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Historical Sites in Ankara

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Turkey
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Anitkabir
Before building of Anitkabir, Anittepe’s (Monument Hill ) name was Rasattepe (Observation Hill) because there was an observatory on this hill. There were also tumultuous (graves) belonging to Phrygian civilization of 3rd Century BC on this hill. Archaeological excavations took place to remove these tombs after the decision was given to build Anitkabir on Rasattepe. Remains found on these excavations are on display in the museum of Anatolian Civilizations. The first stage to start the construction was the expropriation of the land after deciding on the Anitkabir project. Actual construction of Anitkabir commenced on 9 October 1944 with a splendid ceremony by laying the first stone of the foundation. Construction of Anitkabir took nine years in four stages. Second stage construction, comprising the mausoleum and the auxiliary buildings surrounding the ceremonial ground, started on 29 September 1945 and completed on 8 August 1950. The third stage was comprising the construction of the roads leading to the mausoleum, Lions’ alley, ceremonial ground, the mausoleum’s upper-level stone pavement, grand stairs, putting the big tomb stone in its place and installation of electricity, plumbing and heating systems.
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Roman Baths
The ruins of the Roman Bath, located approximately 400 meters from Ulus, on Çankırı Avenue, stretching from Ulus Square, were completely unearthed by excavations in 1939-1943. With the works carried out between 1997-2001, it has gained the appearance of the Open Air Museum. The Roman Bath III. It is known that it was built by the Roman Emperor Caracalla (212-217) in the 19th century. The building, which was understood to have settled during the Phrygian, Roman, partly Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman periods, consists of 2 sections, the Pillared Road and the Hamam Building.
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Ancient Theatre of Ankara
The theatre was built on a semicircular plan, and the hillside of the citadel supported its audience. Two vaulted passages still lead to the orchestra, a semicircular space occupied by the choir during the performances. In the case of the theatre in Ankara, it has a diameter of about 13 meters and is surrounded by a thick wall. Unfortunately, it is not known what material was used for the floor of the orchestra. A proscenium, i.e. the platform where the actors performed, has also been preserved. Only the northern part of skene, the structure at the back of a theatre stage housing changing rooms and warehouses of props, has survived in Ankara. The choir used the passages called parodoi, of which the eastern one survived to our times in its entirety, and the western one - only in fragments. The seats in the theatre and radially ascending stairs were made of stones, debris, and plaster. The auditorium was divided into four horizontal sections. It is estimated that the theatre had from 20 to 22 rows of seats and it could accommodate between three and five thousand spectators. Therefore, it is a relatively small example of such a building in Asia Minor. The seats from the audience were later used to build the walls of the citadel, although archaeologists managed to excavate two of them in their original location. They were made of andesite, and their height was about 40 cm.
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Temple of Augustus Ankara
The temple of Augustus and Roma in Ankara was erected after the conquest of Central Anatolia by the Roman emperor Octavian Augustus in 25 BCE. The city, then known as Ancyra, became the capital of the newly formed Province of Galatia. After the death of Augustus in 14 CE, a copy of his autobiography entitled "Deeds of the Divine Augustus" was placed on the walls of the temple both in Latin and in Greek translation. There were many such copies the Roman Empire, but nowadays the inscription from Ankara, known as the Monumentum Ancyranum, is an almost completely preserved version of the text. This fact makes it a unique source of knowledge for researchers of this period of history. In the first half of the 3rd century BCE, the Celtic people from northern Europe reached the Anatolian highlands. Their route went through Macedonia and Greece, and the Greeks began to call them the Galatians. They came to Asia Minor not as invaders, but as mercenaries on the invitation from the king Bithynia, Nikomedes I. He needed their assistance in the fight against his brother, Zipoetes II.
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Sultan Han
Sultan Han Caravanserai is located in the Sultan Hani District of Bünyan District, located on the 46th km of Kayseri-Sivas road. The neighbourhood got its name from this work. It was built between 1232-1236 during the reign of Seljuk Sultan Alaeddin Keykubat I. It is one of the best examples of the Seljuk architect style. Very smooth cut stone was used on the body walls. The joints are very uniform and show a structure called "not to flow". The arch built with the alternating use of beige and brownstone attracts attention at the crown gate of the courtyard. Depending on the stone material, decorations with relief and carving techniques can be seen in the crown doors, two corner towers and Köşk Mescit.
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The Ancient Aizonai
The ancient city is situated southwest of Kütahya,in Çavdarhisar. The settlement dates back to 3000 BC.Aizanoi was settled on the two banks of River Rhyndakos that flowed through the region called ‘Phyrgia Epiktetus’(little Phyrgia)in ancient times. The name Aizanoi comes from the word eksouanous
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Sagalassos Ancient City (Burdur)
The ancient city of Sagalassos is located in the region known as Pisidia in antiquity. Situated at the edge of a mountainous area, the first settlement traces date back to 12,000 years ago. The ancient city of Sagalassos is extremely well preserved with its monumental structures where almost all of the original building stones can be found.
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Basilica Cistern
One of the magnificent ancient buildings of İstanbul is the Basilica Cistern located in the southwest of Hagia Sofia. Constructed for Justinianus I, the Byzantium Emperor (527-565), this big underground water reservoir is called as “Yerebatan Cistern” among the public because of the underground marble columns. As there used to be a basilica in the place of the cistern, it is also called Basilica Cistern. The cistern is a giant structure covering a rectangular area of ​​140 meters in length and 70 meters in width. Covering a total area of ​​9,800 m2, this cistern has a storage capacity of approximately 100,000 tons of water. There are 336 columns, each 9 meters high, inside this cistern, which is descended by a 52-step stone staircase. These columns, erected at intervals of 4.80 meters, form 12 rows of 28 columns each. Most of the columns, which are understood to have been collected from older structures, were carved from various types of marble and consisted of one piece and two pieces. The walls of the cistern, 4.80 meters thick, made of bricks and the brick-paved floor, were plastered with a thick layer of Horasan mortar and made water impermeable.
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Damlatas Cave
It was found in 1948 by accidantelly while getting stones for Alanya harbour. After that opned for public.It is one of the first cave which was opened for touristic reason in Turkey.
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Alanya Castle
One of the symbols of Alanya – the Alanya castle over the rocky peninsula in the middle of the city. The fortress that you can see today is a remain of 13th century Seljuk fortress built after the conquest of Alanya in 1220 by Alaeddin Keykubat I. However, the very first fortifications have most probably been built by pirates occupying the peninsula in 3rd century BC and later replaced and improved into Byzantine and Roman fortifications over the centuries. The latest Seljuk Alanya castle is app. 250m over the sea level and its walls have great 6,5km in length. There used to be 140 towers along the walls and around 400 cisterns in the castle. The fortifications formed three separated divisions – one for the sultan and his family, one for the army and one for the ordinary people. During the Ottoman era, the Alanya castle was used only for defensive purposes and there were many private villas built within the fortress in the 19th century.
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Cotton Castle
Pamukkale, meaning "cotton castle" in Turkish, is a natural site in Denizli Province in southwestern Turkey. The city contains hot springs and travertines, terraces of carbonate minerals left by the flowing water.
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Hierapolis
Hierapolis was established by King Eumenes 2 and was given the name of "Hiera" in the honour of the wife of Telephos, the legendary establisher of the ancient Pergamum.
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Kyrenia Castle
Kyrenia Castle is located near the harbour, which is horse shoe shaped. It was originally built by the Romans in the Third century to defend the city, which was located up on the hillside. In the Tenth century, the Byzantines then further enhanced the shape of the castle in order to protect the people of the city from Arab pirates.
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The Castle of Ravadinovo
From the first glance, the Castle is made in the style of the classic Western European castles combining various styles from the Renaissance and Romantic periods – but this comes not to be true! The style of the Castle is one and only – the unique Fairy style. This is the secret of its magic impact – the dream that came true to make a castle existing only in fairy-tales.
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Bellapais Abbey
Bellapais Abbey is located in the hillside, 6 miles South East of Kyrenia. The Abbey is the best example of Gothic architecture in Cyprus, as well as being ones of the finest in the Middle East. Built by the Lusignans, the first settlers in Bellapais Abbey were the Agustinas Monks, who escaped from Jerusalem in late Twelth century.
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Ephesus
The ancient city of Ephesus is Turkey’s most important ancient city, and one of the best-preserved and restored. One can still stroll for hours along its streets passing temples, theatres, libraries, houses and statues. It contains such grand public buildings as the impressive Library of Celsus, the theatre, the Temple of Hadrian and the sumptuous Temple of Artemis which is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The ruins also include public toilets and even a brothel dating mostly from the fourth century BC. Ephesus is particularly important for faith tourism as it contains the House of the Virgin Mary. It is believed that the Virgin Mary was taken to this stone house by St John, where she lived until her death at the age of 101. The Church of the Virgin Mary, close to the original harbour of Ephesus, was the setting for the Third Ecumenical Council in 431. Two other religious sites worth visiting are the Basilica of St John, built in the sixth century, and İsa Bey Mosque, which is a sample of Seljuk architecture. Ephesus is not just a touristic site. It is home to the International İzmir Festival utilizing its grand amphitheatre, Celsus Library and the House of the Virgin Mary.
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Kyrenia Gate
The Kyrenia Gate in the North Cyprus is one of the three gates on the walls surrounding the old city of Nicosia. This gate was one of the most important entry-exit points of the city. It is also known as the "Del Providetore Gate" after the architecture Proveditore Francesco Barbaro.
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Aquae Calidae
The place brings together the rich history, and attracts its visitors with many different possibilities for relaxation and entertainment. The archaeological values found on that place such as the fortress walls of the ancient city of Terme (Thermopolis), the Roman baths of the 1st century AD with a warm and cold swimming pool, and various medieval rooms are accessible to tourists through the modern footbridges that facilitate their passage and viewing. The complex allows citizens and guests of Burgas to visit the fully renovated bathroom of Suleiman the Magnificent. Upon restoration, the original vision is strictly adhered, lined with marble and typical oriental ceramics. The authenticity is complemented by natural and artistic lightning that performs the act of a functioning museum where visitors can watch a movie based on 3D mapping. It leads the tourists to a virtual walk from the Thracian times and the Sacred Spring of the Three nymphs-healers through the Roman period, the Crusades – until the time of Suleiman the Magnificent.
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Archeological museum
Archeological museum The Archaeological Museum of Rhodes is housed in the medieval building which served as the Hospital of the Knights of St. John. The structure was begun in 1440 by Grand Master de Lastic with money bequeathed by his predecessor, Fluvian, and was completed in 1489 by Grand Master d’Aubusson.
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Aleppo Castle
One of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Aleppo preserves remnants of more than four millennia of Near Eastern history. The Citadel of Aleppo is a densely layered microcosm of this long and complex history. The majority of the structures on the citadel were erected by the Ayyubids in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, but substantial structures are also preserved from the Ottoman period (beginning in the sixteenth century). The citadel was built on a natural limestone outcropping rising some 100 feet (30 meters) above the level of the surrounding plain. Its high walls, imposing entry bridge, and great gateway remain largely intact and dominate the skyline of the city. Within its walls, the fabric of the citadel’s inner spaces has been compromised by a succession of invasions, earthquakes, and natural decay caused by exposure to the elements. Recent excavations uncovered substantial remains of an important Bronze Age neo-Hittite temple, in use for the most part of the third and second millennia B.C. The temple is decorated with an elaborate system of reliefs that depict deities and fantastic creatures and that are an important addition to the record of this early period in Syria’s history.
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Hala Sultan Tekke Mosque
This historic mosque is located 3km west of Larnaka on the road to Kiti, on the main Salt Lake. After the Arab armies successfully landed in Larnaka in 648AD, the Holy Helper and aunt of Mohamed - Umm Haram - died at the site when she fell off her mule.
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Bodrum Castle
One place of Bodrum that no visitor to this great city should miss is the famous Bodrum Castle, which overlooks the harbour and the international marina. This castle was constructed by the Knights of Rhodes in the 15th century during the crusades of the middle ages, and it was given the name The Castle of St. Petrus, or Petronium. Occupying over 30.000 square feet at its base, construction of this castle took years to complete. The castle was built partly from the left remains of the mausoleum of Mausolus which had collapsed as the result of an earthquake. The huge exterior walls were designed in the early 15th century by the German architect Heinrich Schlegelholt and were strengthened by five towers known usually as the English tower, the Italian tower, the German tower, the French tower and the Snake tower. The French tower of the castle is thought to be the earliest one with the others being added during the following century. After the French Tower, The Italian tower was built in 1436 by Italian architect Angelo Mascettola. The final parts of the castle were erected in the time of Pierre d’Abusson between 1476 and 1593, with the English tower being added at around 1480. Towers of the St. Peters Castle, BodrumThe walls of the Bodrum castle contain the nearly 250 coats of arms and armorial bearings of many of the knights that served there. Captured in 1522 by the Ottomans during the reign of Kanuni Sultan Suleyman, the church on the castle was converted into a mosque.
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Tombs of the Kings
The famous ‘Tombs of the Kings’ form part of the Archaeological Park of Kato Pafos (Paphos) - one of the most important archaeological sites of Cyprus that has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list since 1980. The monumental underground tombs are carved out of solid rock and date back to the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Rather than kings, it is actually high ranking officials and aristocracy that were buried here, but the size and splendour of the tombs – some decorated with Doric pillars - gave the locality its grand name. Some of the tombs imitate the houses of the living, with the burial chambers opening onto a peristyle atrium. They are similar to tombs found in Alexandria, demonstrating the close relations between the two cities during the Hellenistic period.
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The Temple of Hera
According to Greek mythology, the goddess Hera was born in Samos. There are still remaining ruins of her temple – only one pillar is standing, about half of its original height – close to the south coast of the island. Heraion had been established since the Geometrical period as a sacred place and remained such until the Roman era. It is a dipteral Ionic temple with 115 colossal columns.
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Archaeological Park of Kato Pafos
The Archaeological Park of Kato Pafos (Paphos) is one of the most important archaeological sites of Cyprus and has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list since 1980. Nicocles, the last King of Palaipafos moved the city from the previous location to its present location near the harbour at the end of the 4th century BC. Between the 2nd century BC and 4th century AD, Pafos was the capital city of Cyprus. The Park includes sites and monuments from the 4th century BC to the Middle Ages, while most remains date to the Roman period. The intricate mosaic floors of four Roman villas (the houses of Dionysos, Theseus, Aion and Orpheus) form the impressive epicentre of the finds, and depict various scenes from Greek Mythology. The complex also includes other important monuments, such as the Asklepieion, the Odeon, the Agora, the Saranta Kolones (Forty Columns) Castle, the Limeniotissa ruins of an Early Christian Basilica, and the Tombs of the Kings.
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Paphos Castle
Standing grandly at the west end of the town’s harbour, Pafos (Paphos) Castle (Medieval Fort) was originally a Byzantine fort built to protect the harbour, and was rebuilt by the Lusignans in the 13th century, but then dismantled by the Venetians. The Ottomans rebuilt it in the 16th century when they conquered the island. What survives today is the 1592 Ottoman restoration of the western Frankish tower with its Venetian additions. An inscription above the only entrance of the castle bears witness to this restoration. The main part of the castle is a big square tower that has an enclosed courtyard in the middle. The ground floor consists of a central hall with small rooms on each of its two long sides, which were used as prison cells during Ottoman Rule. There are 12 battlements on the roof, which received a corresponding number of cannons. The Ottomans removed the cannons in 1878, when they handed over the administration of the island to the British, who used the castle as a salt store until 1935, when it was declared an Ancient Monument under the Antiquities Law.
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Limassol City Center
Limassol's historical centre is located around its medieval Limassol Castle and the Old Port. Today the city spreads along the Mediterranean coast and has extended much farther than the castle and port, with its suburbs stretching along the coast to Amathus.
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Kourion Archaeological Site
The archaeological remains of Kourion - which was one of the island’s most important city-kingdoms in antiquity - are of the most impressive on the island, and excavations have unearthed many significant finds, which can be viewed at the site.
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The Limassol Castle
The Limassol Castle is situated in the centre of old Limassol, is a remnant from the presence of Crusaders on the island. It was built in the 13th century on the site of an earlier Byzantine castle and has been converted today into the Cyprus Medieval Museum.
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Sumela Monastery
Sumela is 1600 year old ancient Orthodox monastery located at a 1200 meters height on the steep cliff at Macka region of Trabzon city in Turkey.
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Casa Romana - Roman Villa
The "Casa Romana", or the Roman Manor is one of the most interesting sites on the island of Kos. In 1933 the great earthquake nearly destroyed the whole island. The Italians, who at the time of the earthquake were occupying the island, perceived the destruction as an opportunity to reconstruct the city's building plan, conducting numerous excavations, with the knowledge that beneath the leveled structures ancient monuments lay.
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Hagia Sophia Museum
Hagia Sophia is the one of the most visited museums and most prominent monuments in the world in terms of art and the history of architecture. It has also been called “the eighth wonder of the world” by East Roman Philon as far back as the 6th century.
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Historical and Archeological Museum
Kerch's Historical and Archeological Museum is one of Ukraine's oldest museums and has one of the largest collections of unique exhibits from different ages. Therefore, it rightly occupies one of the leading places among Kerch Peninsula's attractions.
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Mount Mithridat
Mount Mithridat towers above the town for almost one hundred meters and is rightly considered to be Kerch’s main tourist attraction and its imperishable symbol. Different historical and cultural epochs interweaved in this wonderful place and left their landmarks in form of unique monuments on the mountain's slopes and at its foot.
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Church of St. John the Baptist
The Church of St. John the Baptist, located at the bottom of the Lviv High Castle near the Old Market (medieval Lviv’s major trade center), is one of the oldest monuments of architecture in the city.
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Tsar's Burial Mound
The Kerch Peninsula was always famous for the multitude of ancient burial mounds, however, the Tsar's Burial Mound rightly bears a title of one of the most mysterious and mind-boggling ones. This unique monument of burial architecture, built on the natural 18-meter (60 feet) high hill in the 4th century B.C., is considered to be the true masterpiece of antique architecture. Amazing with its original perfect architectural forms, the Tsar's Burial Mound is the burial vault for one of the Bosporian kings. Historians believe that Tsar Levkon I, under whom the Crimean Bosporus reached the peak of its power and economic prosperity, was buried here. The burial mound strikes, in the first place, with its unusual construction, which was innovative for those times. Built from right-angled stone slabs, peculiar 37-meter long roofed corridor - dromos - leads to the burial room's entrance. Due to original construction, the corridor creates an interesting illusion: if you look down in it from the barrow's entrance, the way to the vault seems shorter and broader than if you look from inside. This illusion was attained through the different breadth and non-parallelism of the dromos' walls. In this way, the ancient builders wanted to show that the way to the after-death world is short, but the way out seems very long. Others believe that burial mound's corridor symbolizes soul's transferring into the next world.
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Yeni-Kale Fortress
The former Turkish fortress Yeni-Kale, whose picturesque fragments stand on the coast in the eastern part of the city, is a valuable monument of architecture and is reckoned among the most interesting and symbolic attractions of Kerch. The powerful fort with original shapes was built by Turks in the early 18th century, during aggravation of the conflict between the Ottoman and the Russian empires, caused by longtime rivalry for dominance in the Black Sea. Fortress’s construction was supervised by an eminent Italian architect with assistance of French engineers. Built within several years, the fortifications were called Yeni-Kale, which means New Fortress in Turkish. Situated on the steep shore of the Kerch Bay’s narrowest part and armed with massive guns, the fort had a high strategic importance for Ottomans and brilliantly performed its primary function: prevented Russian Empire’s ships from moving in direction of the Azov Sea and the Black Sea. In addition, Yeni-Kale was a residence of the Turkish pasha.