The history of Ankara and its surroundings stretches back to the Hatti civilisation of the Bronze Age. Two thousand years before the Jesus, the Hittites become the dominant power of the region, and were then followed by the Phyrgians, Lydians and Persians. In the 3rd Century BC, a Celtic race known as the Galatians made Ankara their capital city. The name Ankara comes from the word 'Ancyra', which means 'anchor.'
Ankara gained prominence under the leadership of Ataturk during the national resistence which followed World War I. It was declared the capital of the new Turkish Republic on October 13th 1923 when the National War of Independence freed Turkey from foreign occupation.
Occupying one of the most prominent parts of the city is Anitkabir, the magnificent mausoleum constructed to commemorate Atatürk. This structure, which was completed in 1953, is a synthesis of antique and modern architectural themes, and proves the elegance and strength of Turkish architecture.
Ankara, Atatürk Mausoleum
The oldest parts of the city surround the Castle. The Alaaddin Mosque found inside its walls is still one of the best examples of Selcuk art and wood craftsmanship, in spite of the fact that it was restored by the Ottomans. The area has experienced a rejuvenation with the restoration of many interesting old Turkish houses, and the opening a several art galleries and fine restaurants which feature examples of traditional Turkish cuisine.
Near the gate of the castle is the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, which is a beautifully restored portion of the old bazaar. It contains priceless artifacts belonging to the Paleolithic and Neolithic eras as well as the Hatti, Hittite, Phrygian, Urartu and Roman civilizations.
Ankara has a vibrant cultural and artistic life with many select ballet, theatre, opera and folk dance performances. The city's Philharmonic Orchestra, which always plays to a packed house, is especially famous.
Accommodation in Ankara
Book your accommodation here Sahinbey Hotel Ankara, Turkey
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Private Ankara Sightseeing Tour
A trip to Ankara is not complete without exploring such ancient sites as the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, where you can see numerous remnants of the Stone Age, Neolithic Age, Hittites, Urartians, Phygians and more. Other highlights include Ataturk Mausoleum and the Citadel of Ankara.
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Private Tour of the Hittite Sites
Journey to Yazilikaya and see an impressive open air rock sanctuary created by the Hittites, the second oldest known civilization in Anatolia. At Hattusas, the ancient Hittite capital which dates from 3,000 BC, you'll visit Lion's Gate, King's Gate, Citadel and the Grand Temple.
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Private Overnight Tour to Cappadocia
Enjoy a private tour to see the moon-like landscape of Cappadocia, and the Open Air Museum in Goreme. Pick up some local handicrafts at Avanos, and visit Agzikarahan Caravanserai on the ancient Silk Road.
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Overnight Tour to Cappadocia
Take a two day tour to see the natural beauty of the lunar landscape of Cappadocia, and the awe-inspiring rock chapels decorated with colorful frescoes at Goreme Valley. On your way back to Ankara, visit the Zelve region and Avanos for some Turkish craft shopping.
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Ankara Airport Private Arrival Transfer
Travel from Ankara Airport to your hotel with a pre-paid Ankara Airport Private Arrival Transfer. While you're already settled into your hotel and out enjoying the sights of Ankara, your friends will still be at the airport trying to figure out the bus schedules.
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(Source: Ministry of Tourism, Turkey, MarvaoGuide.com)