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Panoramic photo by Hakan Durgut EXPERT Taken 11:54, 03/06/2009 - Views loading...



The World > Asia > Middle East > Turkey

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Amasra (pop. 7000; anciently called Amastris, Αμαστρις in Greek) is a small Black Sea port town in the Bartın Province, Turkey. The town is today much appreciated for its beaches and natural setting, which has made tourism the most important activity for its inhabitants.

Amasra has two islands: the bigger one is called Büyük ada (Great Island) while the smaller one is called Tavsan adası (Rabbit Island).


Situated in the ancient region of Paphlagonia, the original city seems to have been called Sesamus, and it is mentioned by Homer[1] in conjunction with Cytorus. Stephanus[2] says that it was originally called Cromna; but in another place,[3] where he repeats the statement, he adds, as it is said; but some say that Cromna is a small place in the territory of Amastris, which is the true account. The place derived its name Amastris from Amastris, the niece of the last Persian king Darius III, who was the wife of Dionysius, tyrant of Heraclea, and after his death the wife of Lysimachus. Four small Ionian colonies, Sesamus, Cytorus, Cromna, also mentioned in the Iliad,[4] and Tium, were combined by Amastris, after her separation from Lysimachus,[5] to form the new community of Amastris, placed on a small river of the same name and occupying a peninsula.[6] Tium, says Strabo, soon detached itself from the community, but the rest kept together, and Sesamus was the acropolis of Amastris. From this it appears that Amastris was really a confederation or union of three places, and that Sesamus was the name of the city on the peninsula. This may explain the fact that Mela[7] mentions Sesamus and Cromna as cities of Paphlagonia, and does not mention Amastris.[8]

The territory of Amastris produced a great quantity of boxwood, which grew on Mount Cytorus. Its tyrant Eumenes presented the city of Amastris to Ariobarzanes of Pontus in c. 265–260 BC rather than submit it to domination by Heraclea, and it remained in the Pontic kingdom until its capture by Lucius Lucullus in 70 BC in the second Mithridatic War.[9] The younger Pliny, when he was governor of Bithynia and Pontus, describes Amastris, in a letter to Trajan,[10] as a handsome city, with a very long open place (platea), on one side of which extended what was called a river, but in fact was a filthy, pestilent, open drain. Pliny obtained the emperor's permission to cover over this sewer. On a coin of the time of Trajan, Amastris has the title Metropolis. It continued to be a town of some note to the seventh century of our era.

The city was not abandoned in Byzantine Era, when the acropolis was transformed into a fortress and the still surviving church was built. It was sacked by the Rus during the First Russo-Byzantine War in the 830s. But it was in 1261 that Amastris regained part of its former importance; in that year the town was taken by the Italian city-state of Genoa in its bid to obtain sole control of the Black Sea trade. Genoese domination ended in 1460 when the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II conquered the whole Anatolian shores of the Black Sea, forcing its inhabitants to move to Istanbul. The Greeks were replaced with Turkish villagers and the church became a mosque, the town losing most of its former importance.

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Nearby images in Turkey


A: Amasra Rabbit Island

by Kemal Onur Ozman, 280 meters away

Rabbit Island is located just across the bridge beam. As its name suggests, this island experienced a...

Amasra Rabbit Island

B: Amasra - Black Sea

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Amasra had been founded by settlers from Milet in the 6th century BC. Originally Amasra was one of th...

Amasra - Black Sea

C: Lutfiye-amasra

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D: Lutfiye Amasra 2

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Lutfiye Amasra Belvü Palas Otel Amasra Amasra

Lutfiye Amasra 2


by Kemal Onur Ozman, 460 meters away

You can use this web site for more information about Amasra Village Amasra

F: Timur Otel Amasra

by Kemal Onur Ozman, 500 meters away

Timur Otel Amasra

G: Timur Otel Amasra 2

by Kemal Onur Ozman, 500 meters away

Timur Otel Amasra 2

H: Otel Timur Amasra 1

by Kemal Onur Ozman, 520 meters away

Otel Timur Amasra 1

I: Amasra Seaport

by Kemal Onur Ozman, 560 meters away

You can use this web site for more information about Amasra Village Amasra

Amasra Seaport


by Ercan-Kapkac, 580 meters away


This panorama was taken in Turkey, Middle East

This is an overview of Middle East

Modern civilization began right here in the Tigris-Euphrates river valley. Also known as the Fertile Crescent or Mesopotamia, this is the place where, six thousand years ago, agriculture, writing and mathematics were brought into widespread use.

The term "Middle East" comes from the British navy, which used it to describe the countries on the trade route from Europe to India and China. Everything from Afghanistan to Morocco may possibly be classified as "middle eastern", depending on whom you ask -- and when.

Only a partial list of past Empires in the middle eastern territory includes Sumeria, Babylonia, Persia, the Ottoman Empire and the Roman Empire!

When northern Europe was still lurking about in slimy cold stone castles playing chess, the Middle East was enjoying the flowers of poetry, luxurious craftsmanship, music and literature. In fact, the Renaissance in Europe was partly inspired by stories brought back from the middle east by travelers along the trade route.

Strategic location, religious history and the world's largest supply of crude oil have kept the Middle East at the center of world activity for centuries. The saga continues.

Text by Steve Smith.

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