Where to Visit in Bayburt

Bayburt is a city in northeast Turkey lying on the Çoruh River. It is the seat of Bayburt Province and Bayburt District. Its population is 48,036 (2021). Bayburt was once an important center on the ancient Silk Road. It was visited by Marco Polo  and Evliya Çelebi. Remains of its medieval castle still exist. There are several historical mosques, Turkish baths, and tombs in the city. There are also ancient historical sites such as the Çatalçeşme Underground Complex and natural wonders like the Sirakayalar Waterfall in the other parts of the province.

The name of the town was formerly written in Ottoman Turkish as بايبورد (Bayburd) and in English as Baiburt. It was known under a variety of names during the Byzantine period; Procopius naming the city Baiberdon, meanwhile Kedrenos calling it Paiperte. The name derives from the medieval Armenian Baydbert (Բայտբերդ). In Movses of Khoren’s History of Armenia  the town is being named as Բայբերդ (Paypert). Movses asserts that the city’s ancient name was Smpadapert, in reference to the Smbat I, founder of the Bagratuni dynasty. It is thought that Baydbert is consisted of two words namely Bayd and Bert. The first one has been discussed so much but true etymon is not clear yet. However, the second one is most probably an Armenian loanword bert (բերդ) “fortress”. Bayburt straddles the Çoruh amid an open and fertile plateau on the route between Trabzon and Erzurum.


Bayburt has several parks and open spaces like ”Aslan dağı Ormanı ” (Lion Mount Forest ) “Gençlik Parkı” (Youth Park), “Şehit Nusret Bahçesi” (Martyr Nusret Gardens), and “Yenişehir Parkı” meaning “New City Park”. The city has 535.780 m2 (5,767.09 sq ft) of nursery areas, where young plants are raised for the forests of Bayburt. Also there are two caves that visitors can see the interesting natural shapes of the stones. These caves are, “Çimağıl Cave” and “Helva Village Ice Cave”.


Bayburt Castle stands on the steep rocks north of Bayburt. It was held by the Bagratuni Dynasty in the 9th, 10th, and 11th centuries. It was completely rebuilt by the Saltukid ruler Mugis-al-Din Tugrul Sah between 1200 and 1230, as attested by an inscription in the walls of the castle. The massive size of its walls and the quality of its masonry place it amongst the finest of all the castles in Anatolia but for its destruction by the Russians during the early nineteenth century. Rebuilding was done during the Ottoman period. The castle was inhabited till the destruction of 1829.


Aydıntepe Underground City

Located 45 km (28 mi) from Bayburt, the site consists of rock-cut galleries, vaulted rooms and wider spaces excavated out of natural rock, without using any building material within 2–2.5 metres (6 ft 7 in – 8 ft 2 in) from the surface in the tuff. Vaulted galleries about one meter wide and 2 to 2.5 meters tall are expanding on both sides.

The Dome of Dede Korkut

The Dome of Dede Korkut is approximately 30 kilometres (19 mi) away from Bayburt, and is located in Masat village. It is located in the middle of village’s graveyard, has been hosting plenty of people from many countries including Turkic countries because of Dede Korkut Culture and Art Festival since 1995, and it is held every July. The dome, also known as Ali Baba and Korkut Ata, was restored in 1994, and it was released to the public. It has gained importance after has been included in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of UNESCO in November 2018.

Baksi Museum

The Baksı Museum stands near the Black Sea, 45 km (28 mi) from Bayburt on a hilltop overlooking the Çoruh Valley. Rising in what used to be called Baksı and is now the village of Bayraktar, this unusual museum offers contemporary art and traditional handicrafts side by side under one roof.

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