Each country has landmarks, but Turkey has many. With natural and manmade landmarks that mesmerize everyone who has a chance to see them, Turkey offers visitors beauties from east to west
Having been home to many civilizations throughout history, Turkey has many landmarks to display. Every country has a landmark that comes to mind as soon as you name it. Turkey is slightly different as it has many landmarks from east to west that will take your breath away. So, those planning to visit Turkey need to make a long list of what they want to see. When you visit, landmarks give clues about the past and present. To understand the country’s stories, landmarks are perfect destinations. If you do not want to miss its famous landmarks, here is your guide:
x Manmade landmarks
– The Maiden’s Tower in Istanbul : The Maiden’s Tower is situated in the middle of the Bosporus like a beautiful girl displaying Istanbul’s beauty. Standing between the two sides of the Bosporus, the gorgeous Maiden’s Tower, which is seen in almost every photo or picture of Istanbul, always draws visitors’ attention. The mysterious history of the Maiden’s Tower stretches back 2,500 years and tells a story concerning a beautiful Byzantine princess. According to legend, this princess was quartered in this tower since soothsayers had predicted her early death by snakebite. Her father, Emperor Constantine, who loved her dearly, built an extended castle near the spot where the present tower exists and placed her there to avert this fatal end. Eventually, the girl could no longer avoid her fate and was bitten by a snake, which had entered the castle in a basket of grapes. It is amazing to see the Maiden’s Tower or any other site in the city with the silhouette of Istanbul behind it.
– Sumela Monastery in the northern province of Trabzon : The Sumela Monastery in the northern province of Trabzon in the Black Sea region tops the list of must-visit places for those looking for a landmark in the north. At an altitude of approximately 1,300 meters and located 40 kilometers from the city center, the monastery is constructed on the ledge of a steep cliff on the slopes of Karadag overlooking the Altındere Valley in the district of Macka. In recent years, the monastery has been reconstructed and opened to worshippers after nearly 90 years. The monastery is a unique, charming structure in the forest, making it impossible not to fall in love with history when you see its beauty. If you want to discover a hidden monastery by climbing a mountain, Sümela Monastery should be on your list.
– Mount Nemrut in the eastern province of Adiyaman : Described as an outstanding universal treasure, Mount Nemrut is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its many large statues, which are assumed to be royal tombs from the first century B.C. The mountain is one of the best places to view glorious history. Every year, hundreds of tourists come to the mountain to witness history in person, including the artistic achievements of the Hellenic period and the fascinating beauty of the monumental sculptures. While the statues are magnificent at any time of day, the mountain offers all of its beauty at sunset. When you see the sun setting on the mountain, you will be mesmerized by the landscape, just don’t forget to take your best camera along if you head to Mount Nemrut.
– Troy in the western city of Canakkale : Located in the western city of Canakkale, the historic city of Troy has existed for over 4,000 years and is known as a core of ancient civilization. Even though it is legendary, the city of Troy as we know it today was found in the 19th century. The famous archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann undertook the first excavations at the site in 1870. Considering its story, it can be said that those remains are the most significant indicator of contact between Anatolian and Mediterranean civilizations. Troy, one of the most famous cities in history, is remembered for giving us Hector, Achilles and the Achaean Greeks and the saga of Helen, Paris, Agamemnon and Priam. The story of Trojan heroes and Achilles’s heel, which Homer wrote about in “The Odyssey,” has become a cornerstone in poems and Western mythos. If you want to witness history, Troy should top your must-see list for Turkey.
– Ephesus in the western province of Izmir : Located in the western province of Izmir, Ephesus, Efes in Turkish, is one of the ancient Greek cities in the region. Built in the 10th century B.C., the city was founded by Attic and Ionian colonists. The Temple of Artemis in the city is the most well-known ancient ruin because it is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. This ancient city has one of the seven churches of Asia as cited in the Book of Revelations. Along with the Temple of Artemis, the House of the Virgin Mary is another destination that makes Ephesus worth a visit, as legend says that the Virgin Mary spent her last days in Ephesus, and since the 19th century the house of the Virgin Mary has been regarded as the place where she spent her final days. Many Catholics on pilgrimage visit the House of the Virgin Mary.
– Sultanahmet Mosque in Istanbul : Sultanahmet, also known as the Blue Mosque, is not as blue as you might expect, but still amazes visitors for its magnificence and the surrounding area on the historical peninsula where many civilizations have left their mark. The mosque was constructed during the rule of Sultan Ahmed I opposite the Hagia Sophia. According to claims, Ahmed I ordered the construction of the mosque to show the glory of Islam in the face of Christianity and asked the mosque’s architect, Sedefkar Mehmet Aga, to build a glorious mosque larger than the Hagia Sophia. But Aga constructed the Blue Mosque only one hand span taller than the Hagia Sophia so as to not be disrespectful and demonstrate the Islamic value of modesty. Today, the Blue Mosque and its surrounding area are among the most visited places in Istanbul.
x Natural landmarks
– Chimera in the southern province of Antalya : Chimera, called “yanartas,” meaning “burning stone” in Turkish, located in the town of Olympos in the southern province of Antalya, stands as one of the most mesmerizing examples of eternal flames around the world. The cause of the burning flames is methane gas oozing from the rocks on the mountain. These burning flames are believed to have been the volcanic area depicted by the Roman author and natural philosophers Pliny the Elder, as “a flame that does not die by day or by night.” Legend says that in ancient times, sailors used these flames to find their way, while they were sailing on the Mediterranean Sea.
– Pamukkale in western province of Denizli : Known as Hierapolis, Pamukkale, cotton castle in Turkish, is accepted as a gift of nature for those who visit. Pamukkale was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1988 based on natural and cultural criteria. Famous for its hot springs and travertines – terraces of carbonate minerals left by flowing waters – Pamukkale is located in western Turkey and calls on those looking for a relaxing experience. There are dozens of artifacts and Greek monuments remaining from the ancient city of Hierapolis. With remains from different civilizations, natural wonders and pure white travertines formed from hot calcium-filled mineral waters, Pamukkale has three different thermal regions – Saraykoy, Karahayit and Golemezli – that are accepted as health-giving places with springs and mud baths. In Pamukkale you can spend a day or just a few hours for a completely organic cure for your skin diseases and to visit the amazing travertines that enable you to see the kind of beauty that nature is able to create.
– Cappadocia in the central Anatolian province of Nevsehir : With fairy chimneys and a secret valley, Cappadocia in central Anatolia is a great way to witness Anatolian history. Cappadocia can be described as a paradise, with its volcanic landscape offering challenging scenery, and slick rocks with lush, green tracks, caves, tunnels and canyons waiting to be explored. Through wind and melting snow, the region has been carved out of volcanic rock over centuries and displays amazing colors and shapes unique to Cappadocia, such as the fairy chimneys, also known as hoodoos. This magical region has some of the most renowned ancient natural wonders and invites you to explore the core of Anatolia.
– Koprulu Canyon National Park in the southern city of Antalya : Nestled among cedar trees and the Kopru River, the canyon embraces adventurous spirits looking to explore an unsoiled place in Antalya, one of the top tourist destinations in Turkey. After passing through mountains where green streams flow and virgin forests grow, Köprülü Canyon shows all its beauty to visitors. Resembling another natural wonder of Turkey, the fairy chimneys, Koprulu Canyon one-ups this thanks to its river. You can feel the adrenaline from river rafting and enjoy getting wet in the crystal clear spring water and rapid waves. When you arrive in the canyon to camp, you will be mesmerized by the spectacular view of Taurus Mountain and the surrounding national park. Marked as the longest canyon in Turkey at 14 kilometers, Köprülü Canyon’s wall are up to 100 meters high.,
Source Daily Sabah