MEDITERRANEAN AREA

ANTALYA MUSEUM HADRIANUS FALLS PERGE ASPENDOS SİDE
OLYMPOS TERMESSOS PHASELIS KANYON MYRA SAGALASSOS


AEGEAN AREA

PAMUKKALE EPHESUS MILETOS DIDYMA PRIENE PERGAMUM

 

MARMARA AREA
TOPKAPI PALACE HIPPODROME BLUE MOSQUE HAGHIA SOPHIA COVERED BAZAAR
CENTRAL ANATOLIA
CAPPADOCIA

ASPENDOS (47 km east of Antalya)

       Though the city has roots that stretch to Hittite times, Aspendos is primarily famous for its stupendous Roman theatre which now hosts an opera and ballet festival every June. With a seating capacity of 20,000, the theatre is one of the largest ancient buildings in Asia Minor and one of the best preserved in the world.

SİDE (70 km west of Antalya)

      The ancient city was the most important harbour of Phamphylia. The city was situated on a peninsula with an approximate width of 400 m. It had a shipyard, and in the 2nd and 3rd century B.C. was a meeting place for pirates. The theatre is the biggest one in Phamphylia and one of the most important in Asia Minor. To the west of the harbour lie two ruined buildings which were once probably the temples of Apollo and Athena. A Byzantine basilica was built here in the 5th century A.D.

 PERGE (15 km east of Antalya)

      Like many ancient cities of this region, Perge was settled by Greeks after the Trojan war. Dedicated to Artemis, goddess of the hunt, there was especially revered shrine in the city that attracted votive offerings of extreme value. However, most of what's left to see dates from Roman times including a stadium which held 15,000 and is in an excellent state of preservation.

PHASELIS (50 km south of Antalya)

      Here is an enchanting Hellenistic city with a racy history to match. The citizens grew so rich on trade in wood and rose attar with Egypt that they seem to have developed rather decadent and venal tendencies, at least to judge from ancient scribes. We are told the men of Phaselis enjoyed bouffant hairdos and cheating tourists, painted their tombs in gaudy colours and sold citizenship to any undesirables who could pay. Sounds like the scribes were jealous.

 TERMESSOS (35 km north-west of Antalya)

      This ancient city known as "the Eagle's Nest" is high on a mountain top and belonged to a people so fiercely independent they even managed to deter Alexander the Great. Prepare yourself for more than a 1000 m trudge up to the top, but it's worth it. It is one of the best preserved ancient cities of Phamphylia.

 ANTALYA ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM

         This museum houses one of the best archaeological collections in Turkey and is well worth seeing. Everything from Bronze Age urn burials and Phrygian figurines to present century ethnography is displayed with meticulous care, and when your feet wear out, there is a beautiful Roman sculpture garden with a café.

 HADRIAN'S GATE

        One of the most impressive and well preserved antiquities in Antalya which has maintained its grandeur in spite of the 20th century. Built in 130 A.D., it consists of three gates 14 meters high, constructed by the Romans in honour of a visit by the Emperor Hadrian.

 ANTALYA FORTRESS AND HARBOUR

  The ancient city is still known as 'Kaleiçi' (the inner citadel). Take a walk back in time and wander the narrow streets with their distinctive timber-framed houses, stone archways and private gardens. Some have been restored as summer residences. The ancient Harbour is now a thriving marina which can hold over 100 yachts.

 DUDEN AND KURSUNLU FALLS

       Duden Falls; Former grandeur apparent but falling water levels have left some parts, literally, high and dry. One of the unprepossessing (and unmarked) back roads leads down to a superb trout farm. Select your catch and it comes on a sizzling platter with a simple salad.

      Kursunlu Falls; Secluded, romantic setting with high falls cascading into a great green pool.

 OLYMPOS NATIONAL PARK - CHIMAERA (60 km west of Antalya)

      Coniferous forests, towering mountains and the sea as a backdrop will knock your senses for a loop. This is the home of the fire breathing mountain called the Chimaera. Olympos is situated on both sides of the mouth of a brook, which dries up in the summer. The whole ruined site is heavily covered with trees and bushes. The finds from Olympos are from the Lycian period up to Byzantine times.
     The volcano on Olympos Mountain, which is still active, is also well known (hardly accessible). This wonder of nature is at the north of the ancient city Olympos at a height of 300 metres. The Turks call this place "Yanar". The ruins of the Hephaistos (god of fire) sanctuary are around the volcano. In antiquity it was associated with the Chimaera, a fire-breathing monster part lion, part goat and part snake, slain by the hero Bellerophon.

 KOPRULU KANYON NATIONAL PARK (80 km northwest of Antalya)

 The twisting road winds over mountain streams and passes through virgin cedar forest. An enormous Roman bridge spans the canyon in a divine forest setting. It has become a rafting centre in recent years.

 MYRA (120 km west of Antalya)

 At Demre, the ancient Myra, with many splendidly carved rock tombs overlook the magnificent Roman theatre. St. Nicholaus was the bishop of this Mediterranean city during the fourth century, and died here in 342 A.D. Every year in December the Santa Claus Commemoration Ceremony attracts many tourists, who spend their Christmas holidays on the sunny coast of ancient Lycia.

 PAMUKKALE (Cotton Castle) - HIERAPOLIS

       Located in the province of Denizli, ancient Hierapolis is a noted spa, where calcareous hot springs descending over hundreds of meters have created fascinating travertines in the form of white terraces and basins. There are large pools fed by thermal hot springs for bathing, and many columns and ruins from ancient Hierapolis, founded by Pergamene King Eumenes II. The entire kingdom of Pergamon, including Hierapolis, was bequeathed to the Romans in 133 B.C.
      Hierapolis The ruins spread over a mile from the city founded by Eumenes of Pergamon and bequated by Attalos II to Rome. It was leveled by an eartquake in 17 A.D. but was rapidly rebuilt and enjoyed prosperity between the 2nd and 3rd centuries.

 CAPPADOCIA

      The detritus spewed forth by the volcanic activity formed tuff, a soft, porous rock that is easily eroded by the elements producing the marvelous fairy chimneys and other formations and permitting the elaborate tunneling for churches. St.Peter refers to Christians dwelling in Cappadocia as early as the 1st century A.D. and it is known that there were groups in Caesarea who had accepted Christianity during the 2nd century. And..

 SAGALASSOS

      37 km from Burdur, Where one can see a Roman Theatre seating 12.000 dating from the 11nd Century A.D., funeral vaults, column capitals and a Castle that has survived from the Middle Ages.

 EPHESUS

       Ephesus, the ancient Roman capital for Asia Minor and the prosperous sea port from the reign of Alexander the Great to the time of early Christianity, is one of the ancient cities in Turkey that will make an unforgettable impression on you. According to tradition, it was one of the most important cities of antiquity and was founded by Adrocles. The city was colonized by the lonians in the 10th century B.C. ...
       The House of Virgin Mary
       St. Paul and St. John preached and lived in Ephesus for a while. It is also quite conceivable that Virgin Mary spent her last days in the city, and on her death buried here. The House of Virgin Mary, is now a popular site of pilgrimage for Christians, and has received the official sanction of the Vatican.

 MILETOS, DIDYMA and PRIENE

        Miletos was a great Ionian port, with two lions that guarded its entrance, and the native city of several philosophers and sages.The Theatre, reconstructed in the Roman period, is an impressive structure built against the slope of a hill. The ruins of the Faustina Baths are well preserved and the agora area is strewn with delicately carved white marble ruins.
      Didyma possesses only a single monument, but it is nevertheless a marvellous site. The temple of Apollo was one of the most sacred places of antiquity. Many times looted and burned, the sanctuary is still impressive and of an elegant beauty. The colossal marble temple was surrounded by a portico of double colonades. The columns that remain standing allow one to visualize the full magnificance of the building.
      Priene was one of the most active ports of the Ionian Federation. Priene was built on the Hippodamian system by Hippodamus of Miletos in the 4th century B.C. in which according the city plan, streets intersect at right angles, and is the oldest and finest example of this type to be found among Hellenic cities. The atmosphere of the town as it was in antiquity, still pervades the well-preserved main roads and streets lined with buildings.

PERGAMUM

     Bergama; originally named as Pergamum, is one of the most important centres of the region since ancient times. The most significant period in its history was the Hellenistic period, from the conquest of Alexander in 334 B.C. onwards. At the time the city was expanded according to a plan typical of the Hellenistic period. The original Roman buildings, palaces and other largescale constructions have been left, sadly, out of context in the new style city. Pergamum the commercial city, was also a city of considerable culture, as we may see from the library of 200.000 volumes. A highly expressionist form of sculpture was also the product of the city. From the remains of the city sprung monuments of unequalled importance. One of these, the Zeus Altar was transported wholesale to the Berlin Museum.

TOPKAPI PALACE

     Topkapı Sarayı ("Saray" means "Palace". It is the source of the English words "Serai", and "Seraighlio".) is undoubtedly one of the most important of İstanbul's many historical structures. It was one of the first buildings constructed after the Turkish conquest of the city and it was the uninterrupted seat of the Ottoman state until the building of Dolmabahçe in 1856.

MUSEUM OF HAGHIA SOPHIA

     Haghia Sophia means "Divine Wisdom". In the year 325, Constantine erected the first basilica, which was devasted by a fire in the year 404. In 415, Theodosis II reconstructed the church, but it was burned down during the Nika Revolt in 532. Forty days later Justinian I set out to rebuild the church; the famous architects Anthemios of Tralles and Isidoros of Miletus were appointed to be the master architects. The basilica with a grand dome was completed after five years, and was dedicated by Justinian in 537. After twenty years in 557 the dome collapsed. In 563 Justinian dedicated the church once again, and in the following years the church was restored many times. Right after the conquest the Turks added the minarets. In 1934 Atatürk had Haghia Sophia converted into in Museum.

THE HIPPODROME

     During the Byzantine era the Hippodrome was the center of civil activities. Not only chariot races and gladiator fights, but also celebrations in honor of the emperor took place here. Twice it was the site of bloody battles and riots.
   
  The Hippodrome is approximately 400m in length and 120m in width and seated 40,000 spectators. Along the sides, step-like seats were placed, and the Hippodrome had a semi-circular southern end called the sphendone. The central line of the racecourse, a strong and long wall, the so-called "spina", was decorated with obelisks and columns, a few of which are still standing.

THE BLUE MOSQUE or SULTAN AHMET CAMii

     One of the most beautiful and grand mosques in Istanbul rises to the east of “At Meydanı”, the old Hippodrome, opposite Haghia Sophia. It was founded by Sultan Ahmet I and was constructed by the architect Mehmet Ağa. Because of its blue green tiles it is also called the Blue Mosque. Here religious holidays were celebrated, and from here the pilgrims began their journey to Mecca.
   
  The Blue Mosque is the only mosque with six minarets in the world. Like Süleymaniye Mosque the Blue Mosque also has three sections: The outer courtyard, the inner courtyard and the domed central building.

THE COVERED BAZAAR

     In 1461 Sultan Mehmet II built the first bazaar of wood, now called “Eski Bedesten”, the primitive cell. After several fires the bazaar was reconstructed in 1894 (the most recent fire broke out in 1954)
     Today the dome building surrounded by a wall, occupies an area of 200,000 sq m. Approximately 5,000 shops are spread out in a giant labyrinth of small streets and passages, which are mostly arranged according to their trades: rugs, antiques, gold, silver, leather etc.

TROY (TRUVA)

     Its association with the poet Homer and the “Trojan War” makes this site a place of tourist attraction. Excavations made in the area have revealed nine levels of occupation dating from the end of the Chalcolithic to the Roman period, which extends over 4000 years.

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