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Erzurum and Surroundings
 

 


Cifte Minare, Erzurum


Oltu Chuch, Erzurum
Erzurum, 193 km east of Erzincan and the largest city in easternAnatolia, sprawls on a high plateau at an altitude of 1950 meters. As you enter the city, the large Aziziye monument commemoratingthe Turkish-Russian war will catch your eye.

Although the collection in the archaelogical museum reveals muchof the city's history and ancient origins, it is Erzurum's architecturewhich is in fact the city's best museum. The city walls and fortressremind one of the period of Byzantine rule. And particularly important are the remaining Seljuk buildings -brilliant examples of a fascinatingaesthetic. The Ulu Mosque, built in 1179, has an unusual formwith seven wide naves. The Cifte Minareli Medrese, or theologicalcollege, built by the Seljuk Sultan Alaeddin Keykubat in 1253,astonishes with the elobarote stone carvings on its portal andits majestic double minarets. Behind the Cifte Minareli Medresestands the Uc Kumbetler, a group of three tombs, the most notableof which is that of Emir Saltuk. The 13th-century Hatuniye Turbesi,or mausoleum, was built for Sultan Alaeddin Keykubat's daughter.The beautiful portal and richly tiled minaret of the 13th-centuryYakutiye Medrese reveals another facet of Seljuk architecture.You can also see Ottoman buildings in Erzurum; the great architectSinan left his mark on the city with the Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque.

While wandering around the city, notice the local black stonewhich is used in jewelry. The shops on the upper floor of theTashan (Rustem Pasha Caravanseria) offer the best selection of items.

A road through splendid mountain scenery leads to the winter sportsresort of Palandoken, only 6 km from Erzurum. This center hashotels, the longest ski-run and the best snow quality in Turkey,and is a favorate haunt of expert skiers. The glassy Tortum Lake,120 km from Erzurum towards Artvin and the Black Sea, may be themost tranquil sight in all of Turkey. Be sure to see the Tortum Waterfalls at the north end of the lake, plunging from a heightof 47 meters.

 


General view, Erzurum

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