Jan 01

Isparta Turkey: visiting ancient and beautiful lands



Like many out of the way places in Turkey, time seems to stand still and one does not have to imagine hard how the Ottoman Empire once looked and seemed. This throwback town sits in a region famous for Roses and Carpets. If one is fortunate enough to visit in May, Rose pickers will be out plying their trade, otherwise it is a joy to visit year round.





Due to the unique surrounding geography the city has preserved much of its heritage. Nearby mountains allow not just for panoramic backdrops but have always served as a natural barrier to rapid change. The roads and canyons leading into and out of the area are time honored and historic. The city itself occupies fertile plains which have drawn settlers since time immemorial.


Main Attractions


The city’s most popular attractions are Firdevs Pasa Mosque and Kutlubey Mosque. These structures are very ancient and the latter sits next to a very active Bazaar, the centerpiece of city life. The city is undergoing modern transformations, but places like these mosques, Aya Payana church and Dalboyunoglu Bath are being kept and restored in addition to some of the most iconic houses.


Museums and Culture


The historic and long lived occupation of the area means there are a great many archeological interests from the Macedonians, Greeks, Romans, Persians and Ottomans. There are surrounding tombs, artifacts, temples and smaller cities. The best conglomeration of all this can be found in the Isparta Museum.


Getting out and around


To come this far and not poke around further afield would be a real tragedy. The nearby cities and outlying districts are full of history and natural wonders. Asku which is nearby is the site of ancient Eurymedon, a sacred ancient city, there is a dungeon cave and Yaka Canyon. Yalvac is a small town nearby with unique houses and a very slow pace of life which is a culture unique to itself. This is just adjacent to the site of ancient Antiokheia, a known site of the missionary journeys of the apostle Paul in whose memory a church and trail between the cities is named today. Egedir is another nearby town with scores of ancient wonders as well as fertile orchards, farmland, and spots for winter sports.




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