Zil Castle is one of the most distinctive monuments of the region. 15 kilometers south of the district centre, it is established on the western slopes of Fırtına Stream. The rock mass on which the castle was built is 750 meters above sea level and 100 meters above the stream bed. The castle comprises of outer walls, middle walls and the inner citadel. A pathway from the northwest leads to the door of the outer walls. There are three important buildings within the middle walls: the guard house, the chapel and the main tower. The beam traces and holes on the wall shows that the tower used to have four floors.
The walls have arched windows on the eastern side, and loophole holes on other sides. The top of the tower used to be a covered terrace. Zil Castle, like other castlesas Kale-i Bala, Ciha Castle and Kız Castles, provided the security of the region and the important medieval caravan route reaching İspir. The castle was used also after the conquest of the Ottomans. Two cannons found in the castle are exhibited in Trabzon Museum. The building which has a beautiful view overlooking the valley, has undergone a recent restoration.
Located in the southwest of the city centre, the castle is built on an area of 480 m². It consists of inner and lower castles. The inner castle is believed to be built under the reign of Justinian I (527-565) and the lower castle was built in the 13th century. The castle, built on a natural hill of 150 meters high, does not have a proper plan. The inner fortress is made of cut stone and rubble stone, has five towers and a semi-circular plan, and its entrance door is in the east. The lower castle is surrounded by walls that extend from the inner castle towards the northeast and northwest directions and reach the sea.
Located in the east of Hemşin Creek, Ciha Castle has a circular plan. The stonework of the walls is not uniform. The entrance gate of the castle is in the north east and supported by two towers. In the middle of it, there is another tower with a circle plan. It is thought to be used for surveillance and communication purposes.
It is located on a small peninsula in the west of Pazar district centre. The castle built on a rocky ground has no connection with the land. The stone masonry of the walls is strikingly neat. Although the exact date of its construction is unknown, it is thought to have been used in the 13th or 14th centuries. Today it stands with a
single watch tower.
Atatürk House Museum (Mataracı Mehmet Efendi Mansion)
Built in 1921, it is located in Müftü neighbourhood of the city centre. It is a three-storey mansion with an interior hall plan. Atatürk came to Rize during his country trip in 1924 and stayed in this house as the guest of Mehmet Mataracı. The Mataracı family donated the building to the Governorship of Rize. The renovated building exhibits today some belongings of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk as well as some ethnographic artefacts.
Rize Ethnographic Museum
Located in Piriçelebi neighbourhood, “Sarı Ev” (the Yellow House) is a 19-century example of civil architecture built with traditional building methods and materials. Today, the museum exhibits a total of 1179 artefacts including 76 archaeologic artefacts, 594 species, and 1129 ethnographic artefacts.
Çayeli Museum of Natural Life
Established on an area of 200 square meters next to Çayeli Cultural Centre, the museum is constructed solely with wooden craftsmanship and aims to explain the conditions under which the people of the Eastern Black Sea live. The museum exhibits agricultural artefacts and objects from the region’s daily life.Rize Lakes
Starting from an altitude of 2000 meters in the mountainous parts of the city, there are more than 50 small-surfaced lakes formed as a result of glacial erosion and accumulation. Some of these are cirque lakes and some are morainal lakes. The largest ones are Ambar Lake (glacial cirque lake) at an altitude of 2950 meters, Büyükdeniz Lake at an altitude of 2900 meters and Öküzyatağı Lake at an altitude of 2778 meters.
Ziraat Tea Garden
The park offers the possibility to incorporate the nature within the city, and also a panoramic scenery of the sea, Rize Castle and the city. The tea garden offers light snacks and beverages. The park is very attractive for its plant diversity including both plants growing in the region, and trees and flowers brought from different regions and having adapted to the humid climate.
Located in İslampaşa neighbourhood of Rize city centre, İslampaşa Mosque also known as Kurşunlu Mosque was built by İskender Cafer Paşa in 1571. The mosque has a rectangular plan and a dome with 24 windows.
Historical Masonry Arch Bridges
In Rize, there are numerous bridges used for crossing river valleys and accessing residences, plateaus and agricultural lands. Affected by the climate, the bridges have been repaired frequently. In general, their date of construction is unknown. All of the bridges are in form of circular or lightly pointed arch and have abutments on each side of the riverbed. This form also ensured protection from flooding. Mikron Bridge, Ortan Bridge, Şenyuva Bridge, Çat Bridge, Osmanlı (Timisvat) Bridge, Yeşiltepe Kaptanpaşa Bridge, Çağlayan Bridge, Gürgen Köyü Bridge, Koca Bridge (Dörtgözlü Bridge), Kantarlı Çamlıtepealtı Bridge, Levent Bridge, Diktaş Bridge, Dereköy Bridge, Suçatı 1 Bridge, Suçatı 2 Bridge, Suçatı 3 Bridge, Uğrak Köyü Bridge, Köşklü Bridge, Kızıltoprak Bridge, Aslandere Bridge are some of them.
Historical stone and wooden houses
In Rize, wood and stone are the traditional building materials. Wood is preferred because it is a building material that can be easily found and easily processed. You will come across dozens of wooden houses when you go up to Rize plateaus. Historical Rize Houses, also known as Fındıklı, İkizdere, Çamlıhemşin and Hemşin Houses, are stone and wooden houses built in the type of mansions. They are important cultural heritage assets that have managed to survive in many parts of the region.
Serender (Nayle) (Granary)
A very authentic architectural component of the region is the granaries called “nayla-naliye” or serender. Those wooden granaries are built in a place where they would get a maximum of sunlight and wind and raised from the ground by pillars. Serenders serve as granaries to keep food (corn, pulse, potatoes, butter, cheese, etc.) from rodents, wild animals and birds. In general, they are decorated with wooden ornaments. People use ladders to reach the granary. Today, some granaries are transformed into bungalows to accommodate visitors.
Pileki Cave, located in Çiftlik Village in İyidere District, is an artificial cave formed by the extraction of the pileki stone that is used to cook Black Sea specialties hamsikoli (anchovy bread) and corn bread. The cave formed as a result of this process at the end of thousands of years, consists of two large spaces at the entrance and then many tunnels. There are wells and lakes in it.
91 kilometers away from Rize city centre and 34 kilometers away from İkizdere district centre, Ovit Plateau is the new address for winter sports. With an altitude of 2640 meters, it has a perfectly suitable environment for winter sports. The plateau is used in the summer months as well: Visitors can do activities such as trekking, mountaineering, photo safari, jeep safari etc.
Amongst many streams of Rize like İyidere, Taşlıdere, Büyükdere, Hemşin, Fırtına and Çağlayan, Fırtına Stream is the most important and the most famous. It consists of a creation of cascading streams and creeks on Kaçkar Mountains’ slopes facing the Black Sea. The stream has a high flow and it is suitable for rafting.
Ardeşen Tunca Formulaz Festival
Wooden car races have been done in Rize since the early 1900s. It started as a children’s game and race and has turned into a festival since 2009. Tunca Formulaz Wooden Car Festival is a car race festival with strict rules: wooden Formulaz vehicles must be completely handmade. It must be made of wood except for nails. Formulaz pilots are also required to wear hair socks and rubber shoes. The wooden cars compete to finish the 1.6-kilometer-long track speeding 60-70 kilometers per hour.