St. Paul Trail. Tota - Zarzela - Kasimlar Hike 7,20 km

Starting off through dense forest you pick up the St Paul trail markings around some scattered farmhouses and follow past a great spring to the mysterious site of Zarzela/Zorzila. You enter the settlement and arrive with the most impressive of the buildings. What this building is is unknown, some suggest a church but the orientation is wrong and there appear to be the foundations of a church a bit further along. More probable would be a small bathhouse to be used by travelers along the way. The site was only recently recorded for official protection, however illegal excavations by treasure hunters have happened, indeed some were ‘caught red-handed’ after the local Gendarmerie left hidden cameras at the site. The site itself offers great views of the Kasımlar valley and Mt Dedegol. While the city was never an important one, it had a bishopric and is still on the list of cities where the Catholic Church maintains a ‘Titular See’, a title that represents a lost community that may be reformed one day.

 

The rest of the walk is generally a descent back to Kasımlar following a ridge, surrounded on 3 sides by the Koprucay river, now dammed just below Kasımlar for hydro-electricity

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