Saturday, July 10, 2010

My Four Wonders of Turkey

guest post by Henri Mikael for Travelsoon.com

Turkey is a large, culturally rich and historic nation with a wide variety of places to explore and discover. This is my personal list of four favorite locations in Turkey.

Museums of Istanbul

One hardly needs to visit museums while visiting Istanbul as the city itself is a testament to centuries of history with incredible architecture, ancient walls, towers and magnificent palaces. However, Istanbul features a number of excellent museums for those who wish to dig deeper than the surface. The Istanbul Archaeology offers a wealth of historic treasures and is, in fact, three museums in one - including the Museum of Ancient Orient and the Museum of Islamic Arts.

Troy

A famous place to say the least, especially after the 2004 box office hit Troy which starred Brad Pitt and Diane Kruger. While most of the film was fictional, surprisingly the Trojan horse did exist, at least according to history. The Trojans used a big wooden horse ‘gift’ to get inside the Greek walls. The same term has entered our modern language with it being the descriptor for a well known computing virus, that relies on creating a ‘back door’ to a PC to give access to hackers.

Aside from Hollywood films and viruses, Troy is magnificent for its old ruins which were dug up in 1868 with the city thought fictional for a few millenniums until discovered by Frank Calvert in 1863. It is certainly worthwhile adding Troy to your list of places to visit while in Turkey. Note that the wooden horse in Troy is just for fun, not the real deal.

Ephesus

Also known as one of the seven wonders of the world and on the location of the Temple of Artemis, Ephesus was an ancient Greek city, with a quarter of a million in population and boasting the status of the second largest city in the world in the first century BC. The Temple of Artemis, however, has been long gone and only ruins remain. Despite this, the ruins of Ephesus are a well known travel wonder and are easily accessed from Adnan Menderes Airport.

Miniatürk

Turkey offers so many wonders making it impossible to visit everything the country has to offer. While your Turkey holidays may only be short, it is worthwhile visiting Miniatürk, which offers reproductions of the major constructions and buildings that are spread throughout Turkey. While the buildings aren’t the real thing, it is great for those that don’t want to get in-depth with their history, yet want to enjoy their time in Turkey.

Photo Credits: Trojan Horse, Istanbul Museum, Troy Amphitheatre, Ephesus, Miniaturk

9 comments:

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Heather Dugan (Footsteps) said...

Great post, Mark. Ephesus intrigues me. I hope I get to visit someday.

Barbara Weibel said...

Turkey is so high on my list. In fact, I'd love to do a crescent tour around the eastern Mediterranean, from Greece, through Turkey, Jordan, and Israel. But I think I need a real job first!

Mark H said...

@heather: Ephesus appears to be the highlight of Turkey with its majestic history.

@barbara: It is high on my list too. Reading this guest post makes me want to visit more.

Heather on her travels said...

I read somewhere that are more great Roman and Greek ruins in Turkey than there are in Greece although one doesn't hear so much about them

Mark H said...

@heather: I haven't heard that, but it is believable. Turkey seems full of ancient ruins. Maybe they have been better preserved.

Anil said...

I'd also recommend venturing out to the eastern/northern cities. Sinop, Van, Sivas are all wonderful places most tourists never make it.

Mark H said...

@anil: Thank you for your excellent advice about a country that you know so well.

istanbul tours said...

I just returned home after my Anzac Day in Turkey, marking the 95th Anniversary of the Anzac Day memorial services at Gallipoli, Turkey.I would like to make a special thanks to everyone at Turkey for their efforts in putting together the tours for us .I have been to Gallipoli for an Anzac Day service before, this time my first trial in ;Turkey, Their value for money packages far exceed the quality and level of service we experienced on other tours especially the way our guide handled our bus at Anzac Cove when the New Zealand president decided www.privatetoursinistanbul.com make a private tour of the museums.The food at the barbeque was nice and fresh, but the venue is a little outdated. Me and my husband feel we are really lucky this year because we were provided an Anzac conference, a forum presented in a 5 star hotel in the centre of taksim, full of information about the history and significance of the event. The expert historians from New Zealand, Australia and Turkey were fantastic. Thank you for giving us an informative and well-rounded experience this year.

 
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