Anakara - Main sights
Anıtkabir is located on an imposing hill, which forms the Anıttepe quarter of the city, where the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of the Republic of Turkey, stands. Completed in 1953, it is an impressive fusion of ancient and modern architectural styles. An adjacent museum houses a wax statue of Atatürk, his writings, letters and personal items, as well as an exhibition of photographs recording important moments in his life and during the establishment of the Republic. Anıtkabir is open every day, while the adjacent museum is open every day except Mondays.
Ankara Ethnography Museum (Etnoğrafya Müzesi) is located opposite to the Ankara Opera House on Talat Paşa Boulevard, in the Ulus district. There is a fine collection of folkloric items, as well as artifacts from the Seljuk and Ottoman periods.
Museum of Anatolian Civilizations
The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations (Anadolu Medeniyetleri Müzesi) is situated at the entrance of the Ankara Castle. It is an old bedesten (covered bazaar) that has been beautifully restored and now houses a unique collection of Paleolithic, Neolithic, Hatti, Hittite, Phrygian, Urartian, and Roman works as well as a major section dedicated to Lydian treasures.
State Art and SculptureMuseum
The State Art and Sculpture Museum (Resim-Heykel Müzesi) is close to the EthnographyMuseum and houses a rich collection of Turkish art from the late 19th century to the present day. There are also galleries which host guest exhibitions.
Cer Modern is the modern-arts museum of Ankara, inaugurated on 1 April 2010. It is situated in the renovated building of the historic TCDD Cer Atölyeleri, formerly a workshop of the Turkish State Railways. The museum incorporates the largest exhibition hall in Turkey. The museum holds periodic exhibitions of modern and contemporary art as well as hosting other contemporary arts events.
War of IndependenceMuseum
The War of Independence Museum (Kurtuluş Savaşı Müzesi) is located on Ulus Square. It was originally the first Parliament building (TBMM) of the Republic of Turkey. The War of Independence was planned and directed here as recorded in various photographs and items presently on exhibition. In another display, wax figures of former presidents of the Republic of Turkey are on exhibit.
The TCDD Open Air Steam Locomotive Museum is an open-air museum which traces the history of steam locomotives.
Çengelhan Rahmi Koç Museum is a museum of industrial technology situated in Çengel Han, an Ottoman era caravanserai. The exhibits include industrial/technological artifacts from 1850s onwards.
Ankara Aviation Museum (Hava Kuvvetleri Müzesi Komutanlığı) is located near the Istanbul Road in Etimesgut. It is home to various missiles, avionics, aviation materials and aircraft that have served in the Turkish Air Force (e.g. combat aircraft such as the F-86 Sabre, F-100 Super Sabre, F-102 Delta Dagger, F-104 Starfighter, F-5 Freedom Fighter, F-4 Phantom; and cargo planes such as the Transall C-160.) Also a Hungarian MiG-21, a Pakistani MiG-19, and a Bulgarian MiG-17 are on display at the museum.
METU Science and TechnologyMuseum
The METU Science and Technology Museum (ODTÜ Bilim ve Teknoloji Müzesi) is located inside the Middle East Technical University campus.
Ankara citadel walls
In the Temple of Augustus and Rome (commonly known as the Monumentum Ancyranum) in Ulus, the primary intact copy of Res Gestae written by the first Roman Emperor Augustus survives.
The foundations of the Ankara castle and citadel were laid by the Galatians on a prominent lava and the rest was completed by the Romans. The Byzantines and Seljuks further made restorations and additions. The area around and inside the citadel, being the oldest part of Ankara, contains many fine examples of traditional architecture. There are also recreational areas to relax. Many restored traditional Turkish houses inside the citadel area have found new life as restaurants, serving local cuisine.
The citadel was depicted in various Turkish banknotes during 1927–1952 and 1983–1989.
The remains, the stage, and the backstage can be seen outside the castle. Roman statues that were found here are exhibited in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations (see above). The seating area is still under excavation.
Temple of Augustus and Rome
The temple, also known as the Monumentum Ancyranum, was built between 25 BC – 20 BC following the conquest of Central Anatolia by the Roman Empire and the formation of the Roman province of Galatia, with Ancyra (modern Ankara) as its administrative capital. After the death of Augustus in 14 AD, a copy of the text of Res Gestae Divi Augusti was inscribed on the interior of the pronaos in Latin, whereas a Greek translation is also present on an exterior wall of the cella. The temple, on the ancient Acropolis of Ancyra, was enlarged by the Romans in the 2nd century. In the 5th century it was converted into a church by the Byzantines. It is located in the Ulus quarter of the city.
This bath has all the typical features of a classical Roman bath: a frigidarium (cold room), tepidarium (warm room) and caldarium (hot room). The bath was built during the reign of Emperor Caracalla in the 3rd century AD to honour Asclepios, the God of Medicine. Today, only the basement and first floors remain. It is situated in the Ulus quarter.
Column of Julian
The Column of Julian or Julianus, now in the Ulus district, was erected in honor of the Roman Emperor Julian the Apostate's visit to Ancyra in 362.
Kocatepe Mosque (1989)
It has a carved walnut mimber, the inscription on which records that the mosque was built in the 12th century by the Seljuk ruler, Mesut.
Ahi Elvan Mosque
It was founded in the Ulus quarter near the Ankara Citadel and was constructed by the Ahi fraternity during the late 14th and early 15th centuries. The finely carved walnut mimber (pulpit) is of particular interest.
Hacı Bayram Mosque
This mosque, in the Ulus quarter next to the Temple of Augustus, was built in the early 15th century in Seljuk style by an unknown architect. It was subsequently restored by architect Mimar Sinan in the 16th century, with Kütahya tiles being added in the 18th century. The mosque was built in honor of Hacı Bayram-ı Veli, whose tomb is next to the mosque, two years before his death (1427–28). The usable space inside this mosque is 437 m2 (4,704 sq ft) on the first floor and 263 m2 (2,831 sq ft) on the second floor.
Yeni (Cenab Ahmet) Mosque
It is the largest Ottoman mosque in Ankara and was built by the famous architect Sinan in the 16th century. The mimber (pulpit) and mihrap (prayer niche) are of white marble, and the mosque itself is of Ankara stone (red porphyry), an example of very fine workmanship. Yeni Cami is on Ulucanlar Avenue.
Kocatepe Mosque is the largest mosque in the city. Located in the Kocatepe quarter, it was constructed between 1967 and 1987 in classical Ottoman style with four minarets. Its size and prominent location have made it a landmark for the city.
Other historic buildings
Çankaya Köşkü is the residence of the President of Turkey.
Pembe Köşk was the residence of Turkish President İsmet İnönü from 1925 to 1973.
It was erected in 1927 on Zafer Square in the Sıhhiye quarter and depicts Atatürk in uniform.
Monument to a Secure, Confident Future
This monument, located in GüvenPark near Kızılay Square, was erected in 1935 and bears Atatürk's advice to his people: "Turk! Be proud, work hard, and believe in yourself."
The monument was depicted on the reverse of the Turkish 5 lira banknote of 1937–1952 and of the 1000 lira banknotes of 1939–1946.
Built in the 1970s on Sıhhiye Square, this impressive monument symbolizes the Hatti gods and commemorates Anatolia's earliest known civilization. The symbol derived from this monument has been used as the logo of the city for a long time.
Ankara has many parks and open spaces mainly established in the early years of the Republic and well maintained and expanded thereafter. The most important of these parks are: Gençlik Parkı (houses an amusement park with a large pond for rowing), the Botanical Garden, Seğmenler Park, Anayasa Park, Kuğulu Park (famous for the swans received as a gift from the Chinese government), Abdi İpekçi Park, Güven Park (see above for the monument), Kurtuluş Park (has an ice-skating rink), Altınpark (also a prominent exposition/fair area), Harikalar Diyarı (claimed to be Biggest Park of Europe inside city borders) and Göksu Park.
GençlikPark was depicted on the reverse of the Turkish 100 lira banknotes of 1952–1976.
Atatürk Forest Farm and Zoo (Atatürk Orman Çiftliği) is an expansive recreational farming area which houses a zoo, several small agricultural farms, greenhouses, restaurants, a dairy farm and a brewery. It is a pleasant place to spend a day with family, be it for having picnics, hiking, biking or simply enjoying good food and nature. There is also an exact replica of the house where Atatürk was born in 1881, in Thessaloniki, Greece. Visitors to the "Çiftlik" (farm) as it is affectionately called by Ankarans, can sample such famous products of the farm such as old-fashioned beer and ice cream, fresh dairy products and meat rolls/kebaps made on charcoal, at a traditional restaurant (Merkez Lokantası, Central Restaurant), cafés and other establishments scattered around the farm.
Sheraton Ankara rising behind Karum shopping mall in the Kavaklıdere quarter of the Çankaya business and leisure district.
Foreign visitors to Ankara usually like to visit the old shops in Çıkrıkçılar Yokuşu (Weavers' Road) near Ulus, where myriad things ranging from traditional fabrics, hand-woven carpets and leather products can be found at bargain prices. Bakırcılar Çarşısı (Bazaar of Coppersmiths) is particularly popular, and many interesting items, not just of copper, can be found here like jewelry, carpets, costumes, antiques and embroidery. Up the hill to the castle gate, there are many shops selling a huge and fresh collection of spices, dried fruits, nuts, and other produce.
Modern shopping areas are mostly found in Kızılay, or on Tunalı Hilmi Avenue, including the modern mall of Karum (named after the ancient Assyrian merchant colonies (Karum) that were established in central Anatolia at the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC) which is located towards the end of the Avenue; and in the Atakule Tower at Çankaya, the quarter with the highest elevation in the city, which commands a magnificent view over the whole city and also has a revolving restaurant at the top where the complete panorama can be enjoyed in a more leisurely fashion. The symbol of the Armada Shopping Mall is an anchor, and there's a large anchor monument at its entrance, as a reference to the ancient Greek name of the city, Ἄγκυρα (Ánkyra), which means anchor. Likewise, the anchor monument is also related with the Spanish name of the mall, Armada, which means naval fleet.
As Ankara started expanding westward in the 1970s, several modern, suburbia-style developments and mini-cities began to rise along the western highway, also known as the Eskişehir Road. The Armada and CEPA malls on the highway, the Galleria in Ümitköy, and a huge mall, Real in Bilkent Center, offer North American and European style shopping opportunities (these places can be reached through the Eskişehir Highway.) There is also the newly expanded Ankamall at the outskirts, on the Istanbul Highway, which houses most of the well-known international brands. This mall is the largest throughout the Ankara region.