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Turkey's Thrace & Marmara - Troy, Gallipoli & Beyond

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by Samantha Lafferty
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Turkey's Thrace & Marmara - Troy, Gallipoli & Beyond by Samantha Lafferty

More fighters, both ancient and modern, have laid down their lives on these lands than in any other part of Turkey. At Troy, warriors battled for so long they must have forgotten it was all in the name of a woman with a beautiful face. But it was Gallipoli that saw the most tragic battles. Here, the brave souls knew they were fighting for control of the Dardanelles, a strategic stretch of water between the Aegean and the Sea of Marmara. But few would have predicted so many of them would die for their cause. The coastline of the peninsula has been left a wild and beautiful reminder of their deaths. The spirit and independence of modern Turkey rose from these burning trenches and yet, ironically, so many people in Thrace and Marmara cling to their Ottoman heritage. From architectural masterpieces such as Sinan's Selimiye Mosque in Edirne to the ramshackle painted houses in Bursa; the revival of the potteries in Iznik and the sultan's favorite, the spa. The Gallipoli Peninsula is one of the most stunning stretches of coastline in Turkey, a national park brimming with pine forests that cover the remains of the Allied and Turkish soldiers who sacrificed their lives during the First World War. About 500,000 soldiers are estimated to have died or been wounded here. Most of the bodies were not retrieved until the Armistice with Turkey in 1918 when the British re-entered the peninsula. The town of Iznik contains some of Turkey's best Byzantine sights. On the edge of the lake stands the Roman Senate where the first Ecumenical Bursa Council was held in 325. Pass through the giant city walls to visit the Church of Aya Sofya (entrance fee), parts of which date from the fourth century. There is a partially preserved mosaic floor and frescoes on the dome of the basilica. Take time to seek out Lefke and Istanbul gates, remarkably well-preserved entrances to the city through imposing three-mile-long walls. The walls were built during the Hellenistic age and expanded by the Romans and Byzantines. They featured 114 towers and four gates, though the remaining two gates are in a ruined state. And then there is Bursa. Bursa still manages to be engaging. Its list of historical attractions could easily overwhelm even the hardiest traveler. Plan to spend a day or two in the city to visit the main sites and still have time to indulge in the hot spring baths and taste the famous Tarhana soup and candied chestnuts. The Ulu Cami, or Grand Mosque, stands on Atatürk Caddesi in the center of town. Built at the end of the 14th century, this great hulk of a structure dominates everything around it. The mosque has 20 domes supported by a series of pillars that divide the space within the building. Beneath the central dome is a serene tiered ablutions pool. Behind the Ulu Camii is a tangle of streets that make up the Çar?i, or bazaar quarter, founded by Orhan Gazi in the 14th century. The vibrant stalls in the outdoor market take on a surreal glow in the early evening light. In the center of the district is the Koza Han (open 8:30am-7pm), or silk manufacturers' bazaar, built at the end of the 15th century. Bursa was the center of Turkey's silk trade and silk cocoons were brought here from China. Koza Han is still dominated by silk and brocade merchants selling pashminas, scarves and fabrics from their stalls around the courtyard. An interesting miniature octagonal pavilion stands on pillars above a fountain in the courtyard. Then there is Troy, site of the Trojan War. Troy is unusual in that it was continuously inhabited from the time it was built in 3000BC to its demise in 1350AD. It was constructed, destroyed and rebuilt on the same site nine times. These are only a few of the remarkable historical sites detailed in this guide, along with all the practical information you need, including where to stay, the restaurants, entertainment, how to get around, and much m

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Ebook Details
Pages: 300
Size: 7.1 MB
Publisher: Hunter Publishing
Date published:   2013
ISBN: 9781556501845 (DRM-EPUB)

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Nonfiction > Travel > Europe > Eastern

This author has products in the following categories:

Nonfiction > Travel > Europe > Eastern
Nonfiction > Travel > Middle East > Israel

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