|Set in a narrow gorge
on the Yesilirmak (Iris) River, Amasya dates from the third century B.C.The
ruins of the citadel - where an
Ottoman Palace and a secret underground
passageway remain-rise from the craggy rock. Hewn into rock above the city,
impressive Roman rock tombs are lit at night creating a spectacular image.
The beauty of Amasya's natural surroundings and its splendid architectural
legacy have combined to endow the city with the accolade of one of the
most beautiful cities in Turkey. Among the sights of interest for visitors,
the 13th century Seljuk Burmali Minare Mosque, the Torumtay Tomb and Gok
Medrese, the 14th century Ilhanid Hospital with lovely reliefs around its
portal, the 15th century Beyazit I Mosque complex and the unusual
octagonal Kapi Aga Medrese should not be missed.
Traditional wooden Turkish mansions, or konaks, on the north bank of the
Yesilirmak River in the Hatuniye quarter (Yaliboyu), have been restored to
their former splendor, and some of these have been turned into guest-houses.
The restored 19th century Hazeranlar Konagi, one of the loveliest,now
houses an art gallery on the first floor and the Ethnography Museum on the
second. The Archaeology Museum has an interesting collection of regional
artifacts including mummies of the Mongol jihanid rulers of Amasya.Cafes,
restaurants, tea gardens and parks line the riverside and provide tranquil
spots from which to enjoy the city's romantic atmosphere. From the top of
Cakallar Hill you have a beautiful view of the city.Just 50 km northeast
of Amasya amid magnificent mountain scenery, Borabay Lake is a popular
place for day trips. Amasya is surrounded by orchards which produce some
of the world's most delicious apples.
Tokat , also on the Yesilirmak river , has many Seljuk and
monuments which lend a picturesque yet solemn aesthetic to the cityscape.
Among the main historical buildings are the ruins of a 28-tower castle,
the 11th century Garipler Mosque and a Seljuk bridge. The 13th century
Pervane Bey Darussifasi (Gok Medrese), one of Tokat's finest buildings, is
now the Archaeology Museum.A regional commercial center , Tokat has
retained many of its hans , or commercial warehouses , including the
Tashan, Suluhan, Yagcioglu Hani and Gazi Emir (Yazmacilar) Hani.
|A walk down Sulu Sokak
in the city center, a street lined with hans, mausoleums, bazaars and
baths, provides an excellent overview of Tokat's architecture. In the Gazi
Emir (Yazmacilar) Han you can find many examples of the block-printect
cloth, a 300-year-old tradition for which Tokat is famous.
A tradition of carved and painted wood decoration and painted murals give
Tokat's konaks a particular elegance. The 19th century Madimagin Celalin
Konak and the Latifoglu Konak have been restored to their former splendor
and give an idea about wealthy life in rural Turkey, 100 years ago.