Priene

The ruins of the Ionian city of Priene are picturesquely situated on a slope of Mykale mountain. They provide a spectacular lookout point over the plain where the river Meander winds its way to the Aegean Sea. Priene also offers an excellent practical lesson in archeology and history. The main conclusion of the visit in Priene, combined with a cursory reading of literature devoted to this city, is: nothing here is obvious. The original name of the city was, Kadme, it was founded by Karians, and it was situated in a different location on the shores of the Aegean Sea.

The Temple of Athena Polias in Priene
The Temple of Athena Polias in Priene

Broken Minaret in Antalya

The building now known as the Broken Minaret (tr. Kesik Minare) hides more secrets that one might have expected. This characteristic structure of an actually broken minaret belongs to the ruined Korkut Mosque (tr. Korkut Camii). The history of this building is an excellent illustration that offers a better understanding of the turbulent history of Antalya.

Broken Minaret in Antalya
Broken Minaret in Antalya

Church of the Evil Eye (El Nazar Kilise) in Göreme

Just a short walk from the most famous churches in Göreme open-air museum stands the forgotten church of the Evil Eye. It has been beautifully restored and is now guarded by a custodian who adapted a nearby rock into a stone house. A visit to the church is a nice respite from the crowds, and at the same time - an opportunity to see wonderful Byzantine frescoes. Here, nobody will pay attention as you take a few photos, but remember that the flashlight is harmful to these 10-century-old works of art.

Church of the Evil Eye (El Nazar Kilise) in Göreme
Church of the Evil Eye (El Nazar Kilise) in Göreme

Museum Pass cards for foreign travelers in Turkey

Müzekart system has existed in Turkey for a long time, offering cheaper access to museums and archaeological sites. Unfortunately, Müzekart system has only been offered to the citizens of Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, as well as foreigners with residence permits in Turkey and international students with valid ID cards issued by Turkish universities. For this reason, the usefulness of Müzekart system is negligible for foreign tourists. Fortunately for some time now the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism has been systematically extending an offer of Museum Pass cards, aimed at overseas travelers.

Museum Pass Cappadocia point of sale
Museum Pass Cappadocia point of sale

Alanya Castle

When visiting Alanya it is hard to miss the massive fortifications that dominate the skyline. This fort, beautifully situated on the promontory overlooking the sea, is the goal of many hikers who got tired of the continuous sunbathing. Can the area of the fortress (tr. Alanya Kalesi), known in town simply as 'kale' (the castle), hide any secrets and little-known nooks and crannies? It is worth to set off on a hike, discover many interesting places and become enchanted by the stunning panorama that extends from the top of the castle hill.

The church of St. George from the Byzantine period - Inner Fortress in Alanya
The church of St. George from the Byzantine period - Inner Fortress in Alanya

Belevi Mausoleum

Belevi Mausoleum is monumental tomb from the Hellenistic era that stands near Selçuk in the Aegean province of Izmir. It is the second largest ancient mausoleum in Anatolia, slightly smaller than the most famous building of this type; that is the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus. However, Belevi Mausoleum is much better preserved than one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Claros

In ancient times, people attached great importance to the words of the oracle that foretold the future, gave advice and warnings. In the Greek world, apart from the most famous oracle at Delphi, there were many other prophetic centers, of local or wider significance. One of them was the oracle of Claros, the ruins of which are located in Izmir province, near Ahmetbeyli.

The religious center in Claros consisted of the temple and oracle of Apollo, revered locally as Apollo Clarius. This oracle during the ancient period had the significance similar to the ones in Delphi and Didyma. The nearest Greek settlements - Notion and Colophon - took care of this center. Also, every five years, a sports event, known as Claria and organized in honor of Apollo, was held in Claros.

Claros
Claros

Ariassos

On the road connecting the Mediterranean coast with the mountainous Pisidia the remains of many ancient cities are scattered. In addition to these more widely-known among travelers, such as Sagalassos and Antioch of Pisidia, there are numerous ruins of settlements totally forgotten or very poorly known along this route. Ariassos, hidden between the mountains at an altitude of 950 meters above sea level, belong to this second cathegory, but is definitely worth a visit.

The monumental gate of Ariassos
The monumental gate of Ariassos

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