Torul, a town in the mountains is both a town and the name of a district of Gümüşhane Province in the Black Sea region of Turkey. The district covers an area of 1,079 square kilometers or 417 square miles, with the town situated at an elevation of 1,113 meters or 3,652 feet in elevation. The Zigana Pass (Turkish: Zigana Geçidi) is a mountain pass situated in the Pontic Mountains in Gümüşhane Province close to its border with Trabzon Province in northeastern Turkey. This pass at 2,032 meters or 6,667 feet above sea level, is on the highway D.885 E97 60 kilometers or 37 miles from Gümüşhane and 120 kilometers or 75 miles from Trabzon on the Black Sea coast. The pass is snow covered five months a year but the Zigana Tunnel under the pass, at an elevation of 1,795 meters or 5,889 feet above sea level, is 1,702 meters or 5,584 feet in length. It is one of longest tunnels in the country and is named for the village of Zigana, a popular ski-resort located 3.5 kilometers or 2.2 miles southwest of the tunnel. Nearby Lake Limni is accessible on foot via a trail or by car on a paved road via Kalkanlı village. Above Torul, once known as Ardasa, near Gümüşhane the ruins of a medieval fortress, Ardasa Kalesi, perch on a ledge just before the Harsit Gorge. Torul is another place where, prior to 1850, silver mines were still in operation. In the valleys and villages between the Çit Deresi and the Ikisu Deresi, southeast of the town, there are numerous churches and monasteries.
Ardassa, under the administration of Torul, was in the district of Chaldia in Pontus, and was located 15 to 20 kilometers north west of Argyroupolis (Gümüşhane). Ardassa is identified with the ancient city of Dorylaion from which it's current name of Torul appears to originate from. The city is built on the banks of the Upper Harsiote (or Kanis) River. A castle is built on the side and north of this river as evidenced by Clavijo during his travels through Chaldia on the 30th of April 1404. During the middle ages Ardassa existed in Chaldia, one of the 6 powerful Byzantine seats, and was named Mesohaldion. It was the seat of the powerful family fiefdom of the Kabbazites, and the episcopal seat which was governed by the metropolis of Neocaesareia. During the period of Ottoman rule, Ardassa was devastated and depopulated whereupon Turkish noble Osman Bey moved in from the village of Monastir (Demirkapi) of Amprikanton, and chose to make it his new seat. From then on, it became a sub-district of the Ottoman Empire and a commerce/transportation center of the wider region, in which there existed a number of Greek villages. In 1901 the Ardassa bridge was built by chief builder Nik. Demirtzoglou of Santa and provided an increase in movement and transport to the town. The bridge still exists today. 40 Muslim and 5 Christian families lived in Ardassa. Many of the Greek families maintained businesses. Before the exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey in 1923, Ardassa was comprised of an administrative building, a court, a post office, businesses and inns as well as a temple which was dedicated in memory of Saint Sophia and the Dormition of the Virgin Mary. Torul, has historical significance in the regard that the Genoese seized the town of Trabzon during the crusades, and on many parts of the castles they built fire towers used for communication, with one of these being Torul Castle.
In the Eastern Black Sea Black Sea region, the Harshit River flowing through Torul is located within the boundaries of Gümüşhane Province which is one of the most important rivers in the region - deep and flowing through a narrow valley.
Torul is north of the eastern Black Sea Mountains Alacadağ at 2180 meters and the Rooster Mountains at 2396 meters as well as the Çakırgöl Mountains, located roughly northwest to southeast in direction. Giresun Mountains, forming extensions to the south east of the Balaban Mountains at 3450 meters surrounded the town. Historically much of the county's population has been living abroad because of the increased opportunity afforded by the large cities and an enhanced social life. The Torul Youth Association and Sports Club is active in Division 1 volleyball and in addition, there is a grass football field and training area and all kinds of sports activities can be accommodated in the town center with an indoor sports hall with a capacity of 1,000 persons. The Youth Center was founded for all kinds of artistic, sporting, and cultural activities which will be possible with the current capacity. The largest factors of the local economy are agriculture, livestock, mining, harvesting of forest products and pulp-kome manufacturing. More than half of the population lives in villages and towns in the surrounding areas. Those who derive their living from agricultural activities in the district center constitutes a large part of the residents. Tourism created by Mount Zigana Ski Center has brought tourists and increased interest to the area. The ski center is available at the summit of Mount Zigana possessing an 850 person per hour capacity and telex facilities with a 480 person per hour capacity as well as a baby-lift. A resort hotel with a capacity of 100 beds is privately owned and operated. In addition to the tourism attracted by the ski center a growing interest in nature tourism has the capacity to provide more winter tourism at Zigana Plateau, Artabel Lakes Nature Park, Lemnos Lakes and Karaca Cave.
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