5 top attractions in Turkey
Extraordinary Turkey … the place at the center between East and West influences. Not to be missed, the mighty ruin of Ephesus is a city of colossal monuments and marble-columned roads. One of the most complete, still-standing Roman cities in the Mediterranean region, this is the place to experience what life must have been like during the golden age of the Roman Empire. A sightseeing trip here will take at least half a day to cover the major highlights and longer, if you really want to explore, so make sure that you plan your visit so you don’t feel rushed.
Nemrut is a 2,134 meter (7,001 ft) high mountain in southeastern Turkey, near the city of Adiyaman. In 62 BC, King Antiochus I Theos of Commagene built a tomb-sanctuary flanked by huge statues of himself, two lions, two eagles and various Greek, and Persian gods on the mountain top. Since their construction, the heads have toppled from the bodies and lay scattered throughout the site. The summit of Mount Nemrut provides a great view of the surrounding mountains. The main attraction is to watch the sunrise from the eastern terrace which give the bodyless heads a beautiful orange hue and adds to the sense of mystery of the place. Read more about tailor made Turkey tours
Probably the most famous tourist attraction in Turkey, the Hagia Sophia is one of the best preserved ancient buildings in the world. Built in the sixth century AD by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian, the building was converted to a mosque with the Turkish conquest and today operates as a museum. With its remarkable architecture and beautiful mix of Byzantine and Muslim adornment, the Hagia Sophia remains among the most popular sights in Turkey. Visitors can view remnants of the first two Hagias Sophias as well as touring the current building with its stunning mosaics and ornate Muslim altars and chapels. Outside, cannonballs used by Mehmet the Conqueror during his invasion of the city line the paths and there is an eighteenth century fountain for ritual ablutions.
The Blue Mosque, built in the early 17th century, remains an active house of worship today. This means visitors need to time their visits carefully, as the mosque is closed to sightseers during the five daily prayer times for Muslims. All visitors must remove their shoes and women must cover their hair. This is a small price to pay for seeing its priceless treasures that include 20,000 ceramic tiles in various tulip designs and 200 stained glass windows, all with intricate designs. The mosque, built by Sultan Ahmet, takes its name from the blue tiles on the dome and the upper levels of the interior.
Tourist Attraction of the day in Cappadocia : The narrow, verdant valley at the bottom of this deep (100 meters) gorge in southwest Cappadocia is a nature lover’s delight. Hemmed in by rugged, steep cliffs, Ihlara Valley is a lush Eden of tall poplar trees and fertile farming plots beside the babbling Melendiz River, which runs for 14 kilometers from Ihlara village to Selime village.
During the Byzantine period, this was a favored retreat for hermetic monk communities, who carved churches and monastery complexes into the cliff face. The Kokar Kilise (Fragrant Church), Yilanli Kilise (Snake Church), and Kirk Dam Alti Kilise (St. George Church) are three of the best, but there are plenty of others to see along the way. At Selime village, the craggy rock pinnacle of Selime Monastery is also worth a visit.
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