Iconic Historical Attractions in Turkey's Central Anatolia Region

This content was last updated on 30.01.2024 17:49

Historical Places in the Central Anatolia Region

For thousands of years, the Central Anatolia Region has hosted dozens of civilizations with its fertile lands. In this article, we will explore the historical sites in the magnificent Central Anatolia Region.

Ankara Kalesi (Ankara Castle) Ankara

Ankara Kalesi

This is the point where one needs to visit to witness how Ankara sustains two distinct cultures! Due to its location and elevation, you can clearly see how modern city life and skyscrapers intertwine with chaotic urbanization in this city. The exact construction date of the castle, which has undergone repairs by the Hittites, Phrygians, Gauls, Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks, and Ottomans, is unknown. While you're at the castle, I recommend visiting the nearby museums and churches.

Opening hours:

  • Saturday, Sunday 08:00-22:00
  • Other days 10:00-20:00

Gordion Antik Kenti (Gordion Ancient City) Ankara

Gordion Antik Kenti

Gordion, the capital of the Phrygian Civilization, is located 96 km from the center of Ankara. Therefore, it is most logical to go there by car. If you prefer to visit the city without a car, you can consider the option of car rental. Each of the 18 layers in the city tells us a different historical story. The ancient city, which may be familiar to you due to the famous stories in mythology, including the tomb of King Midas, has maintained its importance throughout history as it is located on the King's Road.

Opening hours:

  • Every day of the week 08:30-19:00

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İnce Minareli Medrese (The Slender Minaret Medrese) Konya

İnce Minareli Medrese

In the year 1254, a medrese commissioned by the Seljuk vizier of the time is now located within the boundaries of the Selçuklu district of Konya. The historical structure, which served as a medrese until the end of the 19th century, has housed the Stone and Wood Works Museum since 1956. Featuring one of the most admired stone works in Seljuk architecture, the crown door of the İnce Minareli Medrese is adorned with verses from the Yasin and Fetih chapters.

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Çatalhöyük Neolitik Kenti (Çatalhöyük Neolithic City) Konya

Çatalhöyük Neolitik Kenti

Çatalhöyük is a historical site that sheds light on the history of humanity. Used as a settlement for approximately 2000 years starting from around 5500 B.C., it underwent an evolution from a village settlement to urban life. The site boasts enlightening findings such as the first house architecture and the earliest landscape painting in the city. Recognized as one of the world's oldest settlements, Çatalhöyük has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2012. To observe everything related to culture, art, and daily life that has evolved since the early humans, you should definitely visit! Moreover, admission is free.

Odunpazarı Evleri (Odunpazarı Homes) Eskişehir

Odunpazarı Evleri

The colorful face of Eskişehir, the Odunpazarı Houses, has been recognized on the UNESCO World Heritage List, declared as a historical and urban site. Strolling through the streets adorned with houses featuring traditional Anatolian Turkish architecture, taking photographs, observing glass art, and finding products at reasonable prices are all possible here. The area, which consists of a total of 30 streets, is home to numerous museums.

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Kaymaklı Yeraltı Şehri (Kaymaklı Underground City) Nevşehir

Kaymaklı Yeraltı Şehri

I always find underground cities fascinating, and the Kaymaklı Underground City in Nevşehir is both the most popular and, for me, the most beautiful. This city, consisting of a total of 8 floors, could accommodate up to 5000 people at once! Moreover, due to its structure, it provides spacious areas and abundant oxygen. The underground city, shaped by carving into tuff rocks, is believed to have been built around 5000 B.C. The city includes rooms, halls, wine cellars, water tanks, food storage rooms, wells, kitchens, and church sections.

Opening hours:

  • Every day of the week 08:00-16:00

Entrance fee:

  • 300 TL

Göreme Açık Hava Müzesi (Göreme Open Air Museum) Nevşehir

Göreme Açık Hava Müzesi

You have either seen or heard about the enchanting atmosphere of Cappadocia. The Göreme Open Air Museum is a significant part of this atmosphere. It was formed by carving into the rock formations located in a vast valley to create living and worship spaces. You can joyfully observe the life of the period, which is an important part of Christian history, in the museum. The majority of the area contains spaces for religious education and worship. The frescoes applied to the interiors of the churches, in particular, leave visitors in awe.

Opening hours:

  • 08:00-19:00

Entrance fee:

  • 480 TL

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Güzelyurt, Aksaray


Güzelyurt is a district located 45 kilometers from the center of Aksaray and 15 kilometers from the Ihlara Valley, filled with historical beauties. The historical region, formerly known as Gelveri in Rumca, a combination of the words "güzel" (beautiful) and "su" (water), was transformed into an important center by religious figures working to spread Christianity. A monastery currently used as a hotel and cave churches in the region present Güzelyurt as a must-see historical site. Walking on cobblestone streets offers a unique opportunity to feel the spirit of the past in a historical atmosphere.

Ihlara Vadisi, Aksaray

Ihlara Vadisi

Ihlara Valley, a must-visit destination on Cappadocia tours, is located within the borders of Aksaray city. The valley stretches 18 kilometers in length, with a depth of 150 meters and a width of 200 meters. Known for being the world's largest canyon where people once inhabited, the valley is surrounded by hundreds of churches and structures carved into the surrounding rocks, making it a significant site for Christianity today. Churches with historical importance, such as Ağaçaltı, Sümbüllü, Yılanlı, Kokar, Prenliseki, Eğritaş, and Direkli, are a must-see during a visit to Ihlara Valley. If you don't have a Museum Pass, the entrance fee to the valley is 55 TL. The valley, open every day, can be explored between 08:30 in the morning and 19:00 in the evening.

Anadolu Medeniyetleri Müzesi (Anatolian Civilizations Museum) Ankara

Anadolu Medeniyetleri Müzesi

One of the first places that come to mind when it comes to historical sites in our country is the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, located in the Altındağ district of Ankara. The museum displays historical artifacts left behind by civilizations that once lived in Anatolia. The construction of the museum was initiated upon Atatürk's desire to establish an Hittite Museum in the capital. In 1997, the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations was selected as the Museum of the Year in Europe and gained worldwide recognition for its unique collections. The museum, where artifacts are exhibited chronologically, stands out as one of the richest historical sites in our country.

Opening hours:

  • Every day of the week 08:30-17:30

Entrance fee:

  • Valid with Museum Pass
  • 280 TL

Yazılıkaya, Eskişehir

Yazılıkaya, Eskişehir

Located 80 kilometers away from Eskişehir, in the village of Yazılıkaya in the Han district, the monument known as Yazılıkaya or the Midas Monument was built in the 600s B.C. Also referred to as the Midas Monument, Yazılıkaya is one of the most magnificent examples on the Midas city plateau. The monument stands at 17 meters in height and 16.5 meters in width. The facade wall of Yazılıkaya is adorned with geometric motifs. Situated in an elevated position, reaching some parts of Türkmen Mountain, Yazılıkaya enjoys a clean and fresh air. Serving as a significant center where the Phrygians worshipped the main goddess Cybele, Yazılıkaya later absorbed influences from the Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine periods.

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