Activity Summary for Ankara - Attractions
- Activity Details
- Ankara, Turkey -
For the hungry culture vulture, Ankara offers a wealth of attractions, from its ancient and modern monuments, and archaeological sites, to its museums and mosques.
One of the capital city's most important archaeological sites and present day attractions, the Ankara Citadel, whose foundations were laid by the Galatians and then completed by the Romans, sits on a prominent lava outcrop. The Byzantines and Seljuks made further restorations and additions. Many fine examples of traditional architecture are found around and outside this attraction, the oldest part of Ankara. Recreational areas are available for rest and relaxation. A lively cultural life exists as well within the Citadel walls through a variety of restaurants serving local cuisine and offering music. Many of these restaurants were formerly traditional Turkish houses, now restored as places of entertainment.
The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations contains what is left of the stage and backstage of the Roman Theater. Roman statues found within this ancient attraction now can be seen in the Museum. The seating area is presently under excavation.
The Temple of Augustus and Rome, known as the Monumentum Ancyranum, was built between 25 B.C. to 20 B.C. After the death of Augustus I in 14 A.D., a copy of the text of Res Gestae Divi Augusti was inscribed on the interior of the pronaos in Latin, whereas a Greek translation can also be found on an exterior wall of the cella. Enlarged by the Romans, then converted into a church by the Byzantines, this structure is located in the Ulus quarter of the city.
Ankara's Roman Bath is one of the city's most popular and frequently visited attractions. It bears all the features of a classical Roman bath: a frigidarium (cold room), tepidarium (cool room) and caldarium (hot room). Built in honor of Asclepios, the God of Medicine, by Emperior Caracalla, the bath's only remaining features today are the basement and first floors. This attraction is also located in the Ulus quarter.
Several mosques in Ankara constitute a significant attraction for the tourist interested in exploring the capital's rich religious history. Several of these architectural attractions stand out:
The Alaaddin Mosque, with its carved walnut mimber (pulpit), bears an inscription that records the mosque's building in the 12th century by the Seljuk ruler, Mesut.
Ahi Elvan Mosque was founded in the Ulus quarter the Ankara Citadel and was constructed during the late 14th and 15th centuries. Particularly notable is its walnut mimber.
Yeni (Cenab Ahmet) Mosque, the largest Ottoman mosque in Ankara, was built by the famous architect Sinan in the 16th century. The mimber and mihrap (prayer niche) are of white marble, and the mosque itself is of Ankara stone (red porphyry).
For its size and prominent position in Ankara, Kocatepe Mosque is unquestionably the most notable of the city's attractions. It was recently constructed in the classical Ottoman style with four minarets. In addition, Kocatepe is the second largest mosque in Turkey. Constructed between 1967 and 1987 in the Kocatepe quarter, its compelling dimensions and location have earned Kocatepe Mosque the status as the capital's landmark attraction.
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