Things to do - general
Province Gümüşhane
 • Mayor Ercan Çimen
 • District 1,788.83 km2(690.67 sq mi)
Elevation 1,227 m (4,026 ft)
Population (2012)
 • Urban 32,444
 • District 44,888
 • District density 25/km2 (65/sq mi)
Website www.gumushane.bel.tr


Country Turkey
Languages spokenTurkish
Currency usedTurkish lira (TRY)
Area (km2)1,788.83 km2 (690.67 sq mi)

Sports & nature

Natural Beauty : Caves and Plateaux
There are numerous large and small caves which owe their formation to the geology - particularly the limestones - of Gümüşhane, including Alicli Agil Cave, Arili Cave, Altınbaşı Cave, Asarönü Ören Cave, Kartalkaya Cave, Ayiini Cave, K.Ardiçli Cave, Karçukuru Cave, Ardiçli Cave, Tepekli Cave, Uçbacalı Cave, Buz Cave and Ikisu Cave.[13]

A distinctive local wildflower, bearing purple blossoms in Spring and frequently to be found growing in rock crevices around the mouths of Gümüşhane's many caves, is a member of the nightshade genus Physochlaina : Physochlaina orientalis - a plant rich in medicinally valuable tropane alkaloids of the type found also in belladonna.[14]

The cave in Gümüşhane most visited by tourists is the 150 meter-long Karaca Cave, popular because of its spectacular speleothems (= dripstone formations), including stalagmites, stalactites, columns and travertine pools. It is a fossil cave located between Torul and Gümüşhane, in which the lime-rich water percolating through fissures in the roof has slowly built up calcite structures of remarkable beauty and complexity. Other geological features of Gümüşhane noted for their scenic beauty include the numerous plateaux commanding views of the forested areas which surround them. These include the Zigana, Taşköprü, Artabel, Şiran and Kalis plateaux, which form fitting sites for the Summer festivals which are held there annually.

Nightlife info

Many native tourists participate in these festivals - not only for entertainment's sake, but also to shop for regional delicacies. Pestil and köme are renowned desserts of Gümüşhane, made from mulberries, honey, hazel nuts, walnuts and milk. In addition to köme and pestil, rosehips, apples, and walnuts are notable local foods put to use in the many different desserts which are numbered among the regional specialities of Gümüşhane. Nor is the town's rich food culture restricted to sweetmeats : mantı, lemis, erişte, borani, kuymak, evelek, dolması and siron feature among the savoury dishes local to Gümüşhane.

Culture and history info

It is suggested that the ancient Thia (Θεία in Greek, a settlement of Roman, Late Roman and Byzantine periods) was located 4 miles west of modern Gümüşhane, in modern Beşkilise. In Byzantine period, there was a town named Tzanicha or Tzantzakon (Τζάνιχα, Τζάντζακον in Byzantine Greek), possibly located 2 miles to the west of Gümüşhane.[5][6]

Around 840 AD, the area was included in the new Roman (Byzantine) province of Chaldia (Χαλδία).[7] It was later ruled by the Byzantine Empire of Trebizond.

During Ottoman years, the sanjak of Gümüşhane fell under the administration successively Rum Province, Erzurum Province and Trabzon Province, and was divided into four kazas: Gümüşhane, Torul (capital city Ardassa), Şiran (Cheriana), and Kelkit (Keltik).

The sanjak in which Gümüşhane was situated at some stage comprised 37 mines of argentiferous lead and six copper mines[citation needed]. There is no evidence that these mines were in use during Byzantine times.

As for the name of the city during the Ottoman period, Greek-speaking population was also using the name Gümüşhane (Γκιμισχανά and Κιουμουσχανά) but, in the first decades of 19th century, the hellenized form Argyròpolis (Αργυρόπολις, from argyros "silver" and polis "city") was established.[8]

The Arghyropolis belonged to the Diocese of Chaldie (145 communities, 77,845 inhabitants). During the 1914-1918 Persecution of Greeks, the Turkish authorities boycott the Christians. The boycott deprived the Christians of all they possessed and reduced them to absolute poverty. The organizer of the boycott was the Djemal Azmi, Vali of Trebizonde, under whose orders were the Governor of Arghyropolis and others. In the sterile region of Argliyropolis the distress was great, because the inhabitants were entirely dependent for their existence on their local trade, and that from Russia. General mobilization was also among the causes conducive to the ruin of the Greek communities, for the male inhabitants who supported their families were taken away from their homes. The Turkish officers treated the Greeks shameful and brutal, making many Greeks to desert. This was the situation before the Russian advance.[9]

The Russian advance gave rise to a fresh outburst of fanaticism against the Greek element, the Turks from Turkish villages plundered the Christian villages of the region. During the Turkish retreat, the Turks pillaged many Greek villages of the region, the inhabitants took to the mountains and their property was plundered. Later on the retreat of the Russians, the Turks returned and the few inhabitants that remained in these villages, deprived of all resources and left to die of hunger.

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