House of Virgin Mary
Selcuklu and Ottoman Caravanserais, hotels inhabited by traders, soldiers and travellers such as Marco Polo, during 700 years
Home of the two of the Seven Wonders of the World
King Road, the Great Alexander took to conquer Persia
The legendary trade road which made Sardes, the Lydian capital, the richest town on earth with vast treasures of gold and preciuos metals. The road streched from Sardes to Persia for more than 2000 km. (thousand miles) Along the road was the city of Gordion where lived King Midas who, according to the legend, turned to gold eveything he touched.
Selcuklu and Ottoman Caravanserails
Caravanserails were the rest and trading places of caravans, the group of travelers and traders journeying with their camels or mules. They are majorly concentrated on the Silk Road and some other trade routes. It was the marketplace, the inn, and a secure place for travellers and traders. Being the ancestors of motels and hotels they contained within their unique architecture guest rooms, baths, prayer room, a bazaar and a barn for camels. Tall and thick walls made them easily defendable against enemies.
Roman theaters and baths Roman theaters were the places for gladiator fights and were also used for educative purposes. Aspendos theater is one of the best preserved Roman theaters on Earth. They were built with a more modern technology than the Greek theaters.
The most important work of Byzantine art is St. Sophie which stood as the greatest Christian church in the world. The widespread Byzantine churches and ruins that one can visit in Anatolia are in Capadocia and Iznik. The mosaics of St. Savior (Kariye Musuem) in Istanbul are world famous.
Lunar-like landscape of Capadoccia and its underground cities and churches
The volcanic plateau in the center of Anatolia is the host of the natural wonders, underground cities, fine Byzantine churches, valleys famous for its wine. The frescoes in the churches carved out of rock, the troglydes formed in milleniums to give the sense of "fairy chimneys", pigeon houses are some of many the exciting places in Capadoccia.
Troy, the serene village on top of a hill which overlooks the blue of the Egean Sea, is the scene of the legendary multinational wars and 5000 years of history. The excavations done at this site yielded one the richest finds of archeology. Excavations began more than a hundred years ago and even today the research work is going on. Though most of the treasures are in Russia many artistic finds and some part of the Trojan treasures are in Turkey.
Hittite tablets and reliefs
Hittite Empire was one the superpowers of Ancient World along with Babylone and Egypt. The 20-30 thousand tablets found in the palaces and sites shed light on their religious life, daily life and the laws that govern their Kingdom. Very religious, the Kings of this State believed that they would become gods once dead. The 15,000 tablets which belonged to Assyrian Merchants showed that, in the early years, the Hittites formed kingdoms in the fertile Central Plains. These tablets revealed the prosperous periods palaces ornamented with ivory, gold objects and many jewels.
Lycian cities and tombs
Lycian cities, mainly on the Meditarranean coast, are well preserved with theaters, tombs, citerns and acropolis. Funeral art is the most important character of the Lycians. The bizarre looking tombs, some in the sea, many carved into the rocky hills overlooking the Mediterranean, sarcophages are amazing pieces of art. A city on an island was destroyed by earthquake and the houses by the seashore went under the water and still 20 feet under water. Lycian towns were invaded many times in history by the Persians, Greeks,( The Great Alexander) and finally by the Arabs that put an end to their culture.
Virgin Mary, St. Nicholas (Santa Clause), St. Paul
Virgin Mary spent the last years of her life in Ephesus. St John came to Anatolia before 48 A.D. St John probably accompanied Virgin Mary in her journey from Jerusalem to Ephesus. St Nicholas (Santa Clause) was the bishop of a Meditarrean village in Lycia and died here in 342 A.D. Every year in december the Santa Clause Commemoration Ceremony is held in the sunny cost of ancient Lycia. St Paul and St. Barnabas have visited southwest of Anatolia in 46 A.D.
Home of the two of the Seven Wonders of the World
Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, was the biggest monument of the Greek world. It was the first completely marble monument of such dimensions. The golden age of Ionian (Greek) culture was glorified with this temple. It was constructed on the site dedicated to mother goddess of Anatolia, Cybele.
Caria was of the small kingdoms in the southwest of Anatolia and the Carians indigenous to Anatolia went under the influence of Greeks after they formed colonies in the Eagean coast of Anatolia. King Mausolea married his elder sister in 4th century B.C. After his death her wife ordered that a tomb of unparalled dimensions be constructed. This tomb became the most monumental tomb of the Greek world and is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The name mausoleum, in use today, comes from the name of Mausolea.
Unfortunately only some pieces and the base of these monuments remain.
Ottoman architecture has some of the most beautiful work of art of Islam reaching a climax with Mimar Sinan, the great architect, who have built the Suleymaniye Mosque, Istanbul and Selimiye Mosque, Edirne among many other mosques, bridges and fountains. The legendary Topkapi Palace where the sultans have lived dominates the entrance of the Bosphorus with an elegant architecture. The famous Ottoman Harem is in this palace. The museum of Islamic Art displays fine examples of art.
Gordion, King Midas
Gordion located on the King road that runs between Lydia and Persia was the capital of Phrigians who lived in the central plains of Anatolia. Their famous King Midas fought Assyriens in the south. According to the legends King Midas turned to gold everything he touched. Gordion, on the other hand is famous for the enigmatic Gordion knot. It was believed that whoever untied the knot was to gain the key to Anatolia that was under many attacks from different Empires. Many tried to untie the knot but all efforts were in vain. Finally, Great Alexander came to conquer Gordion and cut the knot with his sword !
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