Adana Tourist Attractions
South Coast (Eastern Mediterranean)Situation and characteristicsThe provincial capital of Adana, Turkey's fourth largest city (after Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir) and one of its most prosperous economic centers, lies in the southeast of the country in the Cilician Plain (known today as the Çukurova or "Hole Plain", and in antiquity as Aleion Pedion) below the southern slopes of the Taurus.
It is built on both banks of the Seyhan (the ancient Saros), which is spanned by a number of bridges, some of them ancient, and a railroad bridge.The town draws its subsistence from the fertile plain which extends in the form of a delta towards the Mediterranean. Its situation near the "Cilician Gate", from time immemorial has been the principal pass through the Taurus, and also on the Baghdad railroad. The principal sources of employment are food-canning and preserving factories, spinning- and weaving mills, engineering plants, cement works and rail workshops. The corn and cotton trades are also important (Cotton Exchange). As well as being very hot the climate is humid.HistoryHuman settlement in Adana reaches far back into pre-Christian times. The Hittite town of Ataniya may have been situated on Velican Tepe, a hill about 12km/7.5mi outside the town. Under the Seleucids the town was known as Antiocheia on the Saros. In Roman times Adana, then called by its present name, was overshadowed by the regional capital Tarsus. Its real development began under Ottoman rule and, even more markedly, under the Turkish Republic.
Practically nothing remains of ancient Adana. All that it has to show is the 310m/340yds long Stone Bridge (Tas Köprü) over the Seyhan. Frequently destroyed and restored in the course of its history, the bridge preserves fourteen of its original 21 arches, including one (at the western end) which is believed to date from the time of the Emperor Hadrian (117-38).
The Archeological Museum in Adana contains a fine collection of prehistoric pottery from Cilicia, some Hittite items and interesting Turkish ethnographic material.
Enclosed within a high wall in the center of the town stands Adana's most interesting medieval building, the 16th century Ulu Cami (Great Mosque) with its medrese (theological college), türbe (tomb) and dersane (Koranic school). The main entrance is on the east side. Also on this side is a minaret (1507-08) with polygonal shaft, blind arcading and roofed gallery reminiscent of Syrian models. Along the north side runs a triple arcade of pointed arches, off which the various rooms of the medrese open. The türbe, with Syrian-style decoration, is faced with Ottoman tiles from Iznik. On the west side are the dersane and a gatehouse with a conical dome.
Beside the Sumbas Cayi, near the village of Anavarza in Upper Çukurova, to the east of the Ceyhan-Kozan road, lie the easily recognized walled ruins of Anazarbus, at one time the minor capital of Lesser Armenia. Perched dizzily on an isolated crag some 200m/650ft directly above the town (and reached by steps from near the theater) are extensive remains of the fortress (upper and lower fort). In addition to the ancient main street other town ruins include a Roman stadium, a theater, an aqueduct, several churches and a fine gate to the south. The local open-air museum (situated away from the site itself, in the center of the village) has some famous mosaics from the third century.Founded in the first century B.C. Anazarbus was a Romano-Byzantine town. In the 12th century, after numerous disputes with Byzantium and with the aid of the Crusaders, it passed to Lesser Armenia, the principal capital of which was Sis (Sisium/Kozan). Although from 1199 onwards the Armenian princes styled themselves kings, they were always forced, in the final resort, to acknowledge Byzantine supremacy. While close links between the royal house and the Mongols preserved Anazarbus from destruction, in 1297 a Mongol prince had 40 Armenian noblemen, together with Hetum their king, murdered at a banquet in the town.
5km/3mi beyond the village of Yenice on the road from Osmaniya to Karatepe stand the ruins of Hieropolis (Kastabala). Between 52 B.C. and 17 B.C. this Cilician town became the center of an independent principality under Tarcondimotus I. Rome (under Augustus) then restored its influence by making Tarcondimotus II, the new king, Governor of Cilicia in Anazarbus.
Kozan (70km/43mi northwest of Adana) occupies the site of ancient Sisium and in the 19th century was still known as Sis. The fort, on a hill-top southwest of the town, dates from the Byzantine period. The Armenian victory over Manuel I Comnenus (1143-1180) led in 1199 to the establishment of the kingdom of Lesser Armenia, of which Sis became the capital. By 1375 however, shortly after the coronation of the last king, Leon V, it fell to the Mamelukes. Despite the schism in the Church (1441), Sis remained the center of the Armenian Church until shortly after the First World War, the Catholicos of Sis being determined to preserve the status of his seat. Eventually, in 1921, increasing Islamic repression forced the head of the Armenian Church to flee the town, the patriarchate being transferred to Beirut. In the 19th century. Sis also became the capital of the Kozanogullari, leaders of a large nomadic tribe forcibly resettled there from Cevdet Pasa.
Map of Adana Attractions