Where to Visit in Giresun

Giresun, formerly Cerasus, is the provincial capital of Giresun Province in the Black Sea Region of northeastern Turkey, about 175 km (109 mi) west of the city of Trabzon.

Giresun was known to the ancient Greeks as Choerades or more prominently as Kerasous or Cerasus, the origin of the modern name. The name Kerasous consists of the Greek words κερασός (kerasós) “cherry”. Thus, the Greek root of the word “cherry”, κερασός (kerasós), predates the name of the city, and the ultimate origin of the word cherry (and thus the name of the city) is probably from a Pre-Greek substrate, likely of Anatolian origin, given the intervocalic σ in Κερασοῦς and the apparent cognates of it found in other languages of the region. According to Pliny, the cherry was first exported from Cerasus to Europe in Roman times by Lucullus.

Another theory derives Kerasous from κέρας (keras) “horn” + -ουντ (a place marker), for the prominent horn-shaped peninsula that the city is situated on (compare with the Greek name for the horn-shaped Golden Horn waterway in Istanbul, Κέρας (Keras) “Horn”). The toponym would have later mutated into Kerasunt (sometimes written Kérasounde  or Kerassunde), and the word “cherry” (as well as its cognates found in other local languages) was derived from the name of the city itself, rather than the other way around.

Pharnaces I of Pontus renamed the city Pharnacia after himself after he captured the city in 183 BC; and it was called by that name as late as the 2nd century AD. According to A. H. M. Jones, the city officially reverted to its original name, Kerasous, in 64 AD. The Greek name Kerasous was Turkified into Giresun after Turks gained permanent control of the region in the late 15th century.

The surrounding region has rich agriculture, growing most of Turkey’s hazelnuts as well as walnuts, cherries, leather and timber, and the port of Giresun has long handled these products. The harbor was enlarged in the 1960s, and the town is still a port and commercial center for the surrounding districts.

Like everywhere else on the Black Sea coast, it rains (and often snows in winter) and is very humid throughout the year, with a lack of extreme temperatures both in summer and winter. As a result, Giresun and the surrounding countryside are covered with luxuriant flora. Just beyond the city are hazelnut groves, and there are high pastures (yayla) further in the mountains.

The well preserved Giresun Castle in the city center. Giresun Island, Museum, Children’s Library, Hacı Hüseyin Mosque, Kale Mosque, Seyyid-i Vakkas Tomb, Mausoleum of Topal Osman, Giresun Archaeological Museum (the former Gorgora church) Old Ottoman houses of Zeytinlik district, Kırkharman Kilisesi, a former Greek church, Highlands (Kümbet, Bektaş, Kulakkaya, Çakrak, Tohumluk, Kurtbeli, Kazıkbeli, Ayıbeli, Beytarla, Buları, Kırkharman), Kuzalan Falls and Blue Lake, Duroğlu

Home Page

Other Destinations

Tour Packages

Giresun Museums