Hagia Sophia in Trebizond

The Church of Hagia Sophia was located in less than 2 km west of Trebizond (modern Trabzon). It was likely Trebizond emperor Manuel I Komnenos (1238-1263). It has a cross-in-square plan with columns supporting the dome, the east bays of the aisles barrel-vaulted and the longer west bays cross-vaulted. Its narthex is an unusual feature in Trebizond and for the three great porches it is hard to find a parallel anywhere; though there are Georgiana and Armenian churches with large porches. It is extensively decorated with frescoes. Though the actual date of founding is still obscure, it seems to date sometime between the founding of the Empire in 1204 and about 1260. It was converted into a mosque in 1573.

Plan by Balance

Map of Trebizond


The Byzantine Monuments and Topography of the Pontos by Anthony Bryer & David Winfield

Byzantine Painting at Trebizond by Millet and Talbot Rice

Byzantium’s Other Empire: Trebizond by Antony Eastmond

Byzantine Architecture by Cyril Mango

Early Christian and Byzantine Architecture by ​Richard Krautheimer 

Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium edited by Alexander Kazhdan

“Religious Buildings of Trebizond” by D. Talbot Rice

“The Byzantine Churches of Trebizond” by Selina Balance

“La Sainte-Sophie de Trebizonde” by N. Brounov

“Les Monasteres et les Eglises de Trebizonde” by G. Millet


Trebizond Album (Byzantine Legacy Flickr)

Hagia Sophia in Trebizond Album (Byzantine Legacy Flickr)

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The Byzantine Legacy
Created by David Hendrix Copyright 2016