A view at Ankara and its highlight
Ankara, the modern capital of Turkey, can appear to be soulless and cold rising from the plains of Western Anatolia. When Ataturk wanted to build his new capital in 1920s, he hired the German architect, Herman Jansen, to construct a city with almost all modern design and facilities. Many Turkey vacation packages today include a visit to Ankara.
Most probably the most remarkable place to visit in Ankara is the museum of Anatolian civilization. The museum displays the largest and richest collection of the Hittites dynasty that can be found in the whole world.
The civilization of the Hittites has risen in Western Anatolia in the second millennium BC and they had control over ancient Egypt for quite a while as well. There are many displays in the museum that it is always worth a visit. There is also the Mausoleum of Ataturk, the founder of Modern Turkey.
Ankara has a strategic location on the East-West rout across the Anatolian steppe. Some historians assert that Ankara was the location of an ancient Hittites city and there are actually some ruins of Phrygian civilization here that was in 1200 BC. The modern Ankara has become a touristic attraction today with many travelers spending their vacations in Turkey visiting the city.
The city was occupied by the Lydians and then the Persians before the Romans added it to their empire in 24 BC. The city has a major role to play commercially and military during the Byzantine period as well. When Ataturk chose the location of Ankara to build his new capital in 1923, the city has become one of the most modern cities in Europe, the way that he has always dreamt to have it and it has become a destination for travelers who enjoy their Turkey private tours.
There is a huge difference in style and actually in every aspect between the modern section of Ankara and the old town of the new Turkish capital. Many wide streets with marvelous greenery, embassies, modern stores and markets, governmental structures and a large variety of universities feature the modern and the most dominant section of Ankara. On the other hand, the old town, located mainly around the citadel of Ankara, mainly consists of narrow lanes and simple traditional structures. This combination attracts a number of travelers to spend their Turkey trips in the city.
This is the largest and most important Museum in Turkey. The museum consists of two large buildings that were constructed in an ottoman style building and it is located in the Atpazari neighborhood near the citadel.
The Museum of Anatolian Civilization, which was called the Museum of Europe in 1990s, exhibits many displays from the different civilization that flourished all over Anatolia in different period of times.
The displays range from the simple stone items dating back to the Paleolithic periods to other items belonging to the Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine periods. Many travelers visit the museum as part of their escorted Turkey tours.
The displays in the Museum of Anatolian Civilization, dating back to diverse long periods of time, are put on according to chronological order from the earliest findings to the most recent discoveries
The most interesting displays in the museum include a serving table that dates back to the 8th century BC and it is a marvelous example of the Phrygian civilization crafts that flourished at the time. This table can even be folded and unfolded in a style that was new at the time.
Another marvelous example of the items on display that dates back to ancient times is the Terracotta cooking dish that date back to the 6th millennium BC. The Anatolian Civilization Museum is famous as well for many marble and stone Roman and byzantine statues that reflect the greatness of the artists at the time. A visit to the museum is added to many Turkey private tours nowadays.
The Mausoleum of Ataturk
Dominating the modern section of the city, the Mausoleum of Ataturk represents a marvelous harmony between the traditional and modern styles of arts and architecture. The mausoleum has become a landmark of Ankara and it is in many Turkey tours.
The mausoleum of the builder of the city is actually the most remarkable structure in Ankara. Located on a hill in the western section of the city, this marvelous structure took 9 years to be completed as the construction work started in 1944 and was completed in 1953.
In the central courtyard of the mausoleum there is a large bronze door that opens into the hall lined with marble. This is where many Turkish locals and the many important figures come to pay respect to the former president of Turkey and the founder of modern Turkey.
Many of the splendid vintage carts that Ataturk has used throughout his life are on display in another hall of the mausoleum. There are also many personal belongings of Ataturk and many of the gifts that he has reviewed exhibited in another gallery near the main courtyard of the mausoleum.
Many travelers who enjoy their holidays in Istanbul would like to add a few days to their vacations to explore Ankara as well.
The Citadel of Ankara
A Byzantine citadel dominates the Northern section of the city. The fortifications walls enclose many wooden houses and structures inside the citadel.
There are also many shops, restaurants, many traditional Turkish carpet shops, and an area that is filled with many antiquities.
There is the also the copper section of the area, or the Salman Sokak in the Turkish language, and the name is derived from the many copper products on sale in this narrow street. The guest can bargain a lot for the lowest prices in these shops and in many stores in Turkey in general.
The Turkish locomotive Museum
This nice open air museum located near the Ankara train station would be of interest for many visitors not only the ones interested in trains or railways.
The personal railway carriage of Ataturk which was a gift from Adolf Hitler is on display in this museum.
A huge collection of the stream driven trains are on display including an imposing collection of German made trains that were used during the invasion of Russia in World War II. There are also some American made trains on display in the museum.
The Presidential palace of Ataturk
This marvelously built presidential palace is now situated inside a public garden. This is where the house of Ataturk is located and has been transformed into a museum now.
Ataturk lived in this house since the year 1921 and this was where he planned for all strategies and the developments of his modern city.
The ground floor is mainly decorated in the Ottoman style of decoration and architecture. The other floors can offer the guests with an excellent chance to view the life of Ataturk and see how this great man went on in his dreams of boiling a new modern Turkey.
Because of the cultural diversity of Ankara, many travelers who take Istanbul tour would rather spend a few days in Ankara as well.
The Museum of the War of Independence
This marvelous building interprets the story behind the independence of Turkey in a wonderful modern style. The building of the museum is attractive has served as the national assembly for a long period of time.
The displays include a large number of photographs and documents recording the period that led to the independence of Turkey in the period from 1919 till 1923.
The period after the independence of Turkey are well illustrated in this modern museum. Many exhibits are on display in this appealing museum reflecting the achievements of the republic of Turkey after gaining the Independence. Any modern history fan will enjoy him in this museum that is a marvelous demonstration of the modern history of the whole country.
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