5 Worthwhile Cities to See in Turkey
Turkey is a colorful country with a rich cultural heritage, centuries-old history, strong traditions, and beautiful landscapes. Turkey combines oriental flavor, modern resorts and unique climate and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. Turkey is so interesting and unique that it is hard to choose a single city to visit – you want to see everything. Here is an overview of the five most attractive touristic cities in Turkey.
Istanbul is Turkey's beautiful capital
The heart of the country and the most visited Turkish city, once called Constantinople. Located on the coast of the Bosphorus Strait, the city is Turkey's industrial and cultural center. At different times Istanbul was the capital of the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Ottoman state and the Latin Kingdom. And each of these periods left a different memory in the form of various objects and attractions. The biggest of them are Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia Museum, Topkapi Palace, Mosque of Roksolana Mihrimah Sultan, Galata Tower, Beyazit complex, Basilica underground water reservoir. Also Istanbul has a lot of museums, big shopping malls, and modern entertainment complexes.
One of the main attractions in the Turkish city of Izmir is Konak Square
A major city with ruins of the ancient Greek city of Smyrna. Smyrna is thought to be the oldest ancient settlement in Asia Minor, which has existed since the 3rd millennium BC.э., until it was conquered by the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century. Today Izmir is considered a cultural and tourist center with the second largest port in the country. Izmir is a unique example of combination of modern technology and thousands of years of history dating back to the Bronze Age. In terms of beauty and number of attractions Izmir is not inferior to Western European cities. It's worth visiting not only for the well-preserved ruins of Smyrna, where excavations are still underway, but also for such curious places as the Museum of Archaeology, Konak Square, the largest Turkish market in Kemeralti, the Velvet Castle on Mount Pagos and many more. There are also the ruins of famous Troy in Izmir province.
The Library of Celsus in Ephesus
Located on the coast of Asia Minor west of Selcuk and is known worldwide for the fact that this area was once the center of the cult of Artemis, the ancient Greek goddess of hunting and fertility. The temple of Artemis was built in the 6th. э. and was included in the list of the Seven Wonders of the World. In the 1st millennium B.C. the temple of Artemis was built in the 6th century B.C. н.э. temple was burned by Herostratus in order to be remembered by posterity. Soon the temple was restored, but then the structure was desecrated by the Goths and then destroyed by the Christians. Until our days there is a single column from the once magnificent temple which according to some sources, could have been built by the Amazons. Also in Ephesus there are such monuments as Library of Celsus, market square, Roman theater, Odeon for meetings of the Senate, ruins of the temple to Emperor Hadrian, the House of the Virgin and many others.
One of the most picturesque cities in Turkey – Mardin
A southeastern Turkish city famous for its architecture. Mardin is conventionally divided into old and new city. Thanks to the ethnic diversity of the city's inhabitants, Mardin's Christian churches and monasteries coexist with mosques and minarets as well as castles and rock caves. The historical part of Mardin is a kind of an open-air museum, where behind every building there is a thousand-year history. Many houses have been handed down from generation to generation for six to eight hundred years. The architecture of Mardin is characterized by the Arabian style; many houses are decorated with fine stone carvings. Mardin has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1960, making it the second city, after Venice, to receive this honor.
The city of Kemer – for those who like to combine a beach holiday in Turkey with sightseeing
A large tourist center ringed by resort complexes. Tourists come to Kemer for the most beautiful beaches, the cleanest sea and perfect service. Kemer is rich in sights, of which there are many in the vicinity. The record-breaker in the number of visits is Pamukkale in the ancient settlement of Hierapolis. Here are the geothermal springs, white natural limestone terraces and reservoirs. According to legend, in Pamukkale Cleopatra took a bath, which was the secret of the beauty of the Egyptian queen. Also among the monuments of world significance are the Beldibi Cave, Canyon Heyniuk, Fire Mountain, Yoruk Ethnographic Park-Museum.