis. The Monastery's main source of income is an icon of the Virgin Mary, which is reputed to be of great age and believed by many to possess miraculous properties. 

ODS Turkey suggests you to visit Trabzon – home to a mysterious monastery and central hub for those who seek to explore Turkey’s interesting Black Sea region.