Amasya, Turkey

Amasya is one of the provinces which is distinct both with its natural setup and historical values it holds. It was the homeland of the famous geographer Strabo. Located in a narrow cleft of the Yesilirmak (Iris) river, it has a past of 3000 years during which many civilizations left priceless remains of their times. The ruins of the citadel on the rock face of the cleft shelters 2000 year old water-channels, 1000 year old bridges, a mental hospital, an Ottoman Palace and a secret underground passageway. On the rock faces there are impressive rock tombs of the Pontus kings, which contribute very much to the attractiveness of the city. At night, when they are illuminated, the view is unforgettable. The city also has many historically and architecturally precious buildings; the Ferhat water channel, the 13th-century Seljuk Burmali Mosque, the 15th-century Yildirim Beyazit Mosque and Complex; the 14th-century Ilhanli Bimarhane Mental Hospital with lovely reliefs around its portal, the extraordinary octagonal Kapi Aga Medrese, the Torumtay Mousoleum and the Gok Medrese. There are traditional Turkish mansions which have been well-preserved. The 19th-century Hazeranlar Mansion has been restored perfectly and now it is of great interest with an art gallery on its first floor and an ethnographical museum on the second. The Archaeological Museum of Amasya has an interesting collection including the mummies of the Ilhanli rulers of Amasya.

As for natural beauty, Amasya is set apart from the rest of Anatolia in its tight mountain valley and hides its own secret beauty. Lake Borabay (65 kms northeast of Amasya) is a crater lake with an amazing view and fresh air. It is a perfect area for fishing (especially trout), for picnicking and for being alone with nature. Yedikir Dam Lake and Omarca National Park are other excursion sites.

Terzikoy spa center, a thermal resort, is also worth a visit.