The first President of Turkey "Mustafa Kemal Ataturk" died in 1938. His mausoleum was built in 1953 on a hill overlooking Ankara, the new capital of Turkey. The very impressive Memorial, was designed by the architects Emin Onat and Orhan Arda. The "Anit Kabir" is the major attraction of Ankara.
The Ulus Meydani (Square of the Nation) was once the center of Ankara, where the first parliamentary building of the young capital of Turkey was situated. Atatürk lodged at the Ankara Palas, a hotel at Ulus. In the center of the square stands the monument of the victory, which recalls the war of independence.
The Ankara Palas was originally planned as a Ministry of Health. After its completion in 1928, the building was used as a guesthouse of the young Turkish nation. The Ankara Palace is a mixture of European and Ottoman architecture.
The Ankara Citadel was built by the "Hittites" on a 978 m high cliff above the city. The capital of the "Hittites" was "Hattusa" was about 180 km east of Ankara. The heyday of the Hittites was around 1300 B.C.
The mosque was completed in 1428 for the ascetic Haci Bayrami Veli, the founder of the Bayrami Order. When he died in 1430 his tomb was erected at this place. The Order of the Bayram is a Sufi cult of Islam that deals with the divine and mystical but has only few followers today. Nevertheless, the mosque is one of the most important places of worship in the turkish capital. The celebration of the first National Assembly was held in the Bayrami Camii in 1920 with Kemal Atatürk and all deputies.
The remains of the Roman Augustus temple, which stand next to the Haci Bayram Camii, lead back to a temple of the Phrygians from the 2nd century BC. The Romans took over the building around 25 AD and used it as temple of the state goddess Roma and the Emperor Augustus.
The Roman emperor "Caracalla" saw himself as a successor of "Alexander the Great", he tried but failed to conquer the East. In Ankara he built the eponymous spas in 215 B.C., which were discovered in 1937. The "Caracalla Thermae" is a huge archeological site with lots of beautiful capitals.
The Hittites were an Indo-European tribe, which settled here around 1,500 BC. and mixed with the Hattians from Anatolia. They also took over the Sun cult of the Hattians, with sun discs and deer as offerings for the sun goddess. The sculpture of the Hittite Sun stands in the middle of the Atatürk Boulevard.
Atatürk Boulevard is the main street of Ankara. The 30 m wide boulevard was built in the course of the capital planning from 1927. At the more than 5 kilometers long traffic axis, stand the most important buildings of the Ankara. The boulevard is also a lively shopping street.
The parliament building Büyük Millet Meclisi is already the third house of the Grand National Assembly. The first house was opened in 1920 and was located at the Ulus. In the second building there is a museum today. Today's parliament was completed in 1961. Architect was the Austrian Clemens Holzmeister.
Kizilay is the bustling city center of Ankara, with many shops and office buildings. Here you can find many restaurants, cafes and the pedestrian zone called Selanik Caddesi. More than 30 people were killed by an assassination in 2016 in this area.
The 125 m high television tower of Ankara was opened in 1989. Despite the low hight the visit to the observation deck is still worth a visit, as the tower stands on a hill and you can completely overlook the turkish capital. From the Atakule you can also see the rugged mountains surrounding the city. In the basement, there is a shopping center.
Welcome to Ankara
Ankara is located in the Anatolian highlands at an altitude of around 940 m. Over 5 million people live in the Turkish capital, making Ankara the second largest city in Turkey after Istanbul. Even if Ankara has existed for many thousands of years, the city looks rather young and modern. The old center is small and looks sleepy like a village. In 1923 Ankara became the capital of Turkey and has since grown very quickly to a city of millions.