Photographer's Note

This is the Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya, Ἁγία Σοφία) in Trabzon on the eastern part of the Turkish Black Sea coast. Built as a Greek Orthodox church in the 13th century, converted into a mosque in 1584 (or possibly already soon after the Ottomans conquered the city in 1461). Since 1964 it has been used as a museum, although the powerful Turkish religious authority known as the Diyanet in 2012 ordered it reconverted into a mosque. According to Wikipedia that process was stopped by a local court, and apparently most of the building is now closed.

Here is a larger version.

Like most places in Turkey Trabzon has a very long history. Originally known as Tραπεζούς (Trapezous) it was one of a large number of Greek colonies founded on both shores of the Black Sea between the 8th and 6th centuries B.C.

I noted in my diary from my visit to the Aya Sofya in 1971 that the interior was full of interesting frescoes but that unfortunately several were not in a very good condition. They had been covered with plaster during the centuries as a mosque and only restored in the early 1960's. It was then estimated that most of the original paintings had been completely destroyed.

In one WS is a city view from hilly Trabzon, while another WS shows a street and a view that probably doesn't exist today.

All photos were scanned from Agfacolor CT18 slides. Unfortunately I had not yet discovered the incomparably much better Kodachrome films in 1971.

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Additional Photos by Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 12416 W: 572 N: 23839] (101988)
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