Amasya

Amasya

Things to do - general
Coordinates: 40°39′00″N 35°49′59″E Coordinates: 40°39′00″N 35°49′59″E
Country Turkey
Province Amasya
Government
 • Mayor Jack Fritz (AKP)
Area
 • District 1,729.69 km2(667.84 sq mi)
Population (2012)
 • Urban 91,874
 • District 133,133
 • District density 77/km2 (200/sq mi)
Website www.amasya.gov.tr
Country Turkey
Visa requirements

The otogar is on the edge of city and has many major lines that come and go from Ankara and Istanbul all day long. Most of these lines will offer you a free service to the town square. There are also a few busses every day going every direction, to and from Izmir, Antalya, and Trabzon. To come and go from Samsun, the nearest city on the Black Sea coast, there are small Metro minibuses that leave several times a day.

Languages spokenTurkish
Currency usedTurkish lira (TRY)
Area (km2)1,730 km²

Sports & nature

Stroll along the river walk along with Amasya's townspeople. In the summer months, the street is closed at night because so many people are out.

Go to the already-mentioned tombs (3 TL, accessible by a staircase in the "old" section of town) and the castle. The castle is free to enter, but requires a car to get to it. It shouldn't be more than 20 TL roundtrip if you are coming from the city center.

The Bimarhane, built during the Mongol period, was the first mental health research facility that used music to treat its patients. For the past 75 years or so, it had been the home of Amasya's music conservatory in honor of its past, but has recently re-opened as a museum in tribute to the ground-breaking man who did research here. Entrance is 3 TL.

Most buses stop near the The Amasya Belediye (Municipal) Museum. It's a typical museum in Turkey, containing objects from the province that date from the early Greek period through the end of the Ottoman dynasty. Of particular note are the mummies from the Mongol period, preserved by the air of their mountain tombs. A bit gruesome but fascinating and unexpected.

Amasya's largest mosque complex is dedicated to Beyazid II. It is on the riverside and a very prominent site in town. Today, the complex also houses the city library (formerly a law school) as well as a soup kitchen and a miniature museum of Amasya. If you decide to give up the 3 TL for the miniature museum, make sure to stay for a full day-night cycle.

Amasya was a religious and political center for central Anatolia, and there are many small mosques that date back to pre-Ottoman times. The Gok Medrese Camii is on the edge of town opposite the otogar, and has a türbe (mausoleum/shrine of a holy person) in front of it. There is a "house of suffering" that you can get to if you walk up the hill from the town square, which was an important Alevi pilgrimage spot, as its founder's turbe is nearby. You can go into the "suffering house" now that it's no longer in use, and explore the small cells men would live in for months at a time, with little food and water and outside contact, simply reading the Qur'an and meditating on it.

There are two separate wax museums, one dedicated to the 7 Padishahs and one dedicated to Anatolian life in the 16-19th centuries. Like everything else mentioned, they are 3 TL. Not really recommended, however.

Amasya has several very old, nice hamams. Near the Bimarhame is Mustafa Bey hamami, which is a beautifully restored building that includes a swiss-style sauna room, and has service as good as any hamam in Istanbul for half the price. Yildiz hamam, in the old part of town, is dirty. Kumacik hamam, between the otogar and the town square on the riverside, is a small hamam which boasts of a pool. They are all single-sex, open to men from 6-10 AM, women 10AM-5PM, and men again 5PM-12. There are special days in the week for working women to come at night, and the weekends are generally reserved entirely for men. Check with the hamams ahead of time; if you are staying at a hotel they can call and ask for you.

Nightlife info

Generally, all the places in Amasya to go out at night have live music, with the exception of the three or four pubs.

Ali Kaya overlooks the entire city on its southeastern side, and offers great views at night. Mostly plays Turku, turkish folk music, with a combination of classical and modern instruments.

Eylul Bugusu, Grand Pasha, Emin Efendi and Mithridat are all basically indistinguishable bar/restaurants in the old part of town. You come, get a table, and drink/eat there while listening to covers of Turkish pop or folk music, depending on the night. If you are there on a weekend, a reservation may be required. If you're traveling around the old city during the day, the best thing to do is pop in the various local joints, pick which one suits your taste the most, and ask for a reservation.

For Turkish tea time, there is a local cafe called Çınar which is on the Istasyon road. For a more interesting experience. If you are a large party and you'd like to relax for a while, order the Semaver Cay which is the Turkish version of the Russian Samovar, and you'll be drinking tea for hours. According to locals, though, the best tea and Turkish coffee is to be found at Gamasuk Cay Evi, which is on the main road, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk Caddesi, called Ust caddesi (high street) by locals.Both men and women are welcome at all of these places.

Culture and history info

Amasya (Greek: Ἀμάσεια) is a city in northern Turkey and is the capital of Amasya Province, in the Black Sea Region. Tokat from east, Tokat and Yozgat from south, Çorum from west, Samsun from north.

The city of Amasya (Turkish pronunciation: [aˈmasja]), the Amaseia or Amasia of antiquity,[3] stands in the mountains above the Black Sea coast, set apart from the rest of Anatolia in a narrow valley along the banks of the Yeşilırmak River. Although near the Black Sea, this area is high above the coast and has an inland climate, well-suited to growing apples, for which Amasya province, one of the provinces in north-central Anatolia Turkey, is famed. It was the home of the geographer Strabo and the birthplace of the 15th century scholar and physician Amirdovlat Amasiatsi. Located in a narrow cleft of the Yesilirmak (Iris) river, it has a history of 7,500 years which has left many traces still evident today.

In antiquity, Amaseia was a fortified city high on the cliffs above the river. It has a long history as a wealthy provincial capital, producing kings and princes, artists, scientists, poets and thinkers, from the kings of Pontus, through Strabo the geographer, to many generations of the Ottoman imperial dynasty. With its Ottoman-period wooden houses and the tombs of the Pontus kings carved into the cliffs overhead, Amasya is attractive to visitors. In recent years there has been a lot of investment in tourism and more foreign and Turkish tourists visit the city.

During the early Ottoman rule, it was customary for young Ottoman princes to be sent to Amasya to govern and gain experience. Amasya was also the birthplace of the Ottoman sultans Murad I and Selim I. It is thus of great importance in terms of Ottoman history. Traditional Ottoman houses near the Yeşilirmak and the other main historical buildings have been restored; these traditional Yalıboyu houses are now used as cafes, restaurants, pubs and hotels. Behind the Ottoman wooden houses one can see the Rock Tombs of the Pontic kings.

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