Travel in Turkish Amasya and experience the Ottoman fairytale

Posted by on March 31, 2013

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Along our journey in Turkey on the Black Sea coast, we stopped in a town that looks like something out of a fairytale. Amasya with its succession of ancient white houses, the river running through it and the rock tombs carved into the steep wall of rock above it, is an authentic jewel of the Ottoman Empire. Not that there is much to see and do in Amasya but spend a day strolling through the town off the beaten track frequented by tourism will allow you to breathe a rare tranquility in an authentic scenario. The town has a long history dating back to 5500 BC and is known to have been a strategic area as the Persian kingdom of Pontus during the fourth century BC. Later, Alexander the Great conquered it and in recent history, Ataturk stood here with his closest followers defining the principles of the struggle for independence.

Amasya Turkey

Amasya Turkey

Amasya Turkey

Amasya Turkey

Amasya of Pontus has inherited the tombs carved into the steep wall of rock looming over the town. At that time the rulers were a sort of divinity and these were their places of worship. The necropolis consists of 20 large tombs, is called the Valley of the Kings and is worth a walk through the mausoleums to reach the remains of the Palace of the Virgins. If you push up on the rocky peak of the mountain you can reach the castle Harsena, perched fortress that seems to date back to the Bronze Age and enjoy a beautiful view of the river and Amasya. A little off the beaten track, 4 km from the center there is another well preserved tomb known as the Cave of the mirror.

Amasya Turkey

Amasya Turkey

Amasya Turkey

Amasya Turkey

Along the river to the north you can visit the historic district, Hatuniye Mahallesi of Ottoman houses. They are perfectly preserved as if they were some sort of small museums to visit. In fact most are inhabited and many have turned into hotels which are cheap. You should certainly take the opportunity to visit some one way or another. These houses are built on two or three floors, made of wood, plastered with white mud outside and decorated with inlays in proportion to the wealth of the owners. Men and women in the Ottoman era lived in separate rooms with decorated ceiling, each fitted with wardrobes and fireplaces. A home which portrays perfectly the style and furniture of Hazeranlar Konagi that dates back to 1865 and organizes temporary exhibitions in the basement.

Amasya Turkey

Amasya Turkey

Amasya Turkey

Amasya Turkey

In the evening, before dinner, opt for a hamam maybe at Mustafa Bey Hamami of Ottoman origin and a nice walk along the river when Amasya gives the best of itself between tombs lit and white houses reflected in the water. We stayed in a pretty Ottoman Ezgi Konaklari, a small boutique hotel with Turkish breakfast included. An alternative is the Simre Hotel for a figure somewhat higher which also offers hydromassage showers and free Wi Fi. For dinner try one of the restaurants with a terrace overlooking the river such as Strabon which owes its name to the first great geographer of history that was born here in 63 BC.

Amasya Turkey

Amasya Turkey

Amasya Turkey

Amasya Turkey

If you’re also traveling along Turkey make sure to check out: Turkey travel guide with low budget! Tips you shouldn’t miss!, Top beaches in Turkey.

Amasya photos: Acizane, Sinan Dogan, mezitli, Kuyruksuz Ucurtma.

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