city of Ankara lies in the center of Anatolia on the eastern
edge of the great, high Anatolian Plateau,
at an altitude of 850 meters. It is the center of the province
of the same name, which is a predominantly
fertile wheat steppe-land with forested areas in its northeast
region. It is bordered by the provinces of Cankiri and Bolu
to the north, Eskisehir to the west, Konya and Aksaray to
the south, and Kirikkale and Kirsehir to the east.
region's history goes back to the Bronze Age; Hatti Civilization,
which was succeeded in the 2nd millennium
BC by the Hittites, then the Phrygians (10th century BC);
Lydians and Persians followed. After these
came the Galatians, a Celtic race who were the first to make
Ankara their capital (3rd century BC). It
was then known as Ancyra, meaning anchor. The town
subsequently fell to the Romans, Byzantines, and Selcuks under
ruler &Alparslan in 1073, and then to the
Ottomans under sultan Yildirim Beyazit in 1402, who &remained
in control until theFirst World War.
once an important trading center on the caravan route to the
east, had declined in importance by the nineteenth century.
It became an important center again when Kemal Ataturk chose
it as the base from which to direct the War of Liberation.
In consequence of its role in the war and its strategic position,
it was declared the capital of the new Turkish Republic on
the 13th October,1923.
(Ataturk Mausoleum): Located in an imposing position in
the Anittepe quarter of the city stands the Mausoleum of Kemal
Ataturk, founder of the Turkish Republic.Completed in 1953,
it is an impressive fusion of ancient and modern architectural
ideas and remains unsurpassed as an accomplishment of modern
Turkish architecture. There is a museum housing writings,
letters and items belonging to Ataturk as well as an exhibition
of photographs recording important moments in his
life and the establishment of the republic.(Anitkabir and
the museum is open everyday, except Mondays.
During the summer, there is a light and sound show in the
Museum of Anatolian Civilizations : Close to the citadel
gate an old bedesten has been beautifully
restored and now houses a marvelous and unique collection
including Paleolithic, Neolithic, Hatti,
Hittite, Phrygian, Urartian and Roman works. (Open everyday,
except Monday. During the summer, the museum
Ethnographical Museum : Opposite the Opera House on Talat
Pasa Boulevard is the Ethnographical Museum. There is a fine
collection of folkloric artifacts as well as fine items from
Seljuk and Ottoman mosques. (Open everyday, except Monday).
Ankara Citadel : The foundations of the citadel were laid
by the Galatians on a prominent lava outcrop, and completed
by the Romans; the Byzantines and Seljuks made restorations
and additions. The area around and inside the citadel is the
oldest part of Ankara and many fine examples of traditional
architecture can be seen within the citadel walls. There are
also lovely green areas in which to relax.
Temple of Augustus : The temple can be found in the Ulus
quarter of the city. It was built in the
2nd century BC and only later dedicated to the Emperor Augustus.
It is important today for the 'Monument
Ancyranum', the testament of Augustus that is inscribed on
its walls in Latin and Greek. In the fifth
century the temple was converted to a church.
Roman Bath : The bath, situated on Cankiri Avenue in Ulus,
has the typical features of Roman baths:
a frigidarium (cold section), tepidarium (cool section) and
caldarium (hot section). They were built
in the time of the Emperor Caracalla (3rd century AD) in honor
of the god of medicine, Asclepios. Today
only the basement and first floors remain.
Column of Julian : This column, in Ulus, was erected in
362 AD probably to commemorate a visit by the Roman Emperor
Julian the Apostate. It stands fifteen meters high and has
a typical leaf decoration on the capital.
Bayram Mosque : This mosque, in Ulus, next to the Temple
of Augustus, was built in the early 15th
century and subsequently restored by Sinan in the l6th centurywith
Kutahya tiles being added in the 18th century.
The mosque was built in honor of Haci Bayram Veli whose
tomb is next to the mosque.