Turkish Delight Part III – Ancient Ruins, Religious Sites & Natural Wonders

In a country with seven centuries of history and as the site of the first human settlement, the seat of the Byzantine, Roman and Ottoman empires, the birthplace of Homer, and the last home of Virgin Mary–ancient ruins exist almost everywhere.

The best preserved Roman city in the Mediterranean, also the country’s top tourist site after Istanbul, is Ephesus, where visitors can tour the splendid ruins and walk the marble Sacred Way on the ruts made by carts that passed over it some 2,000 years ago.

The ancient city of Pergamum was renowned in both Greek and Roman times; it’s most important monuments are the Temple of Trajan, and the Temple of Athena. The most talked about of ancient sites is the ancient city of Troy. A huge, some what tacky wooden replica of the famous Trojan horse greets visitors.

There are many more remnants of the ancient world, including The Lycian Tombs curved into the rocky cliffs above Dalyan, the mysterious Sumela Monastery, the Phrygian sites at Gordion and the Hittite remains around Bogazkale.

There are major sites that are important to Christians and Jews. The home of the Virgin Mary is believed to be in Ephesus, as is the Basilica of St. John, constructed in the sixth century 메이저사이트  and thought to stand over the burial site of the apostle. The cave of St. Peter is just outside Antakya and is believed to have been dug by the apostle himself, making it the first Christian church in the world. Through the snow capped peaks are Mount Ararat. Some believe to be the resting place of Noah’s Ark.

Cappidocia in Central Anatolia is probably the most visited of Turkey’s natural wonders. It has dramatic lunar landscape tht sheltered early Christians, that dug caves in the volcanic rock and adorned them with religious images; today these painted cave churches, along with the cave hotels, are the prime visitior attractions. Don’t go there in the summer it is over 100 degrees.

Standing high in the Taurus Mounmtains in South-eastern Turkey is Mount Nemrut, and astonishing ancient man made mountain, where shrines to the gods bear vivid testament to the reign of King Antiochus I Epiphanes of Commagene. His statue is enormous as are those of Zeus, heracles and Apollo, built around 62BC.

Pumukkale is yet another extraordinary landscape, created by hot calcium -laden waters that have been springing from the earth for thousands of years. The Romans built the city of Hierapolis as a thermal resort. The area has many Travertines, formed by hot water cooling in the air as it runs down the steep hillside. It is a site to behold.


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