Turkey – 8 of the biggest attractions

Although Turkey is associated primarily with good weather, beautiful beaches, great hotels and bazaars, it has much more to offer. Metropolis situated on two continents, ruins of ancient cities, amazing wonders of nature or intriguing canvas will delight everyone.

Istanbul, once called Constantinople, is the largest city in Turkey. For centuries, it was the capital of the Byzantine Empire and of the Ottoman Empire. Situated on two continents, it is a vibrant industrial and cultural center, exceptional in all around the world. It fascinate practically by everything there. Unusual tea rooms, small shops with carpets, trimmings, and stunning attractions. The main ones are Hagia Sofia, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, Theodosius Walls and Galata Tower.

Kizkalesi is a small town in southern Turkey, on east from the Turkish Riviera, is famous not only for its cosy beaches and warm Mediterranean waters, but first of all for its imposing fortress that seems to float on the waves. It is Kizkalesi – the Castle of the Virgin, from which the name has taken the coastal town.

Amasya is located about 130 km from the Black Sea coast, on the Yesilirmak River, surrounded by the picturesque landscape of the Pontysan Mountains. It is one of the largest pearls of northern Turkey. Here we will see magnificent mosques, carved in the rock tombs of the Kings of Pontu in Hellenistic times, or on the top of the hill ruins of the Byzantine citadel, with a magnificent view of the city.

Troy. Remains of the fairytale city were discovered in the nineteenth century in Anatolia. A city known for its war, described in the ancient Greek epic poem Iliad. The Trojan War broke out after the capture of beautiful Helena, the wife of King Sparta Menelaus, by Paris, one of the 50 sons of King Troy Priam. During the war there was one of the most famous duels – the Greek hero Achilles with the Trojan king Hektor.

The attempt of locating the city described by Homer on the modern world map was taken not until the 19th century. Since that time it has been thought that Troja was a city situated on the Hisarlik Hill, todays Turkey. In 1998, Troja was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Sumela Monastery. Orthodox monastery from the 13th century, located on a slope, with a beautiful church decorated with frescoes, chapels, monks and large library. Isn’t it encouraging? The Sumale Monastery in question was carved into the rock above the Altindere Valley near the town of Macka in north-eastern Turkey, 270 meters above the bottom of the canyon. He was active in the Ottoman Empire and was then called “Monte Cassino of the East.” In 1923 the monastyr was abandoned by the last monks.

You can visit the area of the whole monastery. Closest to the monument you can drive to a parking located at about 900 m above sea level. (After paying about 20TL). From this place by easy path we will get to the monastery in about 30 minutes.

Safranbolu. One of the most beautiful cities in Turkey, located in the province of Karabuk, about 100 km from the Black Sea coast, since the 13th century was an important stopover caravan on the East-West trade route. Safranbol architecture in the Ottoman Empire has survived to this day. In the Old Town there are over a thousand objects placed in the register of monuments! You can see here 25 mosques and hundreds of very old houses. The charm of this city gives a location in the gorge of the river Akcasu.

Pergamon was in ancient times the capital of the Pergamon Kingdom and one of the most beautiful Hellenistic cities. There was created the largest after Alexandrian Library, ancient book. To this day there is the theater built in steep slopes, the ruins of the Temple of Trajan, numerous fragments of the Temple of Dionysus, the foundation of the Great Altar of Zeus, the shrine of Asklepios (in the valley) or the partially reconstructed Temple of Trajan. These ruins can be admired on the acropolis, above the modern city of Bergama, located about 20 km from the coast of the Aegean Sea.

In Bergamas you can see the old Ottoman province with the 14th-century bridge and the ruins of the Red Basilica.

Pamukkale, the beautiful limestone terraces situated on the slope of the Turkish mountain of Cokelez, is one of the most recognizable attractions in the world. This snow-white countryside is less than 20 km from Denizli, and the UNESCO-protected national park created here is part of UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Hot water, rich in calcium and carbon dioxide, cooled down on the surface, precipitates calcium carbonate. Its settlements lay in picturesque infiltrates and stalactites. The whole creates terraces, which are called travertins.

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