Turkey is a country between Europe and Asia and the country boasts of ancient monuments from a parade of conquerors from its ancient history. The country is bedecked with lovely landscapes from the Mediterrean to the high mountains and arid steppes. Remember the city of Ephesus in the Bible? Its right in Turkey. Moreso, you are bound to see the Byzantine and Ottoman as well as Pamukkale fondly called ‘Cotton Castle’, known for its mineral-rich thermal waters flowing down white travertine terraces on a nearby hillside.
You can enjoy the beauty of Istanbul’s Ottoman on a city break, laze on the beach, discover history walking around ruins in Ephesus or see some of the most breathtaking panoramas in Cappadocia. Cappadocia is known for its unique ‘fairy chimneys’ which are tall, cone-shaped rock formations clustered in Monks Valley. The Ottoman Empire on the other hand, was a state and a caliphate which, between the 14th and early 20th centuries, ruled much of South East Europe, West Asia and North Africa.
Turkey is quite an interesting country to visit and here are a few of the major places to see:
One of the wonders of Turkey, is the famous Hagia Sophia which is in Istanbul, the capital. The building was built in 537AD and was a church for more than 1400 years. It was later converted to a mosque in 1453 by the Ottoman Turks, then later into a museum.
Renowned as one of the world’s most beautiful buildings, the Aya Sofya Museum’s is definitely one of the top places to visit in Turkey. Majority of its exterior is predominated by delicate minarets from the Ottoman conquest, while the majestic and cavernous interior is a great reminder of old Turkey’s wealth and strength.
Some of the unique spots to see in the Hagia Sophia is:
- The Emperor’s Door, a massive door which was originally used only by Byzantine emperors and their entourage. Legend has it that the door is made of wood from Noah’s Ark
- The Omphalion is made up of circular marble slabs and is the site where Byzantine emperors were crowned.
- Empress Zoe, an 11th century Byzantine is a mosaic, which is housed in the upper gallery of Hagia Sophia.
- The Sultan’s Loge is a raised kiosk built in the 18th century that allows Ottoman sultans to pray in the mosque without being seen.
- The Weeping Column is a popular pillar in the Hagia Sofia which has a lot of myths surrounding it about it being a place to cure ailments.
A trip to the ancient city of Ephesus is a trip you wouldn’t want to take hurriedly. Ephesus in the Holy book is depicted as a place with monumental temples and marble-columned road. If you can imagine what life was during the Roman Empire’s golden age, then it is Ephesus, a Roman city in the Mediterranean region. It was once the Mediterranean’s main commercial center which led to the spread of Christianity.
Cappadocia boasts of cliffs and mountain crests that is home to wave-like panoramas of rock or various shapes, which formed the wind and water action over thousands of years. Here you will find one of the world’s best hot air ballooning destinations. Cappadocia boasts of rock valleys and the frescos of the Byzantine era rock-cut churches for the early Christians.
The Topkapi Palace will lead you to the beautiful and opulent world of the Sultans. From here, the Ottoman era sultans built an empire that spread across Europe, down the Middle East and Africa. The interior of the palace has a lavish tiling with jeweled décor. The public gardens around the Royal Court is now open to the public and provides a quiet, lush recreation on the city streets.
One of the greatest natural wonders of Turkey, is the pure white terraces of Pamukkale which cascades down the slope like an outdoor snowfield amid the green landscape. There you will find the vast ruins of Roman Hierapolis. The thermal waters flows down the terraces on a nearby hillside. This antique pool is known for its submerged Roman columns, which resulted from an earthquake.
At evening time, this offers a breath-taking view for photographs.
Located in the south of Antalya, the Roman Theater of Aspendos has a lot of pomp and history. This place is also considered the finest surviving example of a classical age theater, and one of the star attractions of the antiquity.
The theater is the main reason for a visit here, and most visitors visit the theater for at least half a day, but all they see is theater, which offers more ruins to explore.
So there you go, a trip to Turkey will definitely enlighten you on historical information you never knew existed.
Flights are now available to Istanbul from Abuja.
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