Ankara – The Capital and the second largest city in Turkey

Ankara – The Capital and the second largest city in Turkey

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To See

Ankara Citadel, Ulus
The city is presided over by the ruins of an old fortress believed to have been built by the Galatians and restored by the Ottomans. The fortress has an inner and outer wall and the outer wall was built by the Byzantine occupation of the city. The outer wall has seven gates and originally had twenty watch towers. The inner wall contains the oldest part of city and it depicts what it must have been under the Ottomans. The Citadel has original wooden beamed homes called ‘Konaks’ which have yards and gardens and which have been restored. Many of these Konaks are today delightful restaurants serving various mezze and grilled meats. Some of these famous restaurants are And Café and Kale Washington. Bill Clinton the US president dined at the later restaurant.

Atatürk Mausoleum

Atatürk Mausoleum

Atatürk Mausoleum

The Anitkabir is the most important memorial to the founder of the republic. The architecture is a combination of the new and the ancient and the mausoleum itself is surrounded by a mosaic courtyard with the memorial covered in gold leaf. The construction of the memorial began in1944 and was completed in 1953. Soldiers guard the memorial and one can witness the somber changing of the guard which takes place. There is also a museum adjoining the memorial which houses a wax figure of Atatürk and his letters written by him as well as photographs and other memorabilia. The Museum is called the Atatürk and War of Independence museum.  The museum is open every day except for Mondays. This museum was the location for the first Turkish Grand National Assembly.

The Column of Julian, Near Hükümet Meydani, Ulus
This Corinthian pillar dates back to the 6th century and was erected to felicitate Emperor Julian who visited Ankara in 362 AD. It is commonly known as Belkis Minaresi or Queen of Sheeba monument for no apparent reason.

Haci Bayram Mausoleum, Ulus
This is an important shrine for the followers of the Sufi faith and it was constructed in the 15 century for Haci Bayram who was a Sufi poet and founder of the Devish sect. The mosque is built in a combination of the Selçuk and Sinan styles. The mausoleum is a domed structure with a marble exterior and an intricately carved wooden ceiling. It was further adorned by decorative Kütahya tiles in the 18th century.

Kocatepe Mosque, Kocatepe (South East of Kizilay)
This mosque is a modern mosque which was completed in 1987. It is an exponent of the Ottoman style of architecture. It is ornamental as is the Islamic style and adorned with marble and gold leaf and stained glass windows. In the center of the mosque is replica of the mosque at Medina which was presented to the Turkish President Demiral by King Fahd of Saudi Arabia. The Mosque has a super market within its folds.

The Roman Baths, Ulus
A monument from the Roman times, the Roman baths were built during the times of Emperor Caracalla in honor of Asklepios the god of medicine. The complex is divided into three sections the frigidarium or cold room which used contained a pool and changing rooms, the caladarium( hot room) which had the sudatorium the precursor to the modern day sauna and a washing area and the tepidarium which was used as a room for relaxation and rest. Today only the heating system and service section can be observed.

The Temple of Augustus and Rome, Ulus
This monument consists of a temple dating back to the Roman times it was however built by the Galatians in 10 AD as a tribute to Emperor Augustus during his lifetime. However this temple has suffered much damage due to exposure to the elements and the ravages of time. It was included in the World Monument Fund’s list of endangered sites in 2002 and is now closed to public as it is undergoing an extensive restoration. The temple contains one of the most well preserved copies of the deeds of deified Augustus written in both Greek and Latin.

The Museum of The Republic, Ulus
This museum is housed in a stone building which was built to host the Turkish Grand National Assembly from 1923 to 1925 and it displays the typical Selçuk and Ottoman styles.

Yeni Mosque (East of the citadel Ulus)
Constructed by Sinan in the 16th century and made of red Ankara stone it is another exponent of Ottoman architecture with an imposing mihrab and minbar which are both made of white marble.

Hotels
One of the most charming and authentic hotels is located within the Citadel and is called Angora House,(Located on Kalekapisi Sok phone 0312 309 8380).It is the former home of Sakir Pasa who was a member of Atatürk’s first parliament. It is a small hotel with only six rooms but the hosts provide the guests with exemplary service which is warm and typical of Turkish hospitality. The hotel is adorned with antiques and features original prayer niches and a large courtyard.

Modern hotels which are part of the world wide Sheraton and Hilton groups also have a presence here in Ankara with Sheraton Ankara located in the city center at Noktali Sok and the Hilton located near by at Tahran Cad. The information for these hotels can be accessed online at www.sheratonankara.com and www.hilton.com

Shopping
The Shopping areas of the old section of the city, Ulus are popular with tourists. These areas are Weavers Road and the Bazaar of Coppersmiths. Most tourists like to shop here for hand woven carpets, fabrics, jewelry, leather products and embroidered goods. There are also stalls near the Castle gates which sell spices, dried fruits and nuts. These stalls are popular with the tourists and locals alike.

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