Trabzon Castle

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Trabzon Castle
Trabzon, Turkey
Plan of the ancient fortifications of Trebizond in 1898.jpg
Trabzon Castle is located in Turkey
Trabzon Castle
Trabzon Castle
Coordinates 41°00′13″N 39°43′11″E / 41.00371°N 39.71978°E / 41.00371; 39.71978
Type Fortress
Site information
Open to
the public
Condition Large sections of walls are still standing.
Site history
Built by Possible Hittite or Syro-Hittite origin
remaining sections of:
Roman Empire
Byzantine Empire
Empire of Trebizond
Ottoman Empire
Demolished Partially

The Trabzon Castle (Turkish: Trabzon Kalesi) is a fortress located in the city of Trabzon, northeastern Turkey. Constructed on foundations dating back to Byzantine era with cut stones from former structures at site, the castle stretches from a hill on the backside of the city to the Black Sea shore. It consists of three parts, the Upper Fortress (Yukari Hisar), the Middle Fortress (Orta Hisar) and the Lower Fortress (Aşağı Hisar).[1]

The citadel

The Upper Fortress protected the citadel and served as the acropolis. It is believed that the citadel was built as the first construction in 2000 BC. Some early sources mention the existence of ruins of structures such as hippodrome, tower, bath and palace. The citadel underwent various modifications in the history. The walls of the Upper Fortress are higher than of the other parts. It is fortified in the south with higher and thicker walls and towers. Some epigraphs from Ottoman era, which were found between the citadel walls, can be seen in Trabzon Museum.[1]

The Middle Fortress, which was built by Alexios II of Trebizond (reigned 1297–1330), is the continuation of the upper and lower parts. It has no regular form. Its two gates, Imaret Kapı (literally: Alms Kitchen Gate) and Zağanos Kapı (Zaganos Pasha Gate) are situated in the west. It has two more gates at other sides, Tabakhane Kapısı (Tannery Gate) and Kule Kapı (Tower Gate). Notable buildings found here are Orta Hisar Mosque (Panagia Chrysocephalos Church), Yeni Cuma Mosque (Hagios Eugenius Church), Governor's mansion, Zağanos Bridge, Kule Hamamı (Tower Bath), Çifte Hamma (Twin Bath), Amasya Mosque, Şirin Hatun Mosque ans Musa Pasha Mosque.[1]

The Lower Fortress stretches in the west from Zağanos Tower down to the sea. Also this part of the Trabzon Castle was built by Alexios II of Trebizond. However, an inscription with the tughra of Ottoman sultan Mehmed II (reigned 1444–46 and 1451–81) is situated above the gate in the Moloz Tabya (literally: Rubble Bastion). In the east, there are two gates, Pazarkapı (Marketplace Gate) and Mumhane Kapı (Chandlery Gate). Historical buildings around the Lower Fortress are Molla Siyah Mosque (St. Andreas Church), Hoca Halil Mosque, Pazarkapı Mosque, Kundupoğlu and Yarımbıyıkoğlu manions, Sekiz Düzenli Hamam (bath), Tophane Hamamı (bath), Hacı Arif Hamamı (bath) and İskender Pasha fountains.[1]

The most of the city walls are still standing and are among the city's oldest buildings. In fact, their oldest part can be dated back to 1st century AD during the Roman Empire era. Historical sources provide information about older stages of their construction. Xenophon, who visited the city in 5th century BC also mentioned the existence of city walls.[2]

In 1921, some of the remaining Christians of the city, were ordered by the municipal authorities to dismantle the stone of the Comnenos era fortress and use the rumble for road building.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d "Trabzon Kalesi" (in Turkish). Kent Haber. Retrieved 2012-10-04. 
  2. ^ Castle of Trabzon (Tr)
  3. ^ Clark, Bruce (2006). Twice a stranger : the mass expulsion that forged modern Greece and Turkey. Cambridge (Massachusetts): Harvard University Press. p. 115. ISBN 9780674023680. 

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