Erzurum

Erzurum (Armenian: Karin, Greek: Theodosiopolis) is a city in eastern Anatolia, Turkey. The name "Erzurum" derives from "Arz-u Rûm" (literally The Land of the Romans in Arabic, using a Persian pronunciation). The town was known in Byzantine times as Theodosiopolis, acquiring its present name only after its final Muslim conquest following the battle of Manzikert. The history of the city extends back to 4000 BC and it has seen many civilizations in Anatolia. One of the most important remains from this periods is the well preserved Byzantine city walls. Most of the historical finds are kept in the collections of the Archaeological Museum, which is a part of the Erzurum Museu
Erzurum was captured and ruled by many different nations like Hurries, Urartus, Cimmerians, Scythes, Medes, Persians, Parthes, Romans, Byzantines, Sassanides, Arabs, Seljuks, Mongols, Ilhanides, Safawides, and of course Turks. The Ottomans captured the city only in 1514 and ruled until the foundation of the modern Turkish Republic by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1923. Some great historical figures like Alexander the Great and Tamerlane can be added to the list of rulers.

The city has always been a point of collision of forces coming from various directions and served as a base of operation. In the 19th century it became the main Ottoman fortress against the Russians who occupied it three times. The resistance against the supreme in powers of the west was initiated with the War of Independence. Ataturk gathered a Congress of National Delegates here on July 23, 1919 where the foundation of national unity and independence were laid down.

For nature lovers Lake Tortum, 120 kilometers from Erzurum, and Mount PalandOken provide perfect opportunities. PalandOken winter sports and skiing resort which is reached by mountain roads of scenic beauty, is only 6 kilometers from Erzurum. This winter sports spot is competitive with those of Europe. By Lake Tortum you will encounter a rarely found beauty of a peaceful lake. The waterfalls at the northern end of the lake are worth seeing as they plunge from a height of 47 m (150 ft). Erzurum is a province suitable for mountaineering with peaks of 3000 m (10,000 ft), and also has many hot springs and meadows.

The Seljuk buildings in the town are remarkable. The Ulu (Grand) Mosque built in 1179 is interesting, with its many columns and seven wide naves. Next door to Ulu Mosque is the Cifte Minareli (Double Minaret) Madrasah (theological school), which is the most famous feature of the city. It is a perfect example of Seljuk architecture, the carved portal being particularly fine.

The Dogu Ekspresi (Eastern Express) train runs daily to and from Istanbul via Ankara, Kayseri (Cappadocia), Sivas, Divrigi and Erzincan. The Erzurum Ekspresi runs daily from Ankara to Erzurum and Kars. Both trains haul sleeping cars, but are much slower than the bus, and not as comfortable as sleeping car trains in western Turkey.



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