Turkey is a treasure trove of architectural wonders, natural beauty & ancient history. The country is at the point where Europe & Asia collide - it is this transcontinental culture-clash that enriches Turkey’s heritage. Here are some of Turkey's beautiful heritage and history...
Safranbolu A town in the Black Sea region of northern Turkey, once a stop on the trade route between Europe and the Orient. Its Ottoman architecture includes the old Çarşı district, with hundreds of preserved, red-roofed Ottoman houses on cobblestone streets.
Safranbolu is more of a museum-city, with its cobblestone streets, hill houses & natural beauty evidence of its worthiness of being declared a cultural asset. It was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites due to its well-preserved Ottoman era houses & architecture.
Despite Safranbolu’s small size, it has one fifth of Turkey’s cultural attractions. It has a large variety of historic buildings, the oldest one dating back to the 14th century with its preservation reflecting its authentic heritage.
Balat One of Istanbul’s gems; the neighborhood named Balat. One of the oldest districts, with some wooden houses over 200 years old. The second you enter Balat with its colorful historical buildings & narrow streets, you will forget that you’re in Turkey.
The colourful houses of Balat are mostly over 50-years-old, & in some cases up to 200-years-old. These historic wooden homes are amongst the most photographed buildings in the city, & many of these streets now feature cafés & restaurants.
Uzungöl A village on the lake's coast. The picturesque lake, its village & the surrounding valley have become popular tourist attractions. The lake was formed by a landslide, which transformed the stream bed into a natural dam, in the valley of the Haldizen Stream.
The mosque in Uzungöl is also what makes Uzungöl Lake so iconic because the two minarets point up right over the lake when looking down at the lake from the hill and once you’re down at the lake you won’t be able to stop looking at it.
Şanlıurfa is close to the world’s oldest temple (Göbekli tepe), this city is supposed to be Abraham’s hometown. If you do visit, you may want to explore Balıklıgöl. That is where Nimrod threw the Prophet Abraham, into the fire.
Şanlıurfa still has preserved 300-year-old conical beehive houses made of mud. These are no longer used by residents of the city, however they are maintained by the government as a part of its cultural heritage.
Istanbul, Galata Tower Dominating the skyline of İstanbul from 1348 onwards, it provided surveillance from inside the walls of the city, & was later used as a fire detection tower during the Ottoman Empire before it converted into a prison during the rule of Sultan Suleiman.
Istanbul, Hagia Sophia A mosque and major cultural and historical site. Originally a Greek Orthodox church, the site has changed between being a mosque and a museum since the fall of the Byzantine Empire it was built between 532 & 537.
Hagia Sofia still showcases features both Christian & Islamic architecture making this monument a unique architectural masterpiece. The Byzantine architecture of Hagia Sophia served as an inspiration for many other Ottoman mosques such as Istanbul's Blue Mosque.
Mardin is a historic city in southeastern Turkey. The capital of Mardin Province, it is known for the Artuqid architecture of its old city, and for its strategic location on a rocky hill near the Tigris River that rises steeply over the flat plains.
During the Artuqid period, many of Mardin's historic buildings were constructed, including several mosques, palaces, madrasas and khans. Mardin served as the capital of one of the two Artuqid branches during the 11th and 12th centuries.
Bodrum, Turkey If you want to build a house in Bodrum, it must be white. That’s why this Mediterranean city has that village vibe that you’ll find in seaside cities around Europe.
Bodrum, Turkey If you see blue on the buildings, it’s because blue is supposed to ward off envy. This is definitely one of the most picturesque cities which is indeed a work of art in itself.
The Kayakapi neighbourhood of Ürgüp A historical area located on the northeastern slope of a hill known as Esbelli. The geographical context within which the Neighbourhood is located is characterized by a semi-mountainous landscape and volcanic tuff, pumice & basalt rocks.
The historical development of Ürgüp and the region can be traced back to 1800–1200 BC, to the Hittite period, and continues from the Phrygian, Persian, Roman and Byzantine periods onto the Seljukid and Ottoman empires.
Bursa, Turkey In the 14th century it was the second capital of the Ottoman Empire & hasn’t lost its connection with this heritage. The entire city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its concentration of Ottoman architecture. There are many mausoleums, palaces & mansions.
Misi village, found 12 km away from the Bursa city centre, brings memories from the past to the present thanks to the warm shades of its stone houses with tiled roofs. These historical houses built over a green slope, a settlement with a history of 2 millennia.