SITES OF INTEREST
The capital has a large and varied assortment of interesting spots for the visitor to see. The most important of these is the Museum of Archaeology, also known as the Hittite museum because of its excellent collection of Hittite relics and artifacts. This is found near the summit of Ankara’s Citadel, which dates to the Galatians. Other important monuments and buildings are also located in the area of the Citadel. These include ruins dating from the Roman period, Seljuk and Ottoman mosques and the splendid monument to the founder of modern Turkey, Ataturk’s mausoleum or the Amt Kabir. The city is divided into two major sections, the old city, which is centered around Ulus Square and the new city, which originally started out in the area of Kizilay Square, but which has grown proportionately in outward directions with the migration of new city-dwellers from parts elsewhere. The Citadel of Ankara : This is the most important and prom inent of the monuments left over from the Byzantine Period. It is one of the best examples of Byzantine fortifications in existence. The citadel consists of an inner and an outer line of defensive walls which are strung with towers every twenty or so meters. The area within the wall is roughly 350 meters from north to south and 200 from east to west. An interesting aspect of the watch and battle stations is that these towers are pentagonal, the better to ward off the devastating effects of ancient siege weapons. The citadel was Anatolia’s mightiest fortress. It was built by the Galatians and expanded by the Romans during the time of Augustus. The walls situation on the Royal Road between Gordion and Sardis, continuing on to the Persian capital at Susa, above the Persian Gulf. The city is referred to at this point in history as Ancyra. When Alexander the Great came through in his empire-building campaign in 333 B.C., a period of Hellenization was observed in Ankara and throughout Anatolia. Ankara was not large enough to be accorded the name of urbs or city at this time; Gordion interested Alexander more than Ancyra. The importance of Gordion, however, declined rapidly in the Age of Helleninsm as that of Ankara increased. In the 3rd century B.C., several tribes of Celtic peoples, moving eastward from the Rhine Valley, arrived in Central Anatolia. One of these groups, the Testosages, who were related to the Celtic tribe that settled in southern France, chose Ankara as their capital This became the most important center of the area we know as Galatia. These Galatians have a long history of struggle; their position at Ankara was a vital one because of its central location between the east and the west. In 88 B.C., the Galatians were defeated in their capital by Mithridates of Pontus in the course of his battles with the Romans. Ankara was destroyed in the process, but it was splendidly rebuilt when Augustus took the city for Rome.
The administration was passed once again to the Galatians. The Monu-mentum Ancyranum, which was inscribed on the wall of the Temple of Rome and Augustus, can be seen today. This is an account of the achievements of the Emperor Augustus, who held the city of Ancyra in special esteem. We know of Saint Paul’s bad opinion of the city of Ancyra through his Epistle to the Galatians in the Bible. This was because of the resistance to Christianity in the city. Ankara was prosperous throughout the period of Byzantium. For a short period during the 7th century A.D., the city was in the hands of the Sassanid kings of Persia. This lasted only twenty-five years before Ankara was retaken by Emperor Heraclius.
From this period onward, the city went through several changes of authority. The Arabs captured it in 838 and destroyed much of the city. It was rebuilt by Emperor Michael III. Ankara was lost forever to the Byzantines after the Battle of Manzikert in 1071. The Seljuks had difficulties with the Danismend chiefs for control of the city, however. This period in the 11th and 12th centuries noted a decline in the prosperity of Ankara, until the reign of the Seljuk Sultan Keykubad, who served to unite the Seljuk tribes in a final effort at empire-building. The glory of Seljuk Angora, as it was now called, was short-lived. The Mongols burned the city in 1402 after defeating Sultan Beyazit just outside the Seljuk stronghold. With the upsurge of Ottoman power in Anatolia, Angora was firmly restored to Turkish hands.
Map Ankara Photo Gallery
Map Ankara Photo Gallery
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