Trabzon träb˝zōn´ [key] or Trebizondtrĕb´ĭzŏnd˝ [key], city (1990 pop. 144,805), capital of Trabzon prov., NE Turkey, a port on the Black Sea. A commercial and transportation center with renovated port facilities, it exports food products and tobacco. Iron, lead, and copper are found nearby. Known in ancient times as Trapezus, the city was founded in the 8th cent. BC by Greek colonists from Sinop. It grew in importance after its conquest (1st cent. BC) by Mithradates VI and after its incorporation (1st cent. AD) into the Roman Empire. Although it suffered from invasions by barbarians after the 3d cent., it again became a prosperous port under the Byzantine Empire. It reached its greatest splendor after the establishment (1204) by the Comnenus dynasty of the empire of Trebizond, which endured until 1461, when it was annexed by the Ottoman Empire. Under the rule of Alexius III (1349–90) the city was one of the world's leading trade centers and was renowned for its great wealth and artistic accomplishment. Under the Ottomans it became the starting point of caravans to Persia. Trabzon was included (1920) in the short-lived independent state of Armenia. The city's large Greek population was deported in 1922–23. Trabzon has many historic monuments. The best preserved is the 13th-century Church of Aya Sophia (now a museum), an excellent example of Byzantine architecture. The city is the site of Black Sea Technical Univ.
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