The immense ochre plateau of Anatolia, with the vast depression of the Salt Lake, cut of valleys and dominated by high volcanoes, is the heart of Turkey.
Covered with cereals fields and poplars plantations that dissimulate small villages, this steppe is as harsh as attaching.
Called “the cradle of Civilisations” this plateau is the native earth of many populations as well as their battle fields: in this lands Hattis, Hittites, Phrygians, Galates, Romans, Byzantines, Seldjuks and Ottomans fought each in turn, to establish their domination.
The cultural heritage of Southern Anatolia and the richness of its past, still alive, invite you to the discovery of the wonderful works belonging to various periods. The steps of History begins in early ages and goes back up till 7000 B.C. The Tiger and l’Euphrates surround the land that saw the father of religions, Abraham, to be born and to grow up. The prophet Abraham was born and lived in the city of Sanliurfa then Ur, and immigrated for Harran that was the most important cultural and historic centre of Mesopotamia. With the archaeological works, it is necessary there to see there the remains of one of the oldest Islamic universities. From the plains of Mesopotamia, going towards the north the first highest impressive mountain that one can see is the mount Nemrut. On its summit, at 2150 meters of altitude, sets the ruins of the spectacular sanctuary of the king Antiochos. In an extraordinary site, the gigantic statues contemplate the eternity in silence.
Turkey is one of the rare countries in the world offering such a density of historic sites. Prestigious or anonymous, they present harmoniously a subtle mixture of historic and biblical past; mystical and ethnic cultures. A voyage through the time…
Itinerary: 15 days
Some interest of this trip are the following :
Chosen by Ataturk to become the capital of the country, this city has today the Turkish government in the strategic heart of Turkey. In an old bazaar transformed into a museum, you will discover a precious collection of handcrafts from Palaeolithic, Neolithic, Hattis, Hittite, Phrygian, Ourarteans, Roman… the summary of past riches.
The heart of vast Anatolian steppe hides a strange land which was born from fire, generated by the ashes of two volcanoes. With its unique geological formations in the world, it is unquestionably the eighth wonder… It became the first settlement of the Christianity…
Set at the foot of the majestic mount Erciyes, this city also famous for its mausoleums, knew to keep traces of its strategic position on the caravan road.
As a proof of fascinating genius, the gigantic funeral sanctuary edified by Antiochos the 1st, king of Commagene, is standing at the summit of the highest mountain of Mesopotamia.
Formerly known as Amida, this city will make you get beyond some invisible frontiers, in a different world, on the confine of the biblical lands, as if the black walls that still round this city had contributed to its situation outside the time.
A city at the confluence of three ethnic groups: Turkish, Arabic and Kurdish; beautiful abodes with dressed stones terraces reminding the Middle-Age, often reveal an architectural treasure and finely worked Islamic monuments: the Ulu mosque, The medressa of Sulatn Isa… We will do an excursion to the “Deyrul Zafaran” monastery, still occupied by Syrian orthodox monks.
Sanliurfa (Harran) :
This city of the prophet Abraham, the ancient Ur and Edesse proudly exposes the heritage of all the civilisations that went through it. Not far away, Harran is the city to the strange and typical houses ant hills.
The ancient Antiochos is very rich culturally. In this biblical city set on the edges of Oronte, in a fertile plain surrounded by fabulous mountains, the communities of St Barnabus and St Peter were called for the first time “Christians”.
Fourth biggest city of Turkey and capital of Cilicia, Adana presents an occidental aspect contradicted by the oriental animation of its streets.