Bayburt was once an important center on the ancient Silk Road and it was visited by Marco Polo and Turkish excursionist Evliya Celebi. There are remains of its Byzantine castle still exist. There are several interesting mosques, Turkish baths and tombstones in the city as well as the Catalcesme Underground City and the natural wonder Sirakayalar Waterfall.
The exact date for foundation of Bayburt is unknown. However, it is estimated around 100 BC. It is well-known that Bayburt is occupied by Roman Empire and after its division became a part of Eastern Romans. During the Byzantine age, Bayburt was a part of state (dependent state to Byzantine) called Heldia which was 4th of separate seven division. It is also known Bayburt castle is repaired by the Byzantine King Justinian I and later on invaded by Arabs. Turks took the control of the area first at 1054, and next 200 years it was occupied by many different empires.
The history of Bayburt Castel dates back to 2000 BCE, although we still don't know who first established it. The castel is being renovated by Turkish Ministry of Culture.
There are several interesting mosques. Ulu Camii, which is generally considered as one of the most important mosques in the region, was made by Ghiyath ad-Din Mas'ud II, the ruler of the Sultanate of Rûm. The mosque was restored completely in 1967. Another important mosque in the city is the Ferahşat Bey Mosque which was made by the White Sheep Turkomans in 1507. With its single dome, the mosque is a good example for the Turkish Anatolian mosque architecture. On the other hand, Yakutiye Mosque, which was completed in 1915, thanks to the association between the people of Bayburt, is one of the best examples of the late Ottoman buildings.
Parks and Nature
Bayburt has many delightful parks and open spaces like "Gençlik Parkı" (Youth Park), "Şehit Nusret Bahçesi" (Martyr Nusret Gardens) and "Genç Osman Parkı" . The city has 535.780m² 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 Mağarası" and "Helva Köyü Buz Mağarası".