Ancient Cities of the Western Black Sea


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Ancient Cities of the Western Black Sea


The Western Black Sea region, formerly known as Paphlagonia, is a unique geography where the blue of the sea meets the incomparable green of the Black Sea forests. In addition to all these beauties, the Western Black Sea region, which is home to valuable pieces of the common heritage of humanity, is also home to numerous ancient cities that you can visit. We have compiled information about these ancient cities that you will definitely want to see when traveling through the Western Black Sea.


Prusias ad Hypium


The history of the ancient city within the borders of Düzce province dates back to the 3rd century BC. In this ancient city, which is now largely buried beneath the Konuralp district due to earthquakes, remains of city walls from the late Hellenistic to early Roman period, a bridge, aqueducts, a horse gate and an ancient theater can be seen. The Thyke statue, which is considered the symbol of the city, is on display in the Istanbul Archaeology Museum.


Herakleia Pontika


This city was founded in 550 BC by Megarian and Boeotian-Dorian immigrants and lies within the borders of Zonguldak province. The name of the city is derived from the famous mythological hero Heracles, also known as Hercules. According to the mythological tale in which Heracles fulfilled his 12 tasks, he's said to have brought Cerberus, the three-headed dog of the god of death and ruler of the underworld, Hades, here from the Cehennemagzi Caves located here. If you visit the city, don't forget to see these caves. You can find more information about the caves and the mythological tale in our article "Hercules' Footprints in Zonguldak: Cehennemagzi Caves."



The ancient city within the borders of Zonguldak province lies at the mouth of the Ballaios River, which is now called Filyos and reflects the wealth of a region where intensive agriculture is practiced thanks to the alluvial soils carried by the river. In Tieion, which was an important port city in ancient times, the remains of city walls, a castle, a vaulted gallery, an aqueduct, a defense tower and various tombs can be seen today.




The city, named after Amastris, the first known queen to mint coins in her own name, still lives on today as modern-day Amasra. According to Strabo, the city was originally founded by the Amazons and developed into an important trading center in ancient times. Among the ruins near the city of Amasra are archaeological remains such as Amasra Castle, Bird Rock Road Monument, Bedesten, the Kemere Bridge, the Ancient Road, the Ancient Theater and the Hisarpeçe Underground Gallery. It's also worth mentioning that Amasra is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Türkiye.




The ancient city, whose traces of settlement date back from the 1st century BC to the 10th century AD, lies within the borders of Karabük province. The extensive remains, which cover an area that includes four villages, today feature structures with unique examples of mosaics from late antiquity in their floors. The city, where Saint Stylianos Alypios also lived, occupies an important place in the history of Christianity. Two basilicas with remarkable mosaics and a late Roman villa with rich mosaics can be seen in the city. The terraces and paintings on the floors of the churches in the hilly parts of the city, which are thought to have been used for wine-growing, indicate that the city's wealth came from wine-growing.



The ancient city of Pompeipolis from the Paleolithic period is located in the Taşköprü district of Kastamonu province. The city, which lies on an area consisting of two not very high peaks called Zımbıllıtepe, is said to have been the capital of the Paphlagonia region of the Roman Empire. Written sources and archaeological discoveries indicate that the city was a very rich and developed settlement. Floor mosaics, an acropolis, a necropolis, a temple and the remains of city walls have been preserved in the city. Stones from graves, statues, pedestals, column capitals, tombs and coins excavated in Pompeipolis are exhibited in the Kastamonu Museum.