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BAYBURT

The ancient Paipertes                Population: 32,000

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Old name: Paipertes

Market day: Monday

From Erzurum it's a nice ride to Bayburt on the banks of the Çoruh River, where so-called restoration has managed to wreck an enormous hilltop castle dating back to the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian; where once purple tiles adorned its façade, giving rise to the nickname "Tile Castle," expect to find only graffiti and garbage now.

Walking round town you will see quite a lot of austere but elegant old stone houses.

This is one of the last places in Turkey where you will still see many local women wearing a chador-like brown woollen robe flecked with blue stars called an ehram. A project supported by the European Union has been encouraging local women to find new, exportable ways to use the material.

Sleeping

There are hotels in Bayburt should you get stuck including the band-new and ugly Bayburt Konaklama near the otogar. Best to head back to Erzurum though.

Transport info

Minibuses to Bayburt from Erzurum will take you into town or you can catch a bus heading towards Trabzon and get out at the otogar on the main road north.

 

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