Wonders of Turkey
Turkey is an ancient land that is full of history and cultural diversity. It has been home to numerous empires and is dotted with UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The country is also home to architectural wonders of the world and ruins of those structures. While many of these sites are now in ruins, they remain an important part of the culture and history of this country.
The cultural and historic landscape of the country can be enjoyed during a hot air balloon tour. In the early morning, you can fly over the craggy mountains, caves, and fairy chimneys. Another popular excursion is a tour of Goreme, a region famous for its rock formations. The region was first settled in the Roman era. It is also worth visiting Avanos and Pasabagi, which are renowned for their pottery and earthenware.
Here is the list of Wonders of Turkey:
When you visit Ephesus, you’ll find plenty of history to explore. The city was once home to the Carians, Lydians, and Greeks. The Ionic Greeks built a fortified city on the site, and it flourished as a commercial center. Today, visitors can see relics from these ancient civilisations, including the great edifice of the Great Theatre.
Since Ephesus is located on the Mediterranean Sea, it is very popular with cruise ship passengers. Travelers will have the opportunity to enjoy the historic sites and eat some world-class Turkish cuisine. A guided tour will give you a full history of the city, as well as highlight the architectural highlights. The city is also home to some significant Christian sites.
The apostle Paul lived in Ephesus for two years and was active in the local Christian community. He is reputed to have written the Book of 1 Corinthians here while imprisoned in a tower near the harbor. Another notable Christian figure was John, who wrote the Gospel of John in Ephesus during the second century AD. In the same period, the Virgin Mary spent her final years.
One of the main attractions in Ephesus is the Temple of Hadrian. It was built in the early Hellenistic Period and enlarged during the Roman period. Its original design consisted of three doors opening on to the stage and an orchestra section one meter above the stage. The building was two storeys and decorated with columns. It was used for religious and philosophical discussions, and even gladiator fights. A street named Curetes Street runs between the Library of Celsus and Hercules Gate, where the rich and famous would live.
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When visiting Cappadocia, it’s important to take the time to explore the region on foot. The landscape is incredible and there are numerous sights to see. You can hike through the region’s underground cities, or check out the many cave churches. Hikers can also visit the Selime Monastery, the oldest in Cappadocia.
This ancient monastery looks like it belongs in Star Wars, and dates back to the 8th or 9th century. This site is included in the Green Tour. In addition to this, hikers can also enjoy the beautiful Pigeon Valley, which has easy hiking paths and cave houses. The region is also known for its hot air balloon rides, which are a popular way to see the region.
You can even take a balloon ride above the cave dwellings of Goreme Town in a hot air balloon. The flight takes place at sunrise and you’ll be among over 100 other balloons! While summertime in Cappadocia is a picture-perfect setting, the region is even more stunning in the winter. The white snow covered rock formations and valleys are mesmerizing to look at.
In winter, you may have to take an earlier flight back home, as flight schedules will be less regular in these months. There are also a number of churches in Cappadocia. The Elmali (Apple) Church features a fresco of the Ascension above the door. St. Barbara Chapel has wall-paintings of St. George, while Yilanli (Snake) Church has frescoes covering its barrel-vaulted chamber. The Karanlik (Dark) Church has colorful frescoes and is situated in one of the region’s most scenic valleys.
Pamukkale is famous for its travertine thermal pools, which have been a popular tourist attraction since the 2nd century BC. The white travertine walls are surrounded by turquoise blue water, creating a stunning sight. A visit to Pamukkale is not complete without experiencing the pools themselves. The terraced pools are a main attraction, but you should also visit the ruins of Hieropolis.
These ruins, as well as the museum, are behind the terraced pools. You’ll want to spend at least three to four hours exploring the terraces and ruins, as well as the museum. There are plenty of walking trails, and visitors can easily move from one landmark to another. The walk from the Hieropolis ruins to the amphitheatre takes about 10 minutes.
If you’re driving, there are plenty of parking spots on the left side of the entrance. The best time to visit Pamukkale is in the spring and early summer. During this time, the temperatures are mild and the risk of rain is minimal. In contrast, the winter months can be extremely cold and snow can fall on the site. It’s recommended to plan your visit during these seasons to avoid crowds and extreme temperatures.
Getting to Pamukkale is simple, and the transportation is cheap. Buses run frequently from Istanbul to Denizli.
There are 20 buses a day between these two cities, and a dolmus shuttle runs every 30 minutes from Denizli to Pamukkale. These buses cost around 3.50 TL and stop near your hotel. If you have time, you can also take a taxi from Denizli to Pamukkale.
Travel to Antioch Antakya in Turkey
As one of the termini of the Silk Road, Antioch has a bustling market that rivals any Aleppo bazaar. The “Long Bazaar” (Uzun Carsi) is a maze of alleys and streets filled with shops and ateliers. In addition to being a place of worship, this ancient city has plenty to offer those interested in early Christianity. The ancient city was founded by Seleucus in 300 BCE on a site chosen by ritual.
The king sacrificed an eagle to the gods, who then carried the meat to the new city. The city’s original layout resembled the grid plan of Alexandria and other ancient cities. Libanius describes the layout of the first buildings at the site. You can also visit the Roman water tunnel built by Titus and the ancient rock tombs. There is also a museum that holds mosaics from Antiquity.
You can combine your visit to Antakya with a trip to the nearby city of Seleucia, located 25 kilometers downstream on the Orontes. And, of course, do not forget to try the city’s famous pumpkin pudding and kunefe, which are filled with cheese. Antioch was also part of the Roman Empire, and it was occupied by the Rashidun Caliphate for several hundred years. After the capture of the city by the Sasanian king Shapur in 253 or 260 BCE, the city’s mosaic craftsmen were hired by Shapur to decorate his palace at Bishapur.
The Turkish name for Mount Nemrut is Nemrut Dagi, and it is a pyramid-shaped peak in the Eastern Taurus range. The summit of the mountain is adorned with eight to nine-meter-high stone statues. They were built to commemorate King Antiochus Theos of Commagene, an important Armenian king. The best time to visit Mount Nemrut is between April and October.
The mountain is covered with snow in the winter, so a visit during this time isn’t recommended. My visit in early April was overshadowed by snow. Although it’s the hottest time of year in Turkey, July and August are also the peak tourist season. A German engineer first discovered statues on Mount Nemrut in 1881, when he was surveying Ottoman transport routes. Since then, extensive archaeological work has been conducted.
Although the tomb of Antiochus has not been located, other ancient structures and artifacts have been discovered. In 1987, the site was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Visitors access the terraces by taking a narrow processional route around the base of the tumulus. On the east and west terraces, colossal statues of Greek, Armenian, and Persian gods and goddesses are located. These statues are eight to ten meters high.
Blue Mosque Sultanahmet Camii and Hagia Sophia Ayasofya in Istanbul
The Hagia Sophia (officially the Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque) is one of Istanbul’s major cultural sites. Originally a Greek Orthodox church, the building has served as a mosque and museum since the fall of the Byzantine Empire. The Hagia Sophia was converted into a museum in 1935. The move was made as a gesture of goodwill between the Christians and Muslims of Turkey.
However, it was also a quick fix and it sparked a media frenzy. Regardless of the reason for the conversion, visitors should be aware that the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia are two separate and equally magnificent structures.
The Blue Mosque is open for visits during the day, but it is closed during the hours of prayer. Visitors should wear modest clothing and cover their hair. There is no entrance fee, but donations are welcome. In order to avoid being turned away, it’s a good idea to make reservations in advance. Designed as a complement to Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque has a large central dome and numerous large windows.
The interior of the mosque is beautifully decorated with more than 20,000 handmade ceramic Iznik tiles, adorned with floral motives. There are also over two hundred stained glass windows, which are considered to be some of Istanbul’s most beautiful. The Blue Mosque is Istanbul’s most iconic landmark. Despite its name, it’s the only mosque in Turkey with six minarets. It was built between 1609 and 1616 and is a popular tourist destination. It’s decorated with blue tiles and is bathed in blue lights at night.
Istanbul City Walls
Istanbul’s seven hills are enclosed within the city walls. These hills were flattened over the centuries, but they still retain steep slopes. The walls are made of five layers of brick and stone and are three stories tall. To navigate the city, visitors must pass through exit gates located in the city’s main streets. These exits are named after historical buildings that are situated in their vicinity.
The walls of Istanbul include numerous gates. Some were meant to allow people to enter or leave, while others were military gates. The Golden Gate, a bastion, and several gate walls were constructed during the Ottoman Empire. The city’s walls contain more than 50 gates and 300 bastions. Many of these are still in place, but some are missing.
The walls were breached by the Fourth Crusade in 1204 and by Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror in 1453. While some parts of the walls were restored during the 1990s, many are still in need of restoration. Those wishing to visit the walls can visit the Kariye Museum and Istanbul City Tours. Inscriptions on Istanbul’s city walls have been analyzed by experts and compiled into a database. They are now housed in the Istanbul Archaeological Museums.