SUMELA MONASTERYSUMELA MONASTERY The Sumela Monastery is one of the oldest and most historic monasteries in the Christian world. There are no exact records about when it was built or by who, but it is estimated that its history dates back some one thousand years and that the locals who constructed it did so to escape enemy attacks. Located high up on the steep cliffs above the surrounding forest in Trabzon, Turkey, this incredible feat of architecture has changed hands many times over the course of its existence, until it was finally abandoned in 1923. The Sumela monastery is located outside the Turkish city of Trabzon. Standing on a steep cliff on the Zigana Mountains, it is popularly known as "Meryem Ana" (The Virgin Mary). This building complex, which is located at a height of 1,200 meters (3,937 feet), is nearly 300 meters (984ft) high and follows a tradition of monasteries that were located outside cities in forests near caves and sources of water. The road to get there is about 45 km (28 miles) from Trabzon and climbs steadily. Upon arriving at the monastery, the structure appears almost glued to the mountainside. The entrance is reached by climbing a long and narrow stairway where there is a large aqueduct at the top with many arches, which has mostly been restored.
ANITKABIRANITKABIR Anıtkabir (literally, "memorial tomb") is the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the leader of the Turkish War of Independence and the founder and first President of the Republic of Turkey. It is located in Ankara and was designed by architects Professor Emin Onat and Assistant Professor Ahmet Orhan Arda, whose proposal beat 48 other entries from several countries in a competition held by the Turkish Government in 1941 for a "monumental tomb" for Atatürk. The site is also the final resting place of İsmet İnönü, the second President of Turkey, who was interred there after he died in 1973. His tomb faces the Atatürk Mausoleum, on the opposite side of the Ceremonial Ground. The mausoleum was depicted on various Turkish banknotes during 1966–1987 and 1997–2009 and was included in the Turkish Chamber of Civil Engineers list of the fifty civil engineering feats in Turkey, a list of remarkable engineering projects realized in the first 50 years of the chamber.
AYASOFYAAYASOFYA Hagia Sophia (/ˈhɑːɡiə soʊˈfiːə/; from the Greek Αγία Σοφία, pronounced [aˈʝia soˈfia], "Holy Wisdom"; Latin: Sancta Sophia or Sancta Sapientia; Turkish: Ayasofya) is the former Greek Orthodox Christian patriarchal cathedral, later an Ottoman imperial mosque and now a museum (Ayasofya Müzesi) in Istanbul, Turkey. Built in 537 AD at the beginning of the Middle Ages, it was famous in particular for its massive dome. It was the world's largest building and an engineering marvel of its time. It is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture and is said to have "changed the history of architecture". From the date of its construction in 537 until 1453, it served as an Eastern Orthodox cathedral and the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, except between 1204 and 1261, when it was converted by the Fourth Crusaders to a Roman Catholic cathedral under the Latin Empire. The building was later converted into an Ottoman mosque from 29 May 1453 until 1931. It was then secularized and opened as a museum on 1 February 1935. It remained the world's largest cathedral for nearly a thousand years, until Seville Cathedral was completed in 1520.
TROYTROY The Trojan Horse is a story from the Trojan War about the subterfuge that the Greeks used to enter the independent city of Troy and win the war. In the canonical version, after a fruitless 10-year siege, the Greeks constructed a huge wooden horse, and hid a select force of men inside. The Greeks pretended to sail away, and the Trojans pulled the horse into their city as a victory trophy. That night the Greek force crept out of the horse and opened the gates for the rest of the Greek army, which had sailed back under cover of night. The Greeks entered and destroyed the city of Troy, ending the war. Metaphorically a "Trojan Horse" has come to mean any trick or stratagem that causes a target to invite a foe into a securely protected bastion or place.
PAMUKKALEPAMUKKALE Deriving from springs in a cliff almost 200 m high overlooking the plain, calcite-laden waters have created at Pamukkale (Cotton Palace) an unreal landscape, made up of mineral forests, petrified waterfalls and a series of terraced basins. At the end of the 2nd century B.C. the dynasty of the Attalids, the kings of Pergamon, established the thermal spa of Hierapolis. The ruins of the baths, temples and other Greek monuments can be seen at the site.
BODRUM CASTLEBODRUM CASTLE Bodrum Castle (Turkish: Bodrum Kalesi) is a historical fortification located in southwest Turkey in the port city of Bodrum built from 1402 onwards, by the Knights of St John as the Castle of St. Peter or Petronium. A transnational effort, it has four towers known as the English, French, German, and Italian towers, bearing the names of the nations responsible for their construction. The castle was completed in the late 15th century, only to be taken over by the Islamic Ottoman Empire in 1523. The chapel was converted to a mosque, and a minaret was added. The castle remained under the empire for almost 400 years. After remaining empty following World War I, in the early 1960s, the castle became the home for the award-winning Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology (see below). In 2016 it was inscribed in the Tentative list of World Heritage Sites in Turkey.
HADRIAN’S GATEHADRIAN’S GATE Hadrian's Gate consists of two colonnaded facades, three entry arches rising above four pylons and a tower standing on either side. It is about 8 meters high. The Southern Tower, known as the Julia Sancta, is from the Roman era but was likely built independently of the gate. The bottom section of the Northern Tower is from Roman times, but the upper part was rebuilt in the first half of the thirteenth century AD during the reign of Seljuk sultan Alaeddin Keykubat I and contains an inscription in Arabic script. It is considered to be Pamphylia's most beautiful gate. The upper part has three apertures in the shape of a cupola, and except for the pillars (made of granite) is built entirely of white marble. The three passage ways are decorated with floral and rosette reliefs. The ornamentation is very striking. The original gate was two stories, and although little is known of the top story, it is believed to have held statues of the emperor and his family. An entablature on the top of the Gate extends to both sides with a height of 1.28 meters (4.2 feet). It includes a frieze decorated with floral motifs and an ornate cornice with lion heads.
CAPPADOCIACAPPADOCIA Cappadocia is a historical region in Central Anatolia, largely in the Nevşehir, Kayseri, Kırşehir, Aksaray, and Niğde Provinces in Turkey. According to Herodotus, in the time of the Ionian Revolt (499 BC), the Cappadocians were reported as occupying a region from Mount Taurus to the vicinity of the Euxine (Black Sea). Cappadocia, in this sense, was bounded in the south by the chain of the Taurus Mountains that separate it from Cilicia, to the east by the upper Euphrates, to the north by Pontus, and to the west by Lycaonia and eastern Galatia. The name, traditionally used in Christian sources throughout history, continues in use as an international tourism concept to define a region of exceptional natural wonders, in particular characterized by fairy chimneys and a unique historical and cultural heritage.
MOUNT NEMRUTMOUNT NEMRUT Nemrut or Nemrud (Turkish: Nemrut Dağı) is a 2,134-metre-high (7,001 ft) mountain in southeastern Turkey. The mausoleum of Antiochus I (69–34 B.C.), who reigned over Commagene, a kingdom founded north of Syria and the Euphrates after the breakup of Alexander's empire, is one of the most ambitious constructions of the Hellenistic period. The syncretism of its pantheon, and the lineage of its kings, which can be traced back through two sets of legends, Greek and Persian, is evidence of the dual origin of this kingdom's culture.
POOL OF ABRAHAMPOOL OF ABRAHAM This pool is believed by Muslims to be the place where Abraham was thrown into the fire by Nimrod. Abraham is mentioned in three major religions, Christianity, Islam and Judaism but in Islam, he is called Ibrahim. The pool is a special place for practicing Muslims because of the importance of Ibrahim. He was the same prophet who was prepared to sacrifice his son for Allah. The story says that when Ibrahim landed in the fire, Allah turned the flames to water and the burning logs into fish, hence the translation of the Turkish name into “lake of fish”. Since Abraham / Ibrahim is also a prominent figure of Christianity, the pool is on the agenda of most Christian tours throughout Turkey.
LAKE VANLake Van (Turkish: Van Gölü, Armenian: Վանա լիճ, Vana lič̣, Kurdish: Gola Wanê), the largest lake in Turkey, lies in the far east of that country in the provinces of Van and Bitlis. It is a saline soda lake, receiving water from numerous small streams that descend from the surrounding mountains. Lake Van is one of the world's largest endorheic lakes (having no outlet) – a volcanic eruption blocked the original outlet from the basin in ancient times. Although Lake Van has an altitude of 1,640 m (5,380 ft) in a region with harsh winters, its high salinity prevents most of it from freezing, and even the shallow northern section freezes only rarely. LAKE VAN LAKE VAN