* Black Sea Cruise--Amasya, Turkey

Black Sea Cruise -- Samsun and Amasya

Amasya, Turkey
Visited August 6, 2008

Mosaic in Samsun Archeology MuseumSamsun

The next morning, we disembarked at Samsun, an ancient Greek town alive with modern bustle.  Wedged here between two river deltas is one of the busiest ports on the Black Sea. Warriors have been changing Samsun's architecture since the 6th century BC, leaving little standing but for some remains lying in the Archeology Museum such as this mosaic.  Today's Turkey started here as well when a popular general started a revolution that led to the current republic.

Amasya -- we came, we saw, we photographed

Soon we were off on a long bus ride inland to Amasya, once home to the Amazons and the Pontic Kings who exploited the chaos left after the death of Alexander the Great.  Julius Caesar finally wrested them from power in a brief battle and an even briefer trip report: "Veni, Vidi, Vici."

Amasya North Slope
The north wall has room for Ottoman mansions and Pontic Tombs -- but little else
Amasya squeezes itself between two steeply rising banks of the Iris river.  The north bank has a thin stretch of land populated today by 19th century Ottoman homes, now mostly hotels.  Behind on the steeply rising slope are the tombs on the Pontic Kings, now empty caves.

Citadel and Sultan ii-Bayezid MosqueThe Hittites settled here about 5500 BC.  The steeply rising slopes made this an easy town to defend (note the fort high atop the north slope in the picture at left).

On the south bank there is somewhat more room for the rest of Amasya to unfold into a city of about 75,000.  

This was a town suitable for rule by the Ottoman crown prince while his father held the sultanship.  In fact, one of the greatest of the the Sultans, Fatih Sultan Mehmet, was the 12-year-old governor here in 1444 when his father resigned, making him Sultan in rather precarious straits. As Sultan, he ordered his father to take back the leadership of the army.  He himself eventually conquered Constantinople at age 21.

Another crown prince built an imperial mosque whose minaret we see in the picture above.  It was to honor his father with whom he was to have a falling out before he was killed by his own brother, a routine event for princes who didn't become sultans.

Click here to see many more Amasya Pictures  from this trip

Click here to see our next stop: Trabzon, Turkey

Click here to see our previous stop: Amasra, Turkey

Geek and Legal Stuff

Please allow JavaScript to enable word definitions.

This page has been tested in Internet Explorer 7.0 and Firefox 3.0.

Created on September 15, 2008

Click to see more about the author

TIP: DoubleClick on any word to see its definition. Warning: you may need to enable javascript or allow blocked content (for this page only). 
Click here to see our cruise mates
Fellow Travelers: skip right to your picture, by clicking here.
TIP: DoubleClick on any picture to enlarge it.
TIP: See the rest of our travel pictures by clicking here.

Map courtesy of Wikipedia