Amasra is called the prettiest port on the Black Sea coast of Turkey. Even though this is a touristic center for Turks in summer months, foreign visitors are uncommon. During our October visit it was quiet, peaceful and beautiful…and tourist-less.
We got the idea to visit Amasra from a customer visiting our shop who had loved the place.
Our small hotel, “Kusna Pension”, cost all of $ 45.00 a night and was located right on the water, high overlooking the rocky shore and fishing boats. Our room was simple and clean, and the view was incredibly beautiful.
The name of the city in ancient times was ‘Seamos’, which means sesame.
The first rulers of the city were said to be the legendary Amazon women warriors.
The town has a unique combination of natural harbors for ships overlooked by rocky outcrops perfect for protective fortresses.
The Byzantine Emperors actually rented the whole place out to the Italians from Genoa for a century or two when Genoa was the Mediterranean super-power. The Ottomans, as they conquered the Byzantine Empire piece by piece in the 1400’s actually took Amasra from its Genoa renters without a fight.
Ever the tradesmen, the Genoese figured out that it didn’t really matter to whom they paid rent and quickly switched from sending their rent checks to the Byzantines to sending the checks to the Ottomans, who were happy enough to let the Christian Italians continue to manage the trade of the town as long as they didn’t mind the Ottomans turning all the existing Byzantine churches into mosques.
We visited the museum, which contained Hellenistic, roman, Byzantine, Genoese and Ottoman artifacts found in the area.
The very old Fatih Mosque near our B&B was once a Byzantine 9th century church. It was turned into a mosque by Fatih Sultan Mehmet when he conquered Amasra in 1460.