Museums & Sights in Ankara

Anitkabir: the mausoleum of Atatürk, but underneath in the museum is everything you could imagine wanting to know about the modern

Turkish state. Comprehensive and moving, the displays featuring battle scenes really give you an insight into the Turkish soul. Highly recommended. Make this the first place you visit when in Ankara. Akdeniz Caddesi, 312/231 7975, www.tsk.mil.tr/anitkabir/index.html.

Citadel: A true local experience. This is one of the first things you need to visit in Ankara. Head under the main archway, down narrow streets, through the inner walls, passing Gypsies trying to sell you stuff, then up to main remnants of the ancient Citadel for an incredible view. Come on a clear day, bring your camera, and get some amazing photos with Ankara in foreground and Atakule tower as a backdrop. In the other direction is a large Turkish flag which marks the edge of the old citadel, quite a distance away.

The foundations of the citadel were laid by the Galatians on a prominent lava outcrop, and the rest were completed by the Romans. The Byzantines and Seljuks made further restorations and additions. The area around and inside the citadel, being the oldest part of Ankara, contains fine examples of traditional architecture. Many restored old Turkish houses inside the citadel area have found new life as restaurants and hotels. A great place to explore. Note the amalgamation of stones from different eras used in the construction of the inner walls

 Ulus : Around the Citadel is by far the best place to shop in Ankara. Beads, fabrics, baskets, jewelry, furniture, antiaues and much much more are in the shops on the tiny streets cascading down from the Citadel. A few parking spots are available just outside the citadel near the taxi stand. An attendant may charge you 4 YTL for the privilege. Once there, extend your exploration further down into Ulus, where you will find the hardware district, the housewares district, the paint district, the plumbing district, which only sell those products and nothing else. Ulus is a true cultural experience whether around the Citadel or beyond.

 

Roman Ruins in Ulus :

Roman Baths ­ Contains all the typical features of a classical Roman bath: a frigidarium (cold room), tepidarium (cool room) and caldarium (hot room). The bath was built during the reign of Emperor Caracalla in the 3rd century AD to honour Asclepios, the God of Medicine. Today, only the basement and first floors remain. Located just off the Cankiri Caddesi and on most maps is called Roma Hammi.
Column of Julian ­ Erected in 362 to commemorate a visit by the Roman Emperor Julian. It stands fifteen meters high and has a typical leaf decoration on the capital. Located in the rabbit arren of streets between the Roman baths and the Haci Bayram mosque where the temple of Augustus and Rome is situated.
Temple of Augustus and Rome ­ The temple was built between 25 BC ­ 20 BC following the conquest of Central Anatolia by the Roman Empire and the formation of the Roman province of Galatia, with Ancyra (modern Ankara) as its administrative capital. The temple, on the ancient Acropolis of Ancyra, was enlarged by the Romans in the 2nd century. In the 5th century it was converted into a church by the Byzantines. Parts of it are now incorporated into the Haci Baryam mosque.
Roman Amphitheater ­ The remains of a typical Roman theater of the 2nd century CE were first found as the result of excavations in 1982. Located off Hisiparki Caddesi. Though it is off limit to visitors you can gaze at the ruins through the fence. If this theater was to be excavated fully, an entire road would have to be removed. And I do not think that will happen.
(D. Morris, US Embassy)

 

NB: This article is an extract of the "Guide of Ankara" by D.E. Morris {facebookpopup}

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