The Monastery of St John the Forerunner Vazelon
/ By Josh
The oldest of the three Greek monasteries of the Maçka region, Vazelon Monastery is a stunning complex set high in the Black Sea mountains.
Set along the Black Sea coast, the Province of Trabzon is a land of high mountains, cut with deep valleys and stunning natural beauty. Forests of spruce, alder, and wild rhododendrons cover the slopes while streams fill the valleys with noise. There is a mystique to Trabzon, where ancient sites are hidden among the cliffs and wreathed in fog.
The unique landscape of Trabzon has made for a unique culture as well. While fishermen ply the cold waters of the Black Sea, hazelnut and tea farmers work the steep slopes of their lush gardens. Lacking in flat land, the people of Trabzon tend to live scattered rather than clustered in villages, though locals will tell you that it’s their notoriously short tempers that keep neighbours at a safe distance.
Trabzon is a melting pot of cultures where Turkish, Laz, Circassian, Hemshin, and Pontic Greek cultures have blended to create a character unique from the rest of Turkey. Locals dance to the frenetic energy of drums and bagpipes, and if you’re in the countryside understanding the local’s regional accent may be impossible.