Anatolian Treasures Sights

Ankara

All artifacts are laid out in chronological sequence, these almost exclusively pre-classical finds. Neolithic man is represented in wall red paintings and Rubenesque mother goddess figurines in baked clay found at Catalhoyuk, near Konya. The Bronze Age section has famous Hatti bronze stag statuettes and gorgeous gold ear plugs, goblets and headbands found in the royal graves at Alacahoyuk. In the Assyrian Trading Colony section look for cuneiform tablets found at Kultepe, near Kayseri. The Old Hittite gallery’s highlights are the ceremonial bulls with grumpy faces from Hattusas. Many Phrygian artifacts are brought from Gordion. The most miraculously preserved Phrygian art work is an ornate wooden table. Numerous reliefs and monumental lion and sphinx statues in the central hall are displayed, all found in Alacahoyuk and Hattusas.

Eskisehir & Usak

A European City in Anatolia / Turkey …
Eskisehir stands out with its cultural richness and an urban identity where different cultural communities and groups live together in harmony.
Eskisehir, one of the oldest settlements in Anatolia, has been located at the crossroads of important roads for ages and has gained importance as a trade center.
Throughout history, the city, under the rule of Phrygia, Lydia, Rome and Byzantium, was conquered by the Seljuk State and came under Turkish rule starting from the 11th century.
Eskisehir has a rich historical and cultural accumulation with its ancient Phrygian ruins, Yazılıkaya Monuments and other archaeological works, as well as Seljuk and Ottoman artifacts and museums. In addition, it has an important tourism potential with its natural resources, spas, caves and recreation areas.
Filled with cultural riches, Eskisehir was selected as the Cultural Capital of the Turkic World in 2013 and became a center where the Turkic world met during the cultural capital process. Eskişehir, which was also the UNESCO Capital of Intangible Cultural Heritage in the same year, became the center of scientific, cultural and artistic activities in the field of intangible cultural heritage.
Eskisehir, neighboring cities such as Kütahya, Ankara, Afyon and Bilecik, can be accessed from these cities by land. It is possible to reach Eskişehir from Ankara in 1.5 hours by high speed train and in approximately 3 hours from İstanbul.
Eskisehir is a peaceful and enjoyable destination that can be preferred for daily trips and short weekend holidays…
 
Uşak is a gateway between the Aegean and Central Anatolian Regions. It hosted many civilizations since 4000s BCE, especially Phrygians and Lydians. Another factor increasing the historical and geographical importance of Usak is that the city is located at the key point of the King’s Road, which connects the Aegean and Mesopotamia through trade and culture.
The city, which was called ‘Temenothytia” in ancient times, has a history dating back to 4000s BCE. Since Usak has hosted many different civilizations throughout history, it shows the traces of many cultures. Usak, bearing the traces of the Old and Modern Age, is an outstanding city that makes itself renowned for its natural beauties as well as historical sites.

Bergama

The great Kingdom of the Hellenistic period, Pergamum was the political and intellectual center of the Aegean. Located at the modern town of Bergama, some 115 km north of İzmir. The research made in the area shows that the settlement goes back to prehistoric times. However, the city became a great capital of a kingdom in the 4th century BCE, during the time of Philetaerus, who was followed by Attalos who declared him as the king. The Pergamum kingdom is called The Attalid kingdom as well.  Especially in the 3rd century BCE, during the reign of Eumenes, Pergamum was controlling almost the entire Aegean. The city was not only politically strong, but as a result of intellectual prosperity, Pergamene paper (parchment) was invented and the library of Pergamum totaled almost 200.000 volumes of books rivaling to the one in Alexandria. The Asklepion at the city was one of the biggest healing centers in the ancient world. It’s last king, Attalus III, bequeathed his kingdom to Rome, and the Roman supremacy started in Asia Minor through Pergamum. The city enjoyed being an important center during the Roman and Byzantine periods, and it was one of the 7 cities whom St. John addressed his letters. The city can be visited in two parts, the Acropolis, and the lower city. Acropolis was modelled a typical Anatolian type that we see both at Troia and Hattusa, a well defended hill surrounded with fortifications and the royal palaces as well as the basic needs for this palace such as storages and cisterns. One of the biggest projects of the Hellenistic period was the Altar of Zeus, constructed to commemorate the victory over Gauls, which is in Berlin Museum. Another giant structure on the acropolis hill is the Trajan temple from the Roman Period. Visitor must take a full day walk from the acropolis to modern town of Bergama and also see the entire city situated on the hillside. The Red Hall at the edge of Bergama is also a monument that should not be missed. Perhaps visiting the Museum in Bergama will add a lot to complete the visit, before visiting the Asklepia, the hospital which is well preserved.

Sardis

Sardes, or Sardis is located on the Gediz, ancient Hermos valley 80 km east of İzmir, on the main road to Ankara, at the village of Sart. It was an important ancient city and capital of the kingdom of Lydia, during the 6th century BCE. Its strategic location made it a center connecting the hinterlands of Anatolia to the Aegean. Lydian ruler, Croesus, the last Lydian king, paid for the construction of the temple of Artemis, which became one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. In 656 BCE, Lydian Kingdom was overrun by the Persians and the city lost its importance. Sardis began as a hilltop citadel where Lydian kings lived, and the city developed to lower town, located along the banks of the Pactolos River, where the ordinary citizens lived, and the upper town for the wealthy citizens, royal members, and the palace. Lydians are the first people who discovered monetary system as we understand today. The Pactolos River, bearing rich gold mines made the Lydians wealthy, hence the term “Rich as Croesus”. The city today lies on both sides of the modern road. To the North is the magnificent Gymnasion, synagogue, and the south part one can see the great temple of Artemis and a church attached to it. Sardes is also listed as one of the 7 churches of Asia Minor, to whom St. John wrote letters.

Izmir / Smyrna

Izmir is called “The Pearl of Aegean “and indeed, once Smyrna and now modern day of Izmir has always been an important political and cultural city. According to the Yesilova Mound excavations carried out in Bornova, the region dates back to the third millennium BCE, and it was one of the strongest cities belonging to the Ionian League. Smyrna had the honor of having Homer as a resident. During the Roman Period, Smyrna was competing with Pergamum and Ephesus over the title of “First City of Asia.”  Bayraklı excavations revealed that this was one of the earliest Ionian settlements on the Aegean. Even the modern town if Izmir is directly on the ancient city, the agora area and the Izmir Museums offer a lot to see to modern day visitor. Kadifekale is also an important part of the city with the great view of the Gulf. Smyrna was one of the cities whom St. John addressed his letters, thus, one of the 7 churches of revelation.

Selcuk / Ephesus

Ephesus is Home to the Wonder of the Ancient World: Temple of Artemis in Izmir. The bronze age kingdom of Arzawa, had a capital city called Apasas, which became Ephesus in the 1st millennium. Ephesus lies 70 km south of Izmir, near the modern town of Seljuk. Recent excavations at Aya Soluk hill, revealed the traces of this bronze age city, as well as a Mycenean settlement on the same hill. Further excavations on the small meander valley unearthed a Neolithic settlement at Ephesus. The archaic Ephesus was settled around the temple of Artemis, under the modern town of Seljuk today. The Artemis of Ephesus was a direct continuation of the Anatolian Mother Goddess and she was called the Ephesian Artemis, entirely different from the Greek Artemis, the huntress and the daughter of Zeus. The earliest temple goes back to the 8th century BCE, and was rebuilt at least three more times, eventually the one that was built in the 4th century BCE was recognized as one of the wonders of the ancient world. This old city was moved to its present location perhaps during the 1st century BCE, as a result of silting of the Kaistros river. When Augustus declared himself as Roman Emperor and made Ephesus the capital city of the Roman Empire to Asia, this new city grew enormously, and had a life span of almost 1000 years in glory, until the small meander, Kaistros, silted up the harbors of new Ephesus too. The city has been excavated by the Austrian Archaeological Institute for over 120 years now, and several restoration works have achieved. The theater is the biggest of all Turkiye with a capacity of 30.000 seats. Marble streets, The Celsus Library, Agora gate, Hadrian’s temple and the terrace houses are extraordinary restoration and conservation works at Ephesus. Baths, gymnasion, civil and state agora are in excellent preservation. A full day at Ephesus would not be sufficient to see all the city. The nearby House of Mary is also a pilgrimage place as well as the church and tomb of St. John. Seljuk Museum houses wonderful artifacts from Ephesus and surroundings.
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