Welcome to Ankara, the capital city of Turkey. Ankara is Turkey’s beating heart, second largest city, located in the Central Anatolia region and home to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. The hub of many great civilizations with a history dating back to the Stone Age, Ankara and its landmarks are still of great importance in the present day. Famous for its great museums, parks, honey, Kalecik Karasi grapes and many other cultural and historical assets Ankara welcomes visitors any time of the year.

Places to visit

MUSEUM OF ANATOLIAN CIVILISATIONS

The best place in the country to get to grips with the complex weave of Turkey’s history, the exhibits here house artefacts cherry-picked from just about every significant archaeological site in Anatolia.

The central hall houses reliefs and statuary, while the surrounding halls take you on a journey of staggering history from Neolithic and Chalcolithic, through the Bronze Age Assyrian and Hittite eras, to the Iron Age’s Phrygian and Urartian periods.

The exhibits are chronologically arranged starting with the Palaeolithic and Neolithic displays to the right of the entrance, then continue in an anticlockwise direction. Do the full loop before visiting the central hall and then backtrack to head downstairs where there are displays of Roman artefacts unearthed at excavations in and around Ankara.

ANITKABIR - MAUSOLEUM OF ATATURK

The monumental mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881–1938), the founder of modern Turkey, sits high above the city with its abundance of marble and air of veneration. The tomb itself actually makes up only a small part of this complex, which consists of museums and a ceremonial courtyard. For many Turks a visit is virtually a pilgrimage, and it’s not unusual to see people visibly moved. Allow at least two hours in order to visit the whole site.

The main entrance to the complex is via the Lion Road, a 262m walkway lined with 24 lion statues – Hittite symbols of power used to represent the strength of the Turkish nation. The path leads to a massive courtyard, framed by colonnaded walkways, with steps leading up to the huge tomb on the left.

To the right of the tomb, the extensive museum displays Atatürk memorabilia, personal effects, gifts from famous admirers, and re-creations of his childhood home and school. Just as revealing as all the rich artefacts are his simple rowing machine and huge multilingual library, which includes tomes he wrote.

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