Turkey’s Ancient Structures

28 Oct 2014

There are many things in the world that can fascinate you. However, looking at what Turkey has to offer, especially its architecture, you would be hard pressed to find anything as intriguing.

Turkey's central European location lends to its rich culture and visitors flock from all over the world to marvel at its fascinating structures and enjoy this highly diversified country.

The Library of Celsus.

The library was built in honor of the then Roman senator Julius Celsus. The senator later died and was buried beneath the library just at the entrance. It was believed that the construction of the structure started at around 117 AD, and it took about 20 years to complete. Initially, it was scheduled to accommodate approximately 12,000 scrolls. In 262 AD after an earthquake a fire broke out and destroyed the interior of the library and all its contents. The library was later rebuilt and the front façade rebuilt during the 1960's and 70's

the-library-of-celsus

Image – Wikipedia

This ancient Roman building can be found in Ephesus, Anatolia, now part of Selçuk, In the Izmir region of Turkey.

St. Peter's Castle (Bodrum Castle)

Built in the 14th century by the Knights of St John whose headquarters where on the island of Rhodes, as a further stronghold on the mainland in defence of an attack by the Seljuk Turks. With what was then cutting edge design and technology the castle has an impressive water catching system and an impressive defensive system whereby attacking forces had nowhere to hide from the defending arrow and stones.

st-peters-castle-bodrum-castle

Image – Wikipedia

Located in the port city of Bodrum facing the sea of Marmaris

Amphitheatre in Miletus

Originally a Greek city on the western coast of Anatolia and considered one of the wealthiest and greatest ancient Greek cities. When constructed around 4th century BC the theatre could seat a mere 5,000 but then later renovated by the Romans to a larger capacity of around 25,000. If staying anywhere on the coast between Izmir and Bodrum this site is a must see for those who want to feel millennia of history.

amphitheatre-in-miletus-turkey
 

Located in the Izmir region of Turkey, nearby coastal resorts of Kusadasi and Didim make for good bases to visit this ancient site.

Basilica Cistern

Deep below the city of Istanbul there are hundreds of ancient cisterns designed to hold filtered water for many parts of the city, the largest of all being the Basilica Cistern, the roof is supported by 336 marble columns, reportedly built by over 7,000 slaves many of whom met their death working on the construction. It is also said the cistern housed a number of gardens to grow fruit and veg for the king.

Other subterranean sites worth visiting are the Cistern of Philoxenos and Theodosius Cistern both with impressive architecture and design.

basilica-cistern-turkey

Image – Wikipedia

White Bridge:

This 4th-century bridge constructed by Romans will remain to be a perfect reminder of the ancient technology. The bridge crosses over River Granicus and connects the road to Gallipoli in Mysia town.

Visitors from other European countries come here using a Turkey visa to see this bridge.

Of course, there are other bridges in the whole of Turkey built with the same high-quality standards.

All you need to do is check out the turkey visa application form, fill it up and then patiently wait for your visa, pack your bags and set off to check these amazing ancient Turkish architectures.

Sultan Ahmed Mosque or The Blue Mosque as it's commonly known.

Built in the 1600's after the war with Persia the then sultan decided to build the mosque to reassert Ottoman power. The mosque is lined with over 20,000 handmade tiles and some of the finest hand carved marble sculptures, it is a major tourist attraction for Istanbul with masses of both locals and tourists gathering to hear the evening call to prayer as the sun sets and the mosque is illuminated by the setting sunlight.

sultan-ahmed-mosque-turkey

Image – Wikipedia

With flights to Turkey ever more affordable the history and culture of this great empire are within easy reach of all budgets.

Flights to Istanbul start at around £120 per person, with the coastal resorts of Dalaman, Izmir, and Bodrum even cheaper during low season.

UK passport holders require a visa to enter Turkey, which can be purchased on arrival, however more and more people are taking advantage of e-visas which you can get in advance and skip the queues on arrival, you will need to fill out a turkey visa application form - https://turkey.evisas.org from one of the many online agents.