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UNESCO Heritage in Turkey

June 14, 2017

Turkey is really big country, with one of the most interesting pasts and history in the world. Home to 3 empires, its heritage is incredibly rich and relevant. Right now there are 13 sites which are considered World Heritage by Unesco. The ones I’ve visited before (2 of them) have my own reviews. The others are in my bucket list and I will uptade the blog each time I visit a new one. For now I leave you with some photos and information I found online of the 11 sites i liked the most.

Cultural Sites:

Archaeological Site of Troy (1998)

Troy, with its 4,000 years of history, is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. Its remains are the most relevant demonstration of the first contact between the civilizations of Anatolia and the Mediterranean world.

Bursa and Cumalıkızık: the Birth of the Ottoman Empire (2014)

This site has eight components, all in the City of Bursa and the nearby village of Cumalıkızık. The site illustrates the creation of an urban and rural system establishing the Ottoman Empire in the early 14th century.

City of Safranbolu (1994)

From the 13th century to the advent of the railway in the early 20th century, Safranbolu was an important caravan station on the main East–West trade route. The Old Mosque, Old Bath and Süleyman Pasha Medrese were built in 1322.

Great Mosque and Hospital of Divriği (1985)

This region of Anatolia was conquered by the Turks at the beginning of the 11th century. In 1229 Emir Ahmet Shah founded a mosque in Divrigi. The sophisticated technique of vault construction and a creative, exuberant type of decorative sculpture – particularly on the three doorways, in contrast to the unadorned walls of the interior – are the unique features of this masterpiece of Islamic architecture.

Hattusha: the Hittite Capital (1986)

The archaeological site of Hattusha, former capital of the Hittite Empire, is notable for its urban organization, types of construction that have been preserved (temples, royal residences, fortifications), rich ornamentation of the Lions’ Gate and the Royal Gate.

Historic Areas of Istanbul (1985)

Istanbul is amazing! It is home to some of the most impressive masterpieces of architecture like the ancient Hippodrome of Constantine, the 6th-century Hagia Sophia and the 16th-century Süleymaniye Mosque.  It also has a strategic location on the Bosphorus peninsula between the Balkans and Anatolia, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean and it has been associated with major political, religious and artistic events for more than 2,000 years.

Nemrut Dağ (1987)

The mountain lies 40 km north of Kahta, near Adıyaman. In 62 BC, King Antiochus I Theos of Commagene built on the mountain top a tomb-sanctuary flanked by huge statues 8–9 m high of himself, two lions, two eagles and various Greek, Armenian, and Iranian gods, such as Vahagn-Hercules, Aramazd-Zeus or Oromasdes. These statues were once seated, with names of each god inscribed on them. The heads of the statues have at some stage been removed from their bodies, and they are now scattered throughout the site.


Pergamon and its Multi-Layered Cultural Landscape (2014)

Pergamon was an ancient Greek city in Aeolis, currently located 26 kilometres from the Aegean Sea. It became the capital of the Kingdom of Pergamon during the Hellenistic period, under the Attalid dynasty, 281–133 BC. Pergamon is cited in the Book of Revelation as one of the seven churches of Asia.


Selimiye Mosque and its Social Complex (2011)

The square Mosque with its single great dome and four slender minarets, dominates the skyline of the former Ottoman capital of Edirne. Sinan, the most famous of Ottoman architect, considered the complex, which includes madrasas (Islamic schools), a covered market, clock house, outer courtyard and library, to be his best work.


Mixed Sites (Culture and Nature):

Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia (1985)

In a spectacular landscape, entirely sculpted by erosion, the Göreme valley and its surroundings contain rock-hewn sanctuaries that provide a unique evidence of Byzantine art. Dwellings, troglodyte villages and underground towns – the remains of a traditional human habitat dating back to the 4th century – can also be seen there.

Hierapolis-Pamukkale (1988)

This is one of those special places that you only see once in your life. Falling from springs in a cliff almost 200 m high, calcite-laden waters have created at Pamukkale (Cotton Palace) an unreal landscape, made up of mineral forests, petrified waterfalls and a series of terraced basins. At the end of the 2nd century B.C. the dynasty of the Attalids, the kings of Pergamon, established the thermal spa of Hierapolis. The ruins of the baths, temples and other Greek monuments can be seen at the site.


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