Did you know there are over 15 ‘UNESCO World Heritage’ sites in Turkey alone? The ancient city of Ephesus in western Turkey was recently added to this illustrious list, making Turkey an even more desirable place for travelers to visit. While you may be familiar with the more well-known heritage sites littered around the historic area of Istanbul, what about the lesser known – but equally impressive – sites scattered throughout the rest of Turkey?
With the upcoming International Day for Monuments and Sites what a better way to explore more and celebrate the importance of cultural heritage! Keep reading to learn about our ‘must-see’ Turkish UNESCO World Heritage sites located outside of Istanbul’s hustle and bustle…
The Ancient City of Ephesus
The latest addition of Ephesus is a must for anyone who is visiting the İzmir Province of Turkey. Originally famous for its Temples of Artemis (unfortunately little remains of today), this site still contains the ruins of the Library of Celsus and the Great Theatre, which are more than worth the trip.
Archaeological Site of Troy
No trip to explore the ancient wonders of the Greek and Roman empires would be complete without a stop at the famous city of Troy. This 4,000 year old city was the setting of the Trojan War described in the Greek Epic Cycle and especially in the Iliad.
Rising high above the Bakircay Plain in the Aegean region of Turkey, this world heritage site is worth a visit for the view alone. Layered with the remains of Hellenistic, Roman, East Roman and Ottoman periods, Pergamon is a virtually like a time machine for those interested in ancient civilizations.
Bursa and Cumalıkızık
This ‘site’ is actually a series of nomination of eight component sites in the City of Bursa and the nearby village of Cumalıkızık, in the southern Marmara region. Bursa and Cumalıkızık are unique for both contain many structures from the Ottoman Empire that are still intact; as well as the tomb of Orhan Ghazi, founder of the Ottoman dynasty.
So, lots to learn and lots to keep you busy in and around Istanbul!