Reminders of silver-mining                       Population: 32,000 (Gümüşhane), 5-6 famlies (Eski Gümüşhane)

200 DSC01490Old name: Argyropolis (Greek)

Modern Gümüşhane offers little to detain a visitor except the occasional multi-gabled old house built in a virtual cross shape. It's a great shame because its craggy mountain setting alongside the Harşit river could be so beautiful.

The secret is to head inland immediately for what the locals call the Süleymaniye Mahallesi but which is also known as Eski Gümüşhane (Old Gümüşhane).

Don't leave town without:
stocking up on pestil (“fruit leather”) and köme (“fruit sausage”), the two sweet delicacies stocked by every other local shop.

Eski Gümüşhane

It’s a lovely drive up into the hills to a virtually abandoned settlement where just five or six families still hang on amid the ruins of a ghost town that grew rich on the proceeds of silver-mining, which kept going here until the 19th century.

200 DSC01511

The authorities seem to have exhausted their enthusiasm for advertising the site with the huge pictures in the bus terminal, but if you pick the right taxi driver he should be able to point out the ruins of the old Greek church, the old Armenian church, and the original school.

A once magnificent Ottoman house with paintings on its facades is still just about standing, and you will be able to pick out many other anonymous ruins amid the rosehips and apple orchards.

150 DSC08198Transport info

There are regular buses from Trabzon to Gümüşhane; they leave from the main bus terminal.

Once there you will need a taxi to get to the ruins unless you want to walk.





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