Bayburt was once an important center on the ancient Silk Route in Anatolia and
it was visited by Marco Polo and Turkish excursionist Evliya Çelebi. Xenophan
wrote in his book of Anabasis that the city was an Iskit city called as Gymnias.
It was a big and prosperous town in
The history of the city dates as far back to 3000 BC. It's also known that it
was founded by the Azzi tribe, than Cimmerians passed thru in the 8th century
BC. Meds and Persians were other invaders and settlers of the region. In the 2nd
century BC Bayburt was annexed to Pontian Kingdom and than to the Roman Empire
who restored Bayburt Castle which was originally built by Urartus. Between 8th
and 9th centuries it constantly changed hands between Emevis and Byzantines, and
than finally Seljuks and Ottomans.
The city welcomes you with the remains of its Byzantine Castle. There are
several interesting mosques, Turkish baths and tombstones in the city as well as
the Çatalcesme Underground City which looks like the ones in Cappadocia, and the
natural wonder Sirakayalar Waterfall which are all attractive. Some other sites
of interest are: Bent, Ali Singah, Meydan, Pashaogullari, Pulur baths, Bayburt
Grand Mosque, Kutluk Bey, Pulur, Yukari Hinzevrek Mosques, Hart, Ksanta,
Varzahan ruins, Korgan Bridge, Tashan, and Sehit Osman Mausoleums.
The city is very small but deserves notice, although it has been designated as a
province just recently in 1989, after being a district of Gümüshane for many
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