Western Black Sea Region


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Eastern Black Sea Region

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Because of its mild and humid climate, the beautiful landscapes of the Eastern part of the Black Sea region - formely called in ancient times Pontus Euxinus or Euxeinos Pontos which is the Greek name given to the Black Sea and to the North-East of Anatolia - are very different from the other parts of Turkey. It is a picturesque region covered with fir-tree forests where rivers flow through green valleys into the Black Sea. The magic of the landscapes will delight the nature lovers.
 




BOLU

The region of Bolu is a nice stop to break the journey between Istanbul and Ankara, as it is situated approximately half way between the two cities. It is located in the middle of thick forests and a green nature. Abant Lake situated at an altitude of 1,500m/ 4,921 feet, and the National Park of Yedigöller (Seven Lakes) are wonderful places.
Bolu and its surrounding towns had a significant effect in Ottoman cuisine as the best cooks of the Ottoman Empire were from this area. Mengen, a small town near Bolu still holds this tradition, where the biggest cook festivals in Turkey are held.
 




SAFRANBOLU

Safranbolu is a picturesque small town located 115 km/ 71 miles north-east of Bolu.
From the 13th century till the 19th century, Safranbolu was an important caravan post. The old mosque, the medrese and hammams were built in 1322. The special architecture of the beautiful houses influenced the urban development of a large part of the Ottoman Empire. The impressive architecture of their rooves have led them to be called "Houses with five facades". The houses are two or three storeyed consisting of 6 to 9 rooms. Each room is intricately detailed and have ample window space allowing plenty of light. The delicate woodwork and carvings, wall and ceiling decoration, the banisters and the indoor knobs....all come together to form an unmatched harmony of architectural aestetics. The most important houses called “konak”(mansions) even have inner pools.
There are about 600 fountains in Safranbolu.
The town has been declared by UNESCO to be one of the Eminent Cultural Heritages of the World.
The Safranbolu Architectural Treasures and Folklore Week takes place every year in September.
 




AMASYA

Located at the foot of a rock in a narrow valley through which flow the torrential waters of the Yeşilırmak river, this charming town has a prestigious past: occupying a strategic and economic position on the route between Mesopotamia and the Black Sea, the ancient city of Amaseia was the capital of the kings of Pontus (Euxeinos Pontos is the Greek name given to the Black Sea and the North-Eastern region of Anatolia) during the Hellenistic period, a county town during the Roman period, the homeland of geographer Strabon, a Byzantine fortified fortress, the capital of the last kingdom of eastern Armenia, a Turkish emirate and a Mongol base before it was finally conquered by Ottoman Sultan Bayezit I in 1392.

The Ottoman houses lining the banks of the Yeşilırmak river create a picturesque atmosphere. The beauty of Amasya’s surroudings and its architecture legacy have contributed to make Amasya of the the most attractive city in Turkey.

Here in Amasya, Atatürk began his campaign for Turkish independence in secret meetings in June 1919.

Places of interest:

The Ancient Citadel , whose remains are a few towers with the ruins of an Ottoman palace and a tunnel with a staircase.

The Rock-Cut Tombs
of the kings of Pontus.

Gök Medrese
.

Torumtay Türbesi
is a Seljuk mausoleum.

Sultan Beyazıt Mosque.

İlhanli Bimarhane Mental Hospital
is a 14th century building with lovely sculptures around its portal.


Ağa Medrese has an extraordinary octagonal gate.

Hazeranlar Konağı is a 19th century mansion of great interest which has perfectly been restored and now holds an art gallery and an ethnographical museum.

The Archaeological and Ethnographical Museum
where momies of the Mongol İlhanlı rulers of Amasya are displayed.


Between Amasya and Tokat is Zile, ancient Zila, a place made famous by Julius Caesar who, after his victory over, Pharnace II king of Pontus, said those succint words by which he told the Senate his victory : “ Veni, Vidi, Vici ”, “I came, I saw, I conquered”.

The curiosities of the town are the citadel and the 13C Ulu Cami (the great mosque).

 
TOKAT

Because of its geographical position, Tokat was, in ancient times, a strategic and commercial place. Located between two steep hills, Tokat is a charming town and an active craft industry center famous for its copper work, weaving and printing of fabrics with wooden pads called “yazma” (from yazmak, which means to write). Yazma is an old folk art using mainly floral designs. There are two types of yazma, “baski işi”, done with carved wooden blocks, and “kalem işi”, drawn by hand.


A tradition of carved and painted wood decoration and painted murals give the “konak” (mansions) of Tokat a particular elegance.

Places of interest:


The Madımağın and Latifoğlu Konakları are mansions which have been restaured showing the splendor of wealthy life in rural Turkey in the 19th century.

The Citadel
, with its 28 towers, is an ancient building transformed by the Seljuks and the Ottomans.

Garipler Camii
, a mosque from the 12C.

Ali Paşa Camii
from the 16C.

Gök Medrese
(1270) is an old school of theology transformed into the Archaeoligical Museum housing local finds.

Hatuniye Medresesi
is a complex built by Sultan Beyazıt II in the 16C.

The Seljuk bridge
on the Yeşilırmak River.