There are a number of well-preserved traditional Ottoman Turkish mansions in Amasya, some of the best examples of Turkish domestic architecture. The 19th century Hazeranlar Mansion has been carefully restored and includes a small art gallery and ethnographical museum. Other wooden houses are being restored as hotels and guest houses.
No there are no cults here, at least none that I know of. But the Pontic kings of long ago (c. 4 BC) did practice cult worship here. To add meaning to their worship, the carved tombs on a sheer rock face on the northern bank of the Yesilirmak river, the river that bisects the town into north and south.
There are 18 tombs in all and they could be accessed by climbing the well-marked steps leading to the park that has been developed around the tombs. It's a bit of a climb especially under the searing midday sun, but the views from the park are awesome. Looking closer at the tombs reveals that they had been skillfully carved away from the rock face.
Hatuniye Mahallesi is Amasya's old quarters which boasts of a good collection of old Ottoman houses, and some lovely modern reproductions. Many of these restored homes have been converted to pansiyons (B&B), most atmospheric of which are those that overlook the Yesilirmak river. Most lodging options are located in this area, so chances are, you'll be staying in one of these pansiyons, and get to experience Hatuniye Mahallesi first hand.
The Sultan Beyazit II Camii is Amasya's largest kulliye (mosque complex) complete with medrese (school), fountain, soup kitchen, and kutuphane (library). It's a gracefully designed mosque built in 1400s.
Had it not been for two kind locals, I would have found myself sleeping on the steps of this camii upon my midnight arrival in Amasya. Indeed, God works in mysterious ways!
This palace used to be a harem full of maidens. The palace first served the kings of Pontus and then to the Ottoman rulers. In the cliff behind the terrace there are several tombs. There is a hole in the wall and you have to pass through it. Then you have to climb up the rock-cut stairs to get to the tombs. It's a bit tiring but the spectacular view of the town clears away all tiredness.
It's another Pontic tomb, a bit far away from the rest of the tombs (4km from the center of Amasya). It was built during the Pontic times but later it was used as a chapel by the Byzantines. It was the Byzantines who painted the frescoes inside.
You can walk to the Mirror Cave by following the river Yesilirmak north until the Yesilirmak Bridge or you can take a taxi. All included, coming and going it would cost around EUR 5.
It was built for the memory of the Ilhanli King Sultan Muhammed Olcaytu and his wife Ildus Hatun in 1308-1309. It is a typical Seljukian architecture with a courtyard and with corved walls. Its diadem door is famous for its detailed of entrance. The building was a medical college in the past.
It was not only education centre of medical students, but also it was a place where the patients take medical care or treatment and students had the chance to watch the operations here, after then it became a medical treatment place for the mentally handicapped. Today, it is used as a conservatoire of Amasya municipality.
Amasya Governer Seyfettin Torumtay had this institution built in 1267. It is a typical Seljukian structure, used to function as a mosque, tomb and medrese. Having been ornamented with blue tiles on the tomb, it was named Gök Medrese just like the one in Sivas.
In 1925 to begin with a "Museum Store" was formed combining combination of a part of Sultan Bayezid II's Complex and few archaeological artefacts and Islamic Period mummies.
Then, when the number of artefacts increased and the new locations were needed for their exhibition, in 1962 the museum was moved to Gök Medrese.
The museum was moved into the present building in 1977; and then the museum was rearranged and all artefacts were exhibited in their chronological order and opened for service in 1980.
With about twenty four thousand works of art consisting archaeological and ethnographical artefacts, coins, seals, manuscripts and mummies of 11 individual civilizations, the museum is the most modern and the richest one in the region.
The museum building is a three-storey building, and it has a storage section, laboratory and other service units in the basement floor, and has kiosk and a resting hall and a small exhibition hall on the first floor and on the upper storey, it has two large exhibition halls where archaeological, numismatic and ethnographical artefacts are exhibited. In the garden there are 6 mummies of the Ilhanlý Period within Sultan Mesut I Tomb and works of fine masonry.
In the open air exhibition section of the museum, there are six mummies of the Ilhanli Period within the Tomb of Sultan Mesud I in the museum garden. This section receives the most visitors.
The mummies belong to Sehzade Cumudar, Anatolian Governor, Emiri Isbugu Nuyin, Izzettin Mehmet Pervane, his wife, son and daughter. They were brought from the Amasya Burmali Minare and Fethiye Mosque tombs.
Running parallel with the Amasya-Tokat road is the water course that inspired the legend of Ferhat and Shirin; the Ferhat Water Channel, nearly six kilometres long.
But concerning the origins of this magnificent engineering, it is, of course, a matter of choice whether we believe the legend, or the archaeologists: who inform us it was built by the Romans.
Having traveled hundreds of miles from Istanbul, I thought it was about time to relive the hamam experience in Amasya - my second trip in a week. This time, it was in Yildiz Hamam in the old part of town. Service was pretty standard, but the atmosphere was certainly less touristy than in Cemberlitas in Istanbul, which caters mainly to tourists. Of course, price was much less, too (YTL 20 vs. Cemberlitas YTL 58).
All of the cities, towns and some villages in Turkey have a statue or monument in honour of Kemal Mustapha Ataturk.
The one in Amasya is quite impressive.
This monumental statue commemorates the fact that at the end of WW1, with the ending of the Ottoman empire, Ataturk left occupied Istanbul, and escaped to Amasya.
Here, in secret, on June 12th 1919, along with fellow conspirators, he worked out the basic principles for Turkish Independence.
The statue depicts Ataturk on horseback, and below him the many restricted Turks, before The War of Independence.
I was busy taking pics around Amasya, including this statue. My first pic, I had a clear view, but when I returned later, a family group of females had appeared at the foot of the statue.
They made a potentially interesting shot- but I was aware of the sensitivity of taking their photo. I took a long shot with my zoom lens, and decided to leave it at that.
I was putting my camera away, when I was aware of someone tugging my sleeve. It was one of the young girls- I was expecting to be told off for taking their photo, but was surprised to hear her asking, in pretty good English, if I would take their photo!
I was only too pleased to do this. I had a great few minutes taking their photo, and chatting - while the Grandma smiled, and squeezed my cheeks!!
One of my happiest travel moments! I took their addresses and posted copies of my photos on my return home.
After saying goodbye to this group, I was approached by a group of young boys to take their photo- this led to an afternoon of people queueing for their pic, and scribbling their addresses for me to forward the pics on. This was only halted by a sudden torrential downpour.
It wasn't til later that I noticed an official photographer in a corner looking non plussed!
Well, for a few seconds I felt a bit guilty, that I'd unknowingly taken his trade, but I'd had a brilliant afternoon, taking pics and meeting lots of locals of all ages, communicating with a mix of Turkish, English and French, sign language etc.
I did get the pics developed, and posted them all on. A small fortune, but worth it
Please see pics 2-5 to see some of these
On the rock of Harsena, Amasya is the terraced site of the royal palace and the tombs of the kings of Pontus. The tombs are cut deep into rock as early as the 4th century BC. They were used for cult worship of the defied rulers. There are 18 tombs in the valley and all of them are empty.
Right at the heart of the city,it was built in 1486 as a mosque,medresseh (Ottoman university) and imaret (kitchen for the poor).Also a fountain from the then Governor of Amasya,Shahzadah Ahmed.
The kitchen is to the left as you look at the mosque from the river.