- A short history of Amasra
- What to do in which season?
- What to eat in Amasra and where to eat?
- Where to go sightseeing in Amasra?
- What to buy?
- Where to swim?
History in 5 minutes
Strabon believes that the city of Amasra, which was firstly known as Sesamos city in the history, was founded by the Gasgas, which was a branch of the Scythians, or the Amazons that cleared the Hittites away from the Western Black Sea.
- Phoenicians (12thcentury BC) The Phoenicians, who occupied an important position in sea trade, traded important trees such as boxwood, chestnut and walnut in this region.
- Ionians(8thcentury BC)The Poseidon Temple, of which the ruins you can see at Boztepe, was built during this period.
- Persians(2ndcentury BC) The first coin under the rule of Queen Amastris was issued in this period. While the god of Mithra appears on the front side of the coin, the depiction of Amastris is placed on the other side.
- Romans and Byzantines(From 73 to 70 BC) These are the civilizations that left most of the historical and cultural heritage to Amasra. Bedesten, Fatih Mosque (Old Church), Chapel, Amasra Castle, Kemere and Kemerdere Bridges were built during this period.
- Genoese(13thcentury) The Genoese established trade colonies in the Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea, Atlantic Ocean and the Northern Europe between the 11thand 15thcenturies. Amasra is one of those colonies. The riggings of the Genoese families and the ruins of the Genoa Castle can still be seen inside the castle.
- Ottomans (15thcentury) Since there were able seamen and high-quality wood found in Amasra, which was seized under the leadership of Mehmet the Conqueror, the Ottoman navy gained a large number of ships in Amasra.
Amasra throughout the year
In summer – June, July, August
The swimming season begins after June 15th. You can swim in Kucuk Liman (Small Port) during northeaster and in Buyuk Liman (Great Port) during southwester. After the sunset, you can see people chatting and singing songs on the beaches of Amasra. During the summer season, you can watch the laser show performed after sunset in the garden of the Amasra Museum, where you and your children can learn while having fun. As part of Maritime and Cabotage Day activities, you can participate in swimming, greasy pole and tug of war competitions held on the 1stof July in Buyuk Liman area.
In winter – December, January, February
Winters are harsh and tough in Amasra. While sometimes it turns white, sometimes it indulges in southwester wind. This is the time when the fishermen make their living from the sea. The best fish (anchovy, horse mackerel, whiting fish) can be eaten in these months. One cannot get enough of that beauty hidden in those wild waves!
In autumn – September, October, November
You can enjoy watching the town of Amasra turning from the shades of green to the shades of red and yellow in this period. An unforgettable, romantic holiday opportunity with the sound of waves and fresh fish along with the peace and tranquillity begins then. In this period, when the fishermen return to the sea, the price of fish reduces while it gets tastier.
Since the time, when the Genoese commander handed over the keys of Amasra to Mehmet the Conqueror in October 17th(1460), Celebration of Amasra’s Conquest are still held every year, traditionally.
In spring – March, April, May
You can discover all shades of white, pink and green in the flowers that grow in the Black Sea region. You can eat the most delicious fish and salad in this season before summer. You can discover the unique beauty and colours of sunset from the Baris Akarsu Park. The Kemerdere Bridge, which is about to be demolished due to lack of care, can also be visited in the spring.
Did you know about
that Amastris was the first queen (Persian Queen) to issue coins in her own name,
that according to the beliefs of Amastra’s people, Amastris used to have a private bath in Direkli Kaya,
that the word of Amastris meant strong woman,
that the salat al eidain (prayer during religious festivals) and Friday prayers have traditionally been practiced by drawing the sword in Fatih Mosque since the conquest of Amasra,
and that the nearest coast to Ankara (Turkey’s Capital city) is Amasra?
Who said what about Amasra?
Plinius described Amasra as “Elegant and Beautiful”, Niketas described it as “The Eye of the World”, Genoese as “The Castle of Flowers” and Diogenes as “A balance” while Mehmed the Conqueror expressed his surprise about Amasra by saying these words: “Oh my tutor! Could this be the eye of the world?
Do not leave Amasra without having
- Tea or coffee at the Aglayan Agac (Weeping Tree) Café located by the sea across the Rabbit Island, while enjoying both the nature and history together,
- Famous Coven Ekmegi (Soapwort Bread) at the restaurants and do not forget to buy some for your beloved ones from the Public Bakery,
- Amasra Pidesi (Pita with vegetables or minced meat on it) at the Amasra Sofrasi Restaurant,
- Traditional Turkish breakfast at Turkan Hanim’in Yeri by the beach,
- Seasonal seafood and unique Amasra salad at Canli Balik Restaurant (Mustafa Amcanin Yeri) where they use traditional cooking methods,
- Water buffalo yogurt with honey after having fish and Amasra salad,
- Mussels at Carlos,
What to Buy in Amasra?
- Well-known boxwood spoons of Master Cevat from the Kuskayasi Souvenir Shop in historical Cekiciler Market of Amasra,
- Famous fish pan,
- Hand carved fruit bowl and the honey dipper made of Amasra’s local wood.
Do not leave without
- Seeing the Bedesten Area of Amasra by bike or on foot,
- Making a selfie in front of the Rabbit Island and sea view of Amasra from the highest point of Boztepe,
- Going on a Amasra boat tour around the Amasra peninsula,
- Seeing the Roman soldier and eagle located in Kuskayasi Roadside Monument built in honour of Germanicus for the states and friendship,
- Dancing and having fun at the shop of Ruhi Hoca, while wandering around the Historical Cekiciler Market!
Where is Amasra and How to Get There?
Amasra, which has the population of 7000 people and 3000 years of history, is a district of Bartin Province located in the Western Black Sea.
How close Amasra to other Cities?
- From Ankara to Amasra= 309 km
- From Istanbul to Amasra = 450 km
- From Izmir to Amasra= 805 km
- From Eskisehir or Bursa to Amasra= 488 km
- From Karabuk or Zonguldak to Amasra= 103 km
- From Sinop to Amasra=380 km
- From Bartin to Amasra=15 km
Closest Airports to Amasra
- Zonguldak (District of Caycuma): 53 km
- Ankara (Esenboga): 326 km
- Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen: 423 km
Places to See Around Amasra
You can reach the bays around Amasra by renting a bus/car from Somakli Tour Rental Company.
- Bozkoy Beach (13 km. East Coast of Amasra)
It is an untouched beach with its golden sand and lush nature.
- Inkumu Beach (30 km. West Coast of Amasra)
It is one of the longest coastlines of the Western Black Sea and the town has varied camping and accommodation opportunities.
- Cakraz Beach (15 km. East Coast of Amasra)
The beach located in the resort town of Cakraz comes to the forefront with its social opportunities as well as its cleaning and natural beauty.
- Kurucasile (43 km. East Coast of Amasra)
The town located on the eastern side of Amasra is famous for its boat-yacht manufacturing.
- Guzelcehisar (35 km. West Coast of Amasra)
It is a coast town hosting 3 million year-old lava rocks.
- Akkonak (19 km. East Coast of Amasra)
It is a natural wonder with campsites.
- Gideros Bay (58 km. East Coast of Amasra)
It is a pool-like natural wonder.
Other places/Beaches worth seeing:
- Kizilkum, Mugada, Tekkeonu, Hatipler, Tarlaagzi, Felengit Bay, Kapisuyu and Gockun
- Gergece Waterfall (18 km)
- Golderesi Waterfall (28 km)
- Ulukaya Waterfall (69 km)
- Ilica Waterfall (119 km)
Nearby Summer Pastures:
- Uluyayla (72 km)
- Ardic Pasture (65 km)
- Gezen Pasture (73 km)
Amasra Lighthouse: Amasra Lighthouse, one of the oldest lighthouses in the Black Sea Region, was built by the French in 1863. It flashes 77 meters above the Boztepe Islandthat blocks the waves and winds of the Black Sea from reaching Amasra. The weight lifted upwards while setting the lantern with clockwork mechanism allows the lamp crystal to rotate as it goes down.
There are remains of a church and stairs carved to the rocks in the Rabbit Island. It is known that the Orthodox Patriarch Kyros lived here. The rabbits, which were taken to the island in the 1960s and adapted to the island in a short time, are still on the island, and you can catch a glimpse of them, while on the boat tours or through binoculars from Boztepe.
The French, who undertook the construction of the pier in the Ottoman period in exchange for the operations of the coal mines, completed the construction by using the cut-off stones left from the ruins of the castle walls. The castle walls can still be seen in the old pier port.
Amasra Museum: The building, which was built as a Maritime Vocational Highschool in 1884, started to be used as a museum in 1976. Amasra Museum, which contains some works from Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Genoese and Ottoman periods, became an educational and entertainment place through video visualizations and sunken ship hall made after the restoration of 2017.
Amasra Castle: It is known that especially during the Genoese Period some repairs some improvements were made on Amasra Castle, which was built during the Byzantine Period. The castle consists of two main masses. One is the Sormagir Castle located in Boztepe and the other one is the Zindan Castle on the northeast side. Amasra Castle is on the UNESCO Temporary List of World Heritage under the title of ‘Trading Posts and Fortifications on Genoese Trade Routes from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea’.
Ancient Theater:It is estimated that the Ancient Theatre, which is thought to have been built during the Roman period, has the capacity of 5000 people. Today, only the entrance door of the theatre is visible.
Bedesten (State Assembly): The exterior dimensions of 45×118 meter of this structure, which is thought to have been built in the late 1st century AD, indicate that this structure was used as the State Assembly Palace. Afterwards, this area was named Bedesten as it was used for commercial purposes.
The first coal mine in Amasrawas opened in 1843. Today, coal drawing processes are still carried out. progress.
Kucuk Liman(Ancient Port)
It is the area where the ancient port from the Roman period is located. Today, the ruins of the ancient port are somewhat visible. In addition, this area was used as an airport during World War I.
Direkli Kaya (Old Lighthouse)
It is estimated that the 7 m high structure, which is built on a rock 20 m from the Kucuk Liman (Ancient Port), belongs to a lighthouse or an observation tower over the port.
Chapel (Small Church)
Special patterns were used on the window ledges of the chapel, which was built in the inner castle in the 9thcentury by using a brick-stone-mesh system, the reminders of “the Prophet’s Ascension to the Chest” scene are portrayed on the Ambon Vault.
The chapel was put into service as a Culture House after being restored in 2002 by the Amasra Museum.
Genoa Castle and Rigs
It is seen that the Genoese (Italians), who had good relations with the Ottoman Empire and took over the Amasra Castle, left many traces of the Genoese rigs in the Amsra Castle.
Fatih Mosque (Old Church)
The church building from the 9thcentury was converted into a mosque soon after the Ottoman conquest of Amasra.
Since no blood was spilled during the conquest, the sermons in Fatih Mosque are traditionally given by drawing the sword.
The bridge with a length of 8 meters and a height of 5 meters is thought to have been built during the Roman period and used as a water passage.
It is the Roman bridge that connects the Zindan Island and Amasra. Despite having been restored in different periods, it is still standing firmly. This bridge, under which the boat manufacturing/repair places were located until the beginning of the 2000s, was opened to provide water flow to the Kucuk Liman Area.
Kuskayasi Roadside Monument
It is the eagle and Roman soldier figures carved into the rock during the time of Roman Emperor Tiberius Claudius Cermanicus (M.S.41-54). The monument is located 5km away from Amasra, on a historical hiking route and on the old Bartin road.
Women’s Market (Galla)
It is the market place where women have been selling fresh vegetables and fruits, homemade cheese and jams traditionally for the last 200 years. You can visit it every Tuesday and Friday through all year.
Historically Significant Places in Amasra
- Amasra Museum
- Small Port (Ancient Port)
- Small Baths
- Byzantine Bath
- Ancient Dock
- Chapel (Little Church – Art House)
- Genoa Castle and Rigs
- Amasra Castle
- Fatih Mosque
- Kemere Bridge
- The Ruinf of Poseidon Temple
- Rabbit Island and the Ruins of Church
- Amasra Lighthouse
- Example of an Ottoman House in Amasra
- Direkli Kaya
- Cekiciler Market
- Women’s Market (Galla Bazaar)
- Edhem Aga Mansion
- Tekketepe Tomb
- Amasra Adobe House Model
- Historical Port and Old Beach Border
- Ruins from the Roman Period
- Bedesten (State Assembly)
- Kemerderesi Bridge (0.7km)
- Ancient Theatre
- Baris Akarsu Cemetery
- Kuskayasi Roadside Monument (5km)
This map was prepared by Kemal Onur OZMANand Petra Havrdova. We would like to thank Magdalena Klaus for her contributions. Translation by Gül Berivan Karaldi Ekiz.
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