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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
On the territory to the East and Northeast of the Forum (Agora) of Philippopolis in the years of Early Christianity were formed neighborhoods where several Christian churches were built. In the same area were found also the ruins of a synagogue - a unique building from that period.
The ruins of the Small Early Christian basilica were found during the construction works of "Maria Louisa" Blvd. The Small basilica is situated in the eastern outskirts of the Ancient city, next to the fortification wall with a tower from 2nd - 4th century AD.
The basilica has a central nave, flanked by two aisles. It is with one apse and with a narthex. A small chapel was built to the South and a baptistery is erected just next to the Northern aisle. The overall length of the basilica, including the apse, is 20 meters, and the width is 13 meters.
The basilica was built in the second half of 5th century AD with rich architectural decorations – marble colonnades separating the aisles, marble altar wall, pulpit and synthronos. The floors were covered with rich multicolour mosaic with geometrical motifs. The mosaic includes a panel with donor inscription. Remnants of an altar table were found.
Ancient Plovdiv Architectural and Historical Reserve (The Old Town) is located in the Central part of the city of Plovdiv on the Three Hills (Nebet Tepe, Taksim Tepe and Dzhambaz Tepe) and covers an area of about 35 ha. It was formed due to the continuous life over the centuries – from Prehistoric, Thracian, Hellenic, Roman, Late-ancient, Medieval, National Revival, and Post-Liberation periods to present days. The combination of the prevailing Antiquity, Middle Ages and Revival in an independent core within the modern city is one of a kind for our country.
From the Roman and the Late-ancient period in the Old Town have been best preserved the Ancient Theatre, the Ancient Forum, the Roman Stadium, Early Christian basilicas, public and private buildings, pipelines, street network and parts of the fortress walls, constructed in the Antiquity and the Middle Ages.
From the National Revival period the authentic architecture of houses as well as several churches and school buildings have been preserved. The residential buildings are divided into two main groups. The first group of houses corresponds to the mountain asymmetrical type, but it has been expanded and enriched for the needs of the urban life. The second group is the so-called “Plovdiv symmetrical urban house”. This group of buildings is characterized by a unique national interpretation of the European baroque.
The Ancient theatre of Philipoppol is one of the best-preserved ancient theatres in the World. It is located on the Southern slope of the Three Hills, in the saddle between Taksim and Dzhambaz tepe. Discovered by archaeologists from Plovdiv and reconstructed in the beginning of the 80s of XX century, the Ancient theatre of Philipoppol is among the most significant findings from the Roman period. Recently found and deciphered inscription on a monumental pedestal reveals that the theatre has been constructed in the 90s of I century A.D., when Philippolol was under the rulership of Titus Flavius Cotis – an heir of a Thracian Royal Dynasty, the high priest of the Tracian province, representative of the Metropolitan Court of Justice and a person in charge of the construction sites.
Nowadays, the Ancient theatre is symbolical for Plovdiv and adjusted to the city’s modern cultural life. It is operating as a stage of opera, music and drama. Some of the best annual events are the International Folklore Festival, the Opera Festival "Opera Open", the Rock Festival "Sounds of Ages" and many others.
It is interesting to know when and where was the ancient town of Plovdiv founded. What is the place where the people settled and remained to live there for 8 millennia? This place is the hill known today as Nebet tepe situated on the hilltop plateau in the northern part of the three hills (Trimontium).
The earliest settlements on the territory of the city are dated back to the 6th millennium BC. There were several prehistoric settlements on this territory, but the oldest and most important one was located on hill known as Nebet tepe.
Initially the village was situated in a naturally sheltered and consolidated place on the front side of the northern hill. It gradually expanded towards the other hills to become the most significant Thracian city on the territory of Bulgaria. At that time the lands of today's Plovdiv were inhabited by the Thracian tribe Bessi. The scientists are still not sure if the name of the city at that time was Eumolpia or Pulpudeva.
The complex of Nebet tepe continued to play an important role as an element of the fortification system of the city until the 14th century, with lots of improvements and supplements during the Antiquity and the Middle Ages. A notable finding of that later period is a reservoir of 350 cubic meters.
The Stadium of Philippopolis was built in the beginning of 2nd century AD during the reign Emperor Hadrian. It is situated in the Northern part of the fortified city surrounded by defence walls, in the natural terrain between Taksim Tepe and Sahat Tepe.
The facility, approximately 240 meters long and 50 meters wide, could seat up to 30 000 spectators. According to the epigraphic and numismatic monuments games similar to the Pythian Games in Greece were held in the town. To honour the visit of the Roman emperor Caracalla in 214 the games were called Alexandrian while the games for the visit of emperor Elagabalus in 218 were called Kedrisian Games.
There you can dive underground at the original level of the Ancient town. The space open for visitors includes a part of the track, the semi-circular part of the spectator seats (sfendona) and a panoramic wall with hypothetical reconstruction of the missing space of the facility. Some of the discovered elements of the Stadium are identified along the main street of Plovdiv.
The Old Aqueduct, the Medieval Aqueduct, is work of the Byzantine period, which held extensive repairs during the Ottoman rule, particularly during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent and Legislator (1530 AD approx.) This double arch structure was designed to bridge the peninsula of Panagia with the foot of the mountain of Lekani.
Imaret is an impressive building erected by Mehmet Ali (1769-1849) as a donation to its native town. Ali was born in Kavala and later became Ruler of Egypt. It is situated on the western side of the Old City, in Panayia, occupying an area of 3500 m2.
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.
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.
Bram Stoker’s character, Dracula, is a Transylvanian Count with a castle located high above a valley perched on a rock with a flowing river below in the Principality of Transylvania. Because Bran Castle is the only castle in all of Transylvania that actually fits Bram Stoker’s description of Dracula’s Castle, it is known throughout the world as Dracula’s Castle. Due to its lovely landscape and charming people, Bran-Moeciu is one of the most popular touristic areas in Brasov County and the ideal place to spend a great week-end or your holidaysEvery historical episode is characterized by certain factors that function as a constant, such as time and space. These factors define its place in the evolution of the human community.The region between Bucegi and Piatra Craiului has sparked a series of historical episodes, from prehistoric days until current times, all due to one major geographical and historical factor: the Bran Gorge.The Bran Gorge, one of the most important trans-Carpathian passages, has had a dynamic history. Its story has been characterized by two major components: the trade routes of its crossroads, and the recurring military invasions that utilized them.A natural amphitheater, guarded from the East by the Bucegi Mountains and from the West by the Piatra Craiului Massive, the Bran Gorge offered, due to its concave space, a wide panorama both to Burzenland (Ţara Bârsei), and to the hills and valley of Moeciu.
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.
The Holy Trinity Church and especially its tall belfry have become a symbol of Bansko as one of the most attractive mountain resorts, successfully combining the charm of its rich historical past and its picturesque location at the foot of the mighty Pirin Mountain with the most modern facilities for recreation – a wide choice of reputable hotels for all tastes and budgets, one of the best ski zone in South-East Europe.
The Church dedicated to the Holy Trinity was built in the period of the Bulgarian National Revival. Its inauguration was made in 1835. The architectural plan of the church is a three-nave basilica or more exactly a pseudo-basilica with 44 m length, 22 m width and 12 m height. The walls are 1.1 m thick and entirely constructed of local ashlar, welded together by mortar. Large wooden beams of centuries old white fir (typical for the region) are used in the foundation and for leveling the walls. Part of the church is sunken under the ground level in order to look smaller from the outside and Turks can not get an idea about its real size. The altar piece is set within a skillfully constructed and decorated apse in the form of the half of a 18-angle prism with a remarkable stone cornice on the exterior. The roof is hold in the interior of the church by 12 massive wooden columns of white fir, symbolizing the 12 apostles.
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.
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.
The Gyzi Castle of Mykonos Cyclades: The castle of Gyzi lies on a hill above the village of Ano Mera, in the center of Mykonos island. It dates from the 13th century and only some ruins of it remain today. It was built during the rule of the Gyzi family, a noble Venetian family that was ruling the Cyclades in the Medieval times, to protect the island from pirates and enemy attacks.
This area also hosts the ruins of the ancient city of Mykonos and you will find remains of a prehistoric market, an ancient cemetery and some ruins of an even older wall fortification. Near Gizi Castle, you will find the church of the Holy Saviour, dating from the 18th century. This hill gives an awesome view to the northern side of the island.
The Municipal Library of Mykonos is housed in a magnificent old mansion that belonged to the Mavrogenis family. Dated to 1735, this beautiful building has seen its own share of history. Located in Agia Kyriaki Square, it houses nearly 6,000 volumes of literature, history and many more categories, though most of the books are in Greek. You can travel through the library looking at numerous photographs as well as Cycladic coins and old seals.
The books were donated by a Mykonian historian, Ioannis Meletopoulos, from his own personal library. Other books were also donated by many more people from their own libraries, while some other donated other things as well, such as black and white sketches of landmarks on the island.
As of now, with the advent of modernity, the municipal library is no longer operational. But they continue to be a symbol of Mykonos rich virile past. Being hundreds of years old, most of the municipal library has been thoroughly renovated and some have even been converted into museums, the most famous being the Bonis Windmill. Providing interesting insights into the life of Mykonos, all the works displayed in the library are unique and extremely interesting. A visit to this wonderful library is worth your time and effort.
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.
The Cosuna – Bucovatu Vechi Monastery is an orthodox monastery situated in Craiova, Dolj county. It is the oldest religious edifice from the city of Craiova, being built in 1483. The Monastery`s church was built between 1506 – 1512 and the actual church in 1572, by the Boyar Stephan and his son.
The Kovadareios library is not just a collection of dusty pages, it is a compilation of the history, symbols and values of a brand new and simultaneously ancient nation. Among the valuable codices and rare volumes, you’ll see one of the two surviving copies of the ‘Carta’ (Charter) of Rigas Feraios, one of the founding fathers of modern Greece.
Syntagma Square is the most famous in Athens if not all of Greece. No matter where you have to go in Athens, if you can find Syntagma Square you can find your way there.
Syntagma Square is back and better than ever. Well maybe not better than ever. It was probably at it's best in the early 1900's when there were not cars and buses whizzing around it and it was shaded by large trees. But with the re-routing of the traffic, the opening of the new metro and the removal of the wooden billboard covered walls that for at least an entire year, hid the construction site that was once Athens most popular platia, Syntagma looks better than it has in many years. At the top of the square are two stairways and an elevator leading to the Syntagma Metro Station, one of the most beautiful metro stations in the world, with its own museum of artifacts found at the construction site.
Panathenaic Stadium, also known as "The Callimarmaron", a classical Greek monument, a venue designed and used for noble competition and fair play of mind and body, lies between the neighborhoods of Mets and Pangrati.
Originally a natural hollow part of the ground between the hills of Agra and Ardettos, over Ilissos River, the place has been turned into a stadium by orator Lykourgos, during the 4th century, for the competitions of the Great Panathinaea festivities, games with nude athletes. The Panathinaea games honored, once more, the protector of the city, goddess Athena.