Church and Monastery of St Nicholas in Mustafapaşa

There are three rock churches in the valley that is situated to the south of Mustafapaşa centre. The most impressive of them is the church and the monastery of St. Nicholas. Along with the other two churches - St. Stephen and Sinasos - it forms Monastery Valley Open Air Museum (tr. Manastır Vadisi Açık Hava Müzesi). It is worth mentioning that there are 14 churches dedicated to St. Nicholas in Cappadocia.

Church and Monastery of St Nicholas in Mustafapaşa
Church and Monastery of St Nicholas in Mustafapaşa

İsa Bey Mosque in Selçuk

İsa Bey Mosque (tr. İsabey Camii) is situated at the foot of Ayasoluk Hill in Selçuk. It is one of the finest examples of Seljuk architecture in Anatolia. Katharina Otto-Dorn established that this is the oldest Turkish mosque with a courtyard, as well as the oldest colonnaded mosque with a transept (i.e. a transverse nave) in Anatolia. This mosque is often compared to İlyas Bey Mosque in Miletus, dated to the same period.

İsa Bey Mosque in Selçuk
İsa Bey Mosque in Selçuk

Archaeology Museum in Çanakkale

The Archaeology Museum in Çanakkale collects the exhibits from the area of ​​the ancient Troad, i.e. the Biga Peninsula. However, despite the enormous historical significance of the region and its incredibly rich history, the museum collection is quite disappointing. Nevertheless, a visit to this museum is recommended before going to Troy and Dardanos Tumulus, situated on the way to Troy. The museum was founded in 1936. Initially, it operated in a former church, but in 1984, it was moved to a new building. In the small garden of the museum, there are a lot of stone exhibits, including sarcophagi, columns, and gravestones.

Archaeology Museum in Çanakkale
Archaeology Museum in Çanakkale

Avanos

Avanos, located on the Kızılırmak River (literally Red River), is a town famous for its beautiful pottery that has been produced there for millennia. The production process uses the clay extracted from Kızılırmak, with a characteristic reddish hue. However, Avanos is not only a ceramic workshop but also a charming town where it is possible to stroll along a riverside promenade. It is also an alternative accommodation base for exploring Cappadocia.

Kızılırmak River in Avanos
Kızılırmak River in Avanos

Grotto of the Seven Sleepers in Ephesus

If you find yourself in the vicinity of Ephesus, you should find the ruins of the Grotto of the Seven Sleepers (tr. Yedi Uyuyanlar), located nearby. It is a Byzantine necropolis where dozens of rock-cut tombs can be seen. The grotto is one of the several places related to the legend of a group of youths who hid inside a cave and years after woke up to find the world changed. This legend has two versions, Christian, and Islamic.

Grotto of the Seven Sleepers in Ephesus
Grotto of the Seven Sleepers in Ephesus

Kızılhisar Castle

Kızılhisar Castle (Red Fortress), also known as Keçi Kalesi or Goat Castle, is situated on Alamandağ Hill, in ancient times known as Gallesion. This hill stands in the vicinity of the town Belevi near Selçuk and is clearly visible from the İzmir-Aydın highway.

Kızılhisar Castle
Kızılhisar Castle

Temple of Artemis at Ephesus

The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus was a great building belonging to the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Unfortunately, nowadays a visit to Ephesus Artemision brings a big disappointment, comparable to trying to see the Great Altar of Zeus in Pergamon. It is because a single column and a bit of rubble remained of the Temple of Artemis to our times.

Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
Temple of Artemis at Ephesus

Sarı Han Caravanserai

An impressive building of Yellow Caravanserai, referred to in Turkish as Sarı Han or Saru Han, stands on the outskirts of Avanos. Its name, as you might imagine, comes from the color of stone blocks that were used for its erection in 1249. Yellow Caravanserai owes its present appearance to a thorough renovation, carried out in 1991. Travelers visiting Cappadocia usually have the opportunity to visit this caravanserai, if they decide to participate in sema ceremony that is the show of famous whirling dervishes.

Sarı Han Caravanserai
Sarı Han Caravanserai

Şapinuwa

The discovery of the ruins of the Hittite city of Şapinuwa was a huge surprise for the researchers of this period of the history of Asia Minor. Although archaeological work has been conducted on this site since 1990, many of the issues associated with the importance and the role Şapinuwa played during the period of Hittite domination remain a mystery. The researchers conducting excavations in Şapinuwa claim that it was the second capital of the Hittites or the royal residence of the rulers of this country. The most valuable discovery made so far in Şapinuwa is a collection of over three thousand pieces of clay tablets from the second millennium BCE. Unfortunately, not all of them have already been read, and many researchers eagerly await the full publication of their contents.

Şapinuwa
Şapinuwa

Parion (Kemer)

The ruins of the ancient city of Parion are located on the territory of modern Turkish village of Kemer, in Çanakkale Province, on the coast of the Marmara Sea. The ruins are far from the beaten track, so it is difficult to reach them, and even find interesting information in a language other than Turkish is a challenge. Thanks to intensive archaeological excavations, conducted in Parion, crucial findings are made every year, shedding light on the history of the settlement.

Parion excavations
Parion excavations

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