Gümüşhane, Turkey

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Gümüşhane, Turkey

Region: Gümüşhane


Geographic Coordinates: 40.459700, 39.477800
Climate: Data not available.
Population: 57269
Language: Turkish

Gümüşhane is a charming city nestled in the northeastern part of Turkey, Surrounded by stunning mountain ranges and lush green valleys. Located on the historical Silk Road, This hidden gem offers a unique blend of natural beauty, Rich history, And warm hospitality. The city’s name translates to silver mine, Which pays homage to its significant silver mining heritage. One of the main attractions in Gümüşhane is its breathtaking natural landscapes. The region boasts picturesque mountains such as Zigana and Soğanlı Mountains, Which are perfect for outdoor enthusiasts seeking adventure.

These mountains offer opportunities for hiking, Trekking, And skiing during winter months when they are covered in a thick blanket of snow. The nearby Karaca Cave is another must-visit destination that mesmerizes visitors with its intricate stalactite formations. Gümüşhane also holds historical significance dating back centuries. One prominent landmark is the magnificent Gümüşhane Castle situated atop a hill overlooking the city. Built during the Byzantine era and later expanded by various civilizations including Seljuks and Ottomans, This castle offers panoramic views of the surrounding area. The city’s cultural heritage can be explored at Gümüşhane Museum located within an Ottoman-era mansion.

The museum showcases artifacts from different periods throughout history including archaeological finds from ancient Greek settlements nearby. For those interested in religious history, Gümüşhane houses several beautiful mosques that reflect Ottoman architecture such as Şiran Mosque or Hacılar Mosque. These sacred sites not only serve as places of worship but also provide insights into local traditions and customs. Gastronomy plays an essential role in Gümüşhane’s identity with its regional delicacies leaving visitors craving for more. Traditional dishes like kuymak (a cheesy cornmeal dish), Şiveydiz soup (made with yogurt), Or mıhlama (a buttery cornmeal dish) are must-try specialties.

The city’s vibrant bazaars are perfect for indulging in local flavors and purchasing unique handmade crafts, Including silver jewelry, Carpets, And traditional clothing. To fully immerse yourself in Gümüşhane’s culture, Attending one of its lively festivals is highly recommended. The International Gümüşhane Festival held annually celebrates the city’s heritage through art exhibitions, Music performances, And traditional dance shows. Gümüşhane offers a tranquil escape from bustling tourist destinations while providing an authentic Turkish experience.

With its stunning landscapes, Rich history, Delicious cuisine, And warm-hearted locals welcoming visitors with open arms, This hidden gem is a destination that should not be missed by those seeking an off-the-beaten-path adventure in Turkey.



Important Landmarks

  1. Taşköprü (Stone Bridge): A historical bridge dating back to the Roman period, located in the city center.
  2. Santa Museum: A unique museum dedicated to Santa Claus, showcasing various artifacts and exhibits related to Christmas traditions.
  3. Zigana Mountain: A popular destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, offering scenic hiking trails and skiing opportunities during winter.
  4. Karaca Cave: One of Turkey’s largest caves with stunning stalactite and stalagmite formations, located near Torul district.
  5. Kürtün Suspension Bridge: An iconic suspension bridge spanning over the Harşit River, providing picturesque views of the surrounding landscape.
  6. Çimen Plateau: A beautiful highland area known for its lush green meadows and charming wooden houses, ideal for picnicking or camping.
  7. Gümüşhane Castle: The ruins of an ancient castle situated on a hilltop overlooking the city; it offers panoramic views of Gümüşhane.
  8. Haho Church (Haho Kilisesi): An Armenian church dating back to the 10th century AD with well-preserved frescoes depicting biblical scenes.
  9. Historical Ottoman Houses: The city is known for its traditional Ottoman-style houses that showcase unique architectural elements from that era.
  10. Torul Glass Terrace (Torul Cam Teras): Located in Torul district, this glass terrace offers breathtaking views over Uzungöl Lake surrounded by mountains.

These are just a few examples of the many attractions found in Gümüşhane; there are also numerous natural landscapes, historical sites, and cultural experiences awaiting visitors to explore this region of Turkey.


Primary Industries

  1. Gümüşhane, Turkey is primarily known for its mining industry, particularly copper and zinc mining.
  2. The city is home to several mines that contribute significantly to the local economy.
  3. Gümüşhane has a strong agricultural sector, with farming and livestock production being important industries in the region.
  4. Other notable industries include forestry and timber production.
  5. In terms of businesses, Gümüşhane has a variety of small-scale enterprises such as retail shops, restaurants, and cafes that cater to the local population.
  6. Tourism is also an emerging sector in the area due to its natural beauty and historical sites like the Torul Castle and Zigana Mountains.
  7. Overall, while mining remains a significant industry in Gümüşhane, there is an increasing focus on diversifying the economy by promoting sectors like agriculture and tourism.

Noteable History

  1. Roman Empire: Gümüşhane was part of the Roman Empire, and during this time, it was known as Argyropolis (City of Silver). The Romans exploited the region’s silver mines.
  2. Byzantine Era: After the fall of the Roman Empire, Gümüşhane became part of the Byzantine Empire. Several churches and monasteries were built during this period.
  3. Seljuk Turks: In the 11th century, Gümüşhane came under Seljuk Turkish rule. The region flourished culturally and economically under their administration.
  4. Ottoman Empire: During the 15th century, Gümüşhane became part of the Ottoman Empire. It served as an important trade center due to its location on major trade routes between Anatolia and Persia.
  5. Kazıklı Voyvoda (Impaler Voivode): One notable person associated with Gümüşhane is Kazıklı Voyvoda (also known as İlyas Bey). He was a local leader who resisted Ottoman rule in the early 19th century.
  6. Ziya Gökalp: Ziya Gökalp was a prominent Turkish sociologist, writer, poet, and nationalist thinker who lived from 1876 to 1924. Although not born in Gümüşhane itself but in Diyarbakır province near it; he spent some years teaching in Gumushane’s Şiran district where he wrote some his famous works like Türkleştirme.
  7. Mining History: Throughout its history until present times, Gumushane has been known for its mining industry especially silver mining which gave it its name meaning silver house. Other minerals such as copper, lead, and zinc have also been mined in the region.

These are just a few examples of notable historical events and people associated with Gümüşhane. The region has a rich cultural heritage and continues to be an important part of Turkey’s history.


Museums and Things To See

  1. Gümüşhane Museum: This museum showcases the history and cultural heritage of the region, including artifacts from the Byzantine and Ottoman periods.
  2. St. John Church: Located in the city center, this historic church dates back to the 19th century and features beautiful architecture.
  3. Trabzon Castle: Situated on a hill overlooking Gümüşhane, this medieval castle offers panoramic views of the city and surrounding landscapes.
  4. Karaca Cave: One of Turkey’s largest caves, Karaca Cave is known for its impressive stalactite formations and underground lakes.
  5. Zigana Ski Resort: Perfect for winter sports enthusiasts, Zigana Ski Resort offers skiing and snowboarding opportunities amidst stunning mountain scenery.
  6. Torul Glass Terrace: Located in Torul district near Gümüşhane, this glass platform provides breathtaking views of the Çoruh Valley below.
  7. Sultan Murat Plateau: A popular spot for nature lovers, Sultan Murat Plateau offers picturesque hiking trails surrounded by lush forests and meadows.
  8. Taşköprü (Stone Bridge): Dating back to Roman times, this ancient stone bridge spans over Harşit River near Şiran district and is an architectural marvel worth visiting.
  9. Haho Monastery Complex: Situated on a hilltop near Torul district, Haho Monastery Complex consists of several churches carved into rocks dating back to Byzantine times.
  10. Koseoglu Mansion (Köseler Köyü): This traditional Ottoman mansion located in Köseler Village showcases local architecture with its wooden construction and intricate designs.


Sports Teams

  1. Gümüşhane Spor Kulübü: Founded in 1967, Gümüşhane Spor Kulübü is a multi-sport club that competes in various disciplines such as football, basketball, volleyball, wrestling, and athletics. The football team has played in lower divisions of Turkish football leagues.
  2. Gümüşhanespor: Another local football club based in Gümüşhane is Gümüşhanespor. The team was founded in 1968 and has had periods of success at the regional level but has never reached the top tiers of Turkish professional football.
  3. Gençlerbirliği Güneysuspor: This amateur football club represents Güneysu district within the province of Gümüşhane. While they do not have a significant history or achievements on a national scale, they actively participate in local tournaments.
  4. Yavuzkemal Belediyespor: Yavuzkemal Belediyespor is a local sports club known for its wrestling team’s success at regional levels.

It’s important to note that these clubs primarily focus on promoting sports activities within their communities rather than competing at national or international levels due to limited resources and infrastructure available for professional sports development in smaller cities like Gümüşhane.



Cultural Events

  1. Gümüşhane City Day: This annual festival celebrates the founding of Gümüşhane and its rich cultural heritage. It usually takes place in July and includes various activities such as traditional music performances, dance shows, art exhibitions, and local food tasting.
  2. Hıdırellez Festival: Celebrated on May 5th every year, Hıdırellez is a traditional Turkish festival marking the arrival of spring. In Gümüşhane, this festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm and includes outdoor picnics, folk dances, music performances, and games.
  3. Köse Karakucak Wrestling Festival: Held in Köse district of Gümüşhane in August or September each year, this wrestling festival is a significant cultural event for the region. Wrestlers from all over Turkey gather to compete in the traditional Turkish sport of Karakucak wrestling.
  4. Zigana Snow Festival: Taking place on Mount Zigana during winter months (usually February), this festival celebrates snow sports and winter traditions. Visitors can enjoy skiing competitions, snowboarding demonstrations, sledding races as well as local music performances.
  5. International Traditional Arts Festival: Organized annually in June or July by Gümüşhane University’s Faculty of Fine Arts Department of Traditional Turkish Handicrafts Education Programmes, this festival aims to promote traditional arts such as ceramics, calligraphy, marbling (Ebru), woodcarving (Ahşap oyma), and more through exhibitions and workshops.
  6. Sultan Murat Plateau Festivities: Held in Sultan Murat Plateau during summer months (usually July or August), this event showcases the natural beauty of the plateau along with various cultural activities like folk dances performed by local groups wearing traditional costumes.
  7. Kürtün Honey Festival: Located near Kürtün district of Gümüşhane, this festival celebrates the region’s renowned honey production. Visitors can enjoy honey tasting, beekeeping demonstrations, traditional music performances, and cultural exhibitions.
  8. Gümüşhane Gastronomy Festival: This festival highlights the unique flavors of Gümüşhane cuisine and local delicacies. It usually takes place in September and offers visitors a chance to taste traditional dishes, attend cooking workshops, and learn about the culinary traditions of the region.

These are just a few examples of cultural events and festivals that take place in Gümüşhane. The dates may vary slightly each year, so it is advisable to check for specific details before planning a visit.


Cuisine

  1. Kaz Restaurant: Known for its delicious dishes made with locally sourced ingredients, Kaz Restaurant is famous for its traditional Gümüşhane-style roasted goose (kaz). It also offers a variety of other meat and vegetable dishes.
  2. Kuymakçı Osman Usta: This restaurant specializes in kuymak, a traditional Black Sea dish made with cornmeal, butter, and cheese. It is a popular spot to enjoy this cheesy delicacy along with other regional specialties.
  3. Günebakan Köfte Salonu: Famous for its köfte (meatballs), Günebakan Köfte Salonu serves tender and flavorful meatballs prepared using the finest local ingredients. The restaurant offers various types of köfte alongside side dishes like bulgur pilaf and salads.
  4. Yıldırım Lokantası: Yıldırım Lokantası is known for its diverse menu featuring both local dishes from Gümüşhane as well as Turkish classics. The restaurant offers a cozy ambiance where visitors can enjoy authentic flavors like pide (Turkish pizza) or mantı (Turkish dumplings).
  5. Aydoğdu Pide Salonu: Aydoğdu Pide Salonu is a popular spot to savor freshly baked pides topped with various ingredients such as cheese, ground meat, or vegetables. They also serve lahmacun (thin Turkish pizza) and other oven-baked specialties.
  6. Taş Kahve Restoran: Located in the historical Taş Han building, Taş Kahve Restoran offers an atmospheric dining experience along with traditional Gümüşhane cuisine. Visitors can try regional delicacies like kavurma (roasted meat), saç tava (pan-fried meats), or homemade pastries.
  7. Mavi Köşk: Mavi Köşk is known for its seafood dishes, offering a wide range of fresh fish and seafood options. Located near the Zigana Mountains, it provides a scenic setting to enjoy delicious seafood while surrounded by nature.

These are just a few examples of the popular local cuisine and restaurants in Gümüşhane. The city offers a rich culinary scene where visitors can explore various traditional dishes and flavors.


Parks and Recreation

  1. Zigana Ski Resort: Located on Mount Zigana, this ski resort offers a range of winter sports activities such as skiing and snowboarding.
  2. Kürtün Plateau: A popular picnic spot with lush greenery and stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
  3. Torul Glass Terrace: A glass platform overlooking the Torul Dam, providing panoramic views of the area.
  4. Gümüşhane City Park: A well-maintained park in the city center with walking paths, benches, and playgrounds for children.
  5. Karaca Cave National Park: Home to the Karaca Cave, one of Turkey’s largest limestone caves with impressive stalactite formations.
  6. Sultan Murat Plateau: Situated at an altitude of 2,500 meters above sea level, this plateau is known for its natural beauty and hiking trails.
  7. Konaklar Recreation Area: Located near the Konaklar Village, this area offers camping facilities amidst nature along with walking trails.
  8. Haho Canyon Nature Park: A picturesque canyon where visitors can enjoy hiking trails through beautiful landscapes and waterfalls.
  9. Arzumpanar Waterfall: A stunning waterfall surrounded by lush vegetation that offers a refreshing escape from city life.
  10. Köseçoban Highland (Yedigöller): Known for its seven interconnected lakes offering scenic beauty and opportunities for fishing or picnicking.

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