Amasya city 358 km (222 mile) to Cappadocia and 681 km(423 mile) away from Istanbul. Amasya surely has to be one of the prettiest places in Turkey. This small northern Anatolian town with lovely old wooden houses hanging over the waters of the Yeşilırmak river and ancient Pontic tombs punctuating the rockface behind it is home to as fine of collection of early Ottoman monuments as you’ll find this far east, a reminder of the days when it was one of a trio of towns (with Trabzon and Manisa) that were used for preparing Ottoman princes for government.

Conservationists have had more success in preserving the cityscape here than in much of the country, making this a great place to relax and unwind for a few days. Unfortunately the Turks have well and truly discovered Amasya which means that over the summer its narrow streets heave with visitors.

No matter with what troubles a person comes to Amasya, the finds peace of mind and repose here. Worries of all kinds recede far into the distance. It is as famous as Egypt. It has a river like the Nile whose flowing river is the water of life. It is very clean and smells very fragrant. One never tires of looking at it. The old mansions are splendid with beautiful views.” This is the description by Kemalpasazade, one of the leading members of the 16th century Ottoman religious hierarchy. Apart from natural beauty, it is also possible to find evidence of several different civilizations in this city, which has been rendered even more attractive by the touch of the human hand. How could one not notice? Is not Amasya a city that has been home to man since 5500 B.C., a city that has experienced and sustained the culture of the Hittites, the Phrygians, the Lydians, the Cimmerians, the Persians, the Pontic Kingdom and the Romans? If this were not the case, what business would the Harsena (Amasya) Citadel have standing here for 5200 years? The rock tombs of the kings of Pontus and the ‘Low Bridge’ of the Romans in one corner, the monuments of the Ilkhanids, the Seljuks and the Ottomans in another.

The Darüssifa (Mental Hospital), built by the Ilkhanids; the Spiral Minaret Mosque and the Gokmedrese, which exhibit features of Seljuk architecture; and, touched by Ottoman hands, the mosque complex of Sultan Bayezid II, the Medrese of Celebi Mehmed, and The Gumuslu, Yorgucpasa, Cilehane and Samlar mosques stand in all their magnificence like living witnesses to Amasya’s thousands of years of history.

They continue to survive today as the Yaliboyu houses that line the banks of the Yesilirmak. Most of those that are still standing date to the second half of the 19th century and were built by the ‘himis’ technique of filling in wooden frames with sun-dried bricks, with ground floors constructed of stone masonry. Perhaps even a few more would have been standing were it not for the damage caused to the city by the great fire of 1915 and the earthquake of 1939. Apart from these disasters, the impermanence of mud-brick as a building material has of course also played a role.In general, Amasya houses are attached, lined up side by side or propped back to back. As a rule, they are separated into men’s and women’s quarters, although a handful of free-standing houses are also encountered. Most of the houses consist of one or two storeys over a cellar. The upper storeys have windows on three sides and projecting bay windows known as ‘cumba’s, a design that ensures symmetry while also gaining extra space. The ‘cumba’s in particular of the houses that overlook the Yesilirmak, built over the Roman period walls, extend beyond their foundations as overhangs supported by  diagonally placed beams(‘elibogrunde’ or ‘hands crossed over the breast’), thus affording  more spacious and well-lighted interiors with a larger number of windows. And of course the windows, with sashes that can be raised and lowered ‘guillotine-style’, were always covered with wooden grilles to prevent prying eyes from seeing in.

First of all, you should taste the famous apples of Amasya. There’s also a rich variety of dishes in Amasya. There are soups like Çatal Çorba, Çırıkta Cızlak, Helle Çorbası and Toyga Çorbası (contains yoghurt) which can be drun hot or cold. Hengel is a meat dish and Kabak Kabuklu Pilav is rice with marrow scale. And as for sweet dishes, there are Halbur cookies, Zerdali (pastry), Yakasal (pastry) or poppy seeds (pastry). Amasya good restaurants are, Ali Kaya Restaurant, Emin Efendi Restaurant, Bahceli Ocakbasi, Strabon Restaurant etc.

Most of Amasya’s more interesting hotels are in the Hatuniye Mahallesi but while this is historically interesting and aesthetically beautiful in can be noisy in summer and mosquitoes can take the edge off a stay in the waterside properties. Some of good hotels are, Apple Palace Hotel, Emin Efendi Konaklari, Eylul Bugusu, Ezgi Konaklari, Grand Pasha Hotel etc.

Districts of Amasya Province

Merzifon

Suluova

We Recommend  : Kairos Travel  |  Unlu Hotel | Captivating Cappadocia
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