Each era has left its mark on the style of architecture and art. A significant trace in the historical and cultural heritage of Turkey was left by the periods of Greek and Roman rule, the influence of the culture of the East.
A visit to numerous historical sights gives a fairly complete picture of the rich history of Turkey.
Ephesus Turkey. The date of the founding of the city has not yet been established. In ancient times, Ephesus was one of the most famous cities in Asia Minor, and the local temple of Artemis was ranked among the Seven Wonders of the World. According to legend, Ephesus was the last residence of the Virgin Mary and the Apostle John. Sculptures, ancient temples, and huge amphitheaters that amaze the imagination testify to its former grandeur.
Didyma. The city is famous for the grand temple of Apollo. Its dimensions are so impressive that, if its construction were completed, it would undoubtedly become the eighth wonder of the world. The temple is surrounded by an arcade of columns lined up in two rows. The sculptural image of the head of the Gorgon Medusa leaves an unforgettable impression.
Bergama. Bergama was the capital of the Attalid kingdom in ancient times. The city became famous thanks to the richest collection of its library, one of the largest in those days. Here was also the famous Altar of Zeus, built between 180-160 AD. BC. The Temple of Athena and Demeter, the ancient theater and the ancient aqueduct have survived to this day.
PERGE. 2 km east of the village of Aksu, located on the 15 km of the Antalya-Manavgat highway, a panorama of the ruins of the ancient city of Perge opens up. This ancient city was founded by the Greeks after the Trojan War. Once the city had a connection with the sea along the navigable river Xetros. The great son of the city was Apollonius of Perga, the greatest mathematician of antiquity. The city is famous for its ancient stadium, ancient theater and paved road with magnificent Roman columns.
ASPENDOS. The main attraction of the city – which has survived to this day – is the world-famous theater, built in the 2nd century AD. and accommodating 17,000 seats for spectators and 500 seats for the orchestra. It has been perfectly preserved and famous orchestras perform on its stage, the best opera voices sound, music festivals are held annually.
FAZELIS. Phaselis was founded by Rhodes colonists in the 7th century BC and gained fame thanks to the three sea harbors described in the writings of Strabo, which formed three ports: eastern, middle and southern. The southern port was used for military purposes, as evidenced by the fortress walls and defensive towers. From here begins the ancient stone-paved road leading to the gates of Emperor Hadrian. Along the road you can see the ancient agora and the complex of Roman baths. From the hill above the ancient amphitheater, you can enjoy the beauty of the panorama, overlooking all three ports.
SILLION. Considered the most important settlement site of the Roman and Hellenistic periods, Sillion was turned into a center of religious teaching during the Byzantine era.
OLYMPOS. Olympos was founded in the 3rd century BC, and before the arrival of the Romans, served as a haven for pirates. According to Strabo, it got its name from the name of Mount Olympos, under which it was located. From the sea you can see the fortress walls that once surrounded the acropolis of the city. There is also a majestic gate dating from the period of Marcus Aurelius (2nd century AD), and the Sella wall of an ancient eight-meter temple built in the Ionic style.
TERMESOS. Termesos is located between two ridges 30 km. northwest of Antalya, at an altitude of 1050 m above sea level. This ancient city is remarkable for its majestic theater in the classical Greek style: rows for spectators are cut right into the rocks. Here, in ancient times, the majestic temples of Zeus Solymeus and Artemis were built, stone tombstones of the necropolis have been preserved.
BELKYS. Ziugma is located in the village of Belkys, located 80 km. from Gaziantep. This ancient city was one of the most important trading centers of the Hellenistic period. In the course of archaeological excavations carried out here in recent years, various mosaics, wall paintings, historical valuables that have been preserved since the reign of the Roman Empire were found in large quantities; on a plot of more than 1000 m2, a unique mosaic covering was discovered.
NEMRUT. Nemrut is a 2150 meters high mountain in southwestern Anatolia. There is a unique burial complex “The Burial Ground of Antiochus I”, built in the 1st century AD. At the top of the mountain there is a grave mound formed from a pile of stones, and on the western and eastern slopes it is guarded by two lions, two eagles and nine-meter statues. This is one of the most mysterious and amazing places in Turkey, as evidenced by the fact that Mount Nemrut has been declared a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO.
KONYA. Konya is located 260 km south of Lake Tuz. Ancient Iconium, as it used to be called, the city has been known since the time of Alexander the Great. In the 7th century, the Selchuks proclaimed Konya their capital. Undoubtedly, the main attraction of which is the museum of the Mevlana monastery, named after the founder of the order of the rotating dervishes. Here are the tomb of Mevlana and his disciples, ancient manuscripts and objects used by dervishes are kept. More than a million tourists come here to listen to a kind of mystical music, visit the dervish museum, see a unique exhibition of beautiful carpets.
FORTRESS WALLS OF DIYARBAKIR.The city of Diyarbakir, located in the southeast of Turkey, is especially famous for its main attraction – the ancient cross walls built of black basalt. The fortress wall, which united 16 towers and 5 entrance gates into a single ensemble, stretched for 5.5 km and was the second longest after the Great Wall of China. This majestic fortification serves as an example of the outstanding achievements of the military construction of antiquity, and still boggles the imagination.
CAPPADOCIA. In the mountainous part of the Anatolian Plateau of Turkey, one of the most amazing and fantastic places in the world is located – the Goreme National Park and the cave churches of Cappadocia, listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site of Humanity.
ISTANBUL The city is an open-air museum, a treasury that preserves the heritage of three empires – Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman. A visit to Istanbul is an unforgettable meeting with the history of this amazing country, represented by unique works of architecture and art – silent witnesses of the glory and power of great civilizations.
It is impossible to list all the sights of Turkey, each in its own way is inimitable and unique. And no matter how many times you visit Turkey, there will always be a place that attracts with its mysterious past, keeping the unique spirit of the culture of this fabulous country.