Samsun, located at a point where east and west Black Sea join each other, has been the cradle of many civilisations and receivied immigrants from a vast variety of places. All this has created a vivid cultural mosaic.

There are a large numbers of tumuli, mounds and antique settlements within Samsun province.

Excavations made in Dündartepe mound revealed chalcolithic and bronze age and hittite period settlements. Thus, it dates back to 1500 B.C. Similarly, there are two tumuli east of the city.

Samsun has a great number of mosques, chapels, shrines, fountains and bazaars of varying ages. The dwellings in Samsun have generally two stories, with brick masonry for outer walls, lath and plaster for inner ones. The second stories have in many instances protrusions. Carved wooden planks are used underneath the awnings. There is a central hall in the middle of the house and doors of all rooms open into this hall. Both floors and ceilings are made of long wooden planks.

Two statutes embellish the city. They depict Atatürk hand in hand with the citizens and indicate the national solidarity, the unity of spirit with the great leader and the determination to walk in the path broken by the saviour of the country.


Handicrafts in Samsun is the offspring of a long tradition. However, they have begun to lose ground before the developing technology, some of them were lost and others underwent alterations.

Carpets, rugs, hand loom cloths, stonework, embroidery, shoemaking, copperwares, basket-weaving, wood-carving are among these age-old crafts.

Mention must be made, when describing, the traditional crafts, puppet shows, shadow plays and improvised theatrical manifestations without a script. These, too, recede before the advent of cinema, television and modern theatre.


There are several museums in Samsun. The Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography was opened in 1981. Its central hall is highlighted by a mosaic floor having mythological scenes. This piece was unearthed in ancient Amysos. Pieces exhibited here belong to chalcolithic and bronze age settlements and hittite, byzantine and roman periods.

Skulls found in İkiztepe mound are quite interesting in that cerebral surgery had been performed on them some 5.000 years ago in the early bronze age. It has been shown that the bodies to which belonged these skulls had lived some 15 to 20 years after the surgery.

The Gazi Museum covers objects, printed and manuscript materials from 19 May 1919 when Atatürk had landed in Samsun to start the independence war.

There exists a public, an education and a children's library with a total collection of 60.000 books, read by more than 1.200.000 persons a year. A culture, art and training centre, built and opened in 1994 by the Ministry of Culture, makes a significant contribution to the preservation and development of local arts and crafts, and supports them by research work and practical application.


The Samsun National Fair was first launched first in 1963. It is organised every year from 1 to 31 July and draws large numbers of people from the neighbouring provinces and is visited by many tourists. The International Folklore Dances Festival, held between 23 and 29 July, is an activity figuring in the programme of this Fair for strengthening the friendship and comprehension between nations. The spring festival is celebrated on 6 May every year, depicting the start of fertility and fecundity in the wold.

There are also several local festivals, rooted deep in the traditions of the people, and many sports events repeated every year.


The Kızılırmak Delta, a natural site with an undisturbed flora and fauna, covers an area of 70.000 hectares. 310 bird species were discovered in this area where around 100.000 migrant and nonmigrant birds pass the winter. In view of this, ecotourism has become quite a novelty with several bird watching towers and stations and a multitude of facilities supporting the visitors.

Havza and Ladik are regions well versed in spa tourism. It was shown that the waters of these spas are particularly good for rheumatism, gynaecological, nerval, arthritic problems and others.

Finally, it is appropriate to mention the attractiveness of treks into the forests and mountains of Samsun, where the tourists are surprised before the hospitality displayed by the villagers of the settlements they run into during their outings; Flat bread baked on a sheet of iron, fresh button, cheese, honey, treacle accompanied by a hot glass of tea is the reward of these treks.