Аnkara: The Capital of Turkey

Ankara Turkey

Sometimes people think that the capital of Turkey is Istanbul. Because it’s the largest city in Turkey and the concentration of historical places in country. But in fact, the capital of Turkey is Ankara — city, known as Ancyra or Angora.

Ankara: The Turkish capital and so much more

Ankara Turkey

Ankara Turkey

You can be forgiven for thinking Istanbul is the capital of Turkey. Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey and it is the most visited tourist destination outside of the country’s beach resort towns.

Turkey’s capital is Ankara, a city of more than 5.6 million residents, making it the second largest city behind Istanbul. Ankara is located in the northwest part of Turkey in the Anatolia region. It is a landlocked city, which is one reason it may not feature in too many travel television shows or blogs. Yet, Ankara is an ideal destination for anyone seeking a trip to the heart of Turkey.

The city offers visitors so much in terms of history, culture, and excitement. Ankara Castle provides 360-degree views of the historic city, giving you the chance to see for kilometers. It is a great place to start your sightseeing tour of Ankara, the Turkish capital, and so much more.

Ankara History

Scientific evidence shows that Ankara has been inhabited since the Stone Age. The history of the Turkish capital stretches back thousands of years, and even Alexander the Great made a stop in the city. In 333 BC, Alexander the Great conquered Ankara, and sometime later, in 25 BC, Augustus incorporated the city into the Roman Empire.

Ankara’s culture was heavily influenced by the two rulers and the people that lived in the area. The following centuries brought additional rulers and civilizations that added to the existing cultures. The second sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Orhan, took control of Ankara in 1354. Ankara became part of the Ottoman Empire just a few years later, and by 1403, it was under Ottoman rule.

Ankara was a significant city on the trade routes between Europe and Asia. The city was a stop-off point for many travelers and merchants. The transient lifestyle of many people passing through continued to add to the city’s culture. In addition, the city’s various inhabitants over the decades all contributed to its architecture.

Turkish nationalist leader, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, established Ankara as the center of the resistance movement in 1919. The Turkish nationalists were battling against the Ottoman sultan and the Greeks, who invaded the country. In 1923, Ankara was named the capital of Turkey.

Ankara Today: Museums and Places to See

Ankara is a multicultural city with a vibrant social scene. It is home to fantastic restaurants, modern shopping malls and stores, and history. Travels looking for an exciting holiday filled with great cuisine and shopping will be able to find it in abundance during a vacation to Ankara.

Culture vultures and history buffs will also have plenty to see and do on a trip to the capital city. You will need to organize your trip accordingly to see all of the amazing sites in Ankara. The city is packed with must-see museums, galleries, and historical sites.
So, what museums and places should you see on a trip to Ankara?

Kocatepe Mosque

Ankara Turkey

Kocatepe Mosque

The Kocatepe Mosque was finished in 1987 after decades of indecision about the final designs of the religious building. In the end, it was built in a neo-classical Ottoman architectural style. Kocatepe is thought to be the height of Islamic architecture. The mosque is above one of Ankara’s most popular department stores, Bengendik, giving you the chance to shop after visiting the historic building. Visitors are allowed at Kocaetep Mosque outside of prayer times.

Museum of Anatolian Civilizations

You will be able to see the full scale of the pre-Classical-era human history of Anatolia at the museum. You will see important artefacts from Çatalhöyük, a neolithic village site located near Konya. The museum has a wall painting that is believed to be the world’s first city map. You will find an assortment of incredible finds, including the fertility goddess statue, exhibits dedicated to the Hittite Empire of the Bronze Age, and the Phrygian and Urartian Empires. If you can visit one museum in Turkey, the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations is the most historically rewarding.

Temple of Augustus

Ankara Turkey

Augustus tapınağı

Phrygians built the Temple of Augustus in 25BC. On the walls of the Temple are Acts of Augustus. The inscription is an autobiography of Augustus’s life. It is a unique monument and a look into the city’s past.

Atatürk Mausoleum

The Atatürk Mausoleum is the city’s most famous and most visited site. No location is more important in terms of being a pilgrimage site in Turkey than the mausoleum. You will find the Atatürk Mausoleum on a hilltop to the city center’s west. Inside the mausoleum are the remains of the founder of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal. A museum surrounds the mausoleum and provides visitors with a history of Turkey’s fight for independence. The country’s independence fight was led by Kemal, and the Atatürk Mausoleum honors his life today. The mausoleum is a place of remembrance, so pay your respects. You will find the atmosphere to be somber, as Turkish citizens show their reverence for Kemal.

Walk the Citadel and Explore Ankara Castle

Ankara Turkey

Ankara Kalesi

The citadel area of Ankara is one of the coolest, most historic parts of the capital. The massive fortifications in the area date back to the 9th century and the Byzantine era. You will find narrow cobblestoned streets and alleys with old Ottoman-era buildings. Many of the old homes in the area were restored to their original look. The Eastern Tower provides views across the city of Ankara. You will find traditional craft stores, cafes, and workshops near the citadel’s main gate. This is a great place to find a souvenir for someone back home. Explore Ankara Castle to find an incredible view of the city. You will find a 360-degree view from the top of the castle, and the sights are very rewarding.

Art Galleries

The capital city has plenty of great art galleries and a thriving art scene. The most popular gallery is the Ankara Painting & Sculpture Museum, which has a permanent collection of 19th and 20th-century Turkish art. You will find all of Turkey’s most famous artists’ works inside. Cer Modern is Ankara’s museum of modern art. It is located in an old train depot building, giving culture vultures another reason to visit.

Ankara is an incredible city that unfortunately goes overlooked by tourists. However, the city is teeming with history and culture, and it delivers a fantastic shopping experience to travelers seeking modern amenities. Ankara is ideal for any traveler looking to get away from Turkey’s more traveled cities.

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