Egridir Tourist Attractions
Western Taurus (Isaurian-Pisidian lake district)Situation and CharacteristicsFew central Anatolian towns can claim so attractive a setting as Egridir, situated on a promontary in the southwest corner of Egridir Gölü, at the foot of Davraz Dag (2,635m/8,648ft). The town, rich in tradition, has recently witnessed the emergence of a modest inland tourist industry. In addition to fruit, roses are widely cultivated in the surrounding countryside, their petals being used to make rose-water. Fishing is also an important local occupation. The name Egridir derives from the earlier Greek name Akrotiri. The town's heyday was in the 13th century when, as part of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum, it came under the rule of the Hamidoglu emirs. Persian sources show Egridir to have been one of the principal towns in the region at that time (Ottoman from the end of the 14th century).
Baba Sultan Türbesi
This simple Seljuk mausoleum stands in a small lakeside park in the northern part of Egridir.
Dündar Bey Medresesi
When first endowed in about 1238 by the Emir Dündar Hamidoglu, the Dündar Bey Medresesi in Egridir, a splendid example of Early Seljuk architecture, was clearly intended as a caravanserai. The magnificent ornamented gateway, embellished with the finest of stone carving, originally belonged to another caravanserai, the Egridir Hani. Some of the cells around the arcaded inner courtyard of the now restored building have been turned into shops.
Over the years the ruined Egridir Hani, on the slopes of Davraz Dag 3km/2mi south of Egridir, has been repeatedly pillaged of its masonry for use in other buildings. Erected between 1229 and 1236 it was one of the four largest Seljuk caravanserais in Anatolia.
The ruined walls of this Seljuk fort rise above the rooftops of the Old Town of Egridir. The beautiful carvings on the gate originally graced the Egridir Hani.
Hizir Bey Camii
First endowed in 1327 by the Emir Hizir Hamidoglu, the Hizir Bey Camii in Egridir burned down in 1815 (inscription above the carved wooden door in the portal). It was rebuilt in 1885.
Part of Egridir's old wall still survives, including one of the gates (beside the entrances to the Ulu Cami and Dündar Bey Medresesi).
Nis Adasi and Tavsan (or Can) Adasi
East of Egridir, connected to the mainland by a causeway, are two islands, the larger of which, Nis Adasi, is thought to have once been the seat of the Bishop of Limnae. There are the remains of two Byzantine churches.
Egridir's Ulu Cami, a low, 15th century building with 48 wooden columns in the style of a "forest mosque", stands immediately adjacent to the Dündar Bey Medresesi.
About 30km/19mi east of Egridir, beyond the bridge at the end of the Aksu gorge, are three boulders carved with inscriptions and an animal's head. Near by are two caves, old cult sites of some sort. One half was carefully sealed off some time in antiquity.
The Lake Egridir basin lies at an altitude of 916m/3,000ft, being part of the depression zone between the western and central Taurus. With an area of 468sq.km/180sq.miles, Egridir Gölü is the fourth largest inland lake in Turkey, but with a maximum depth of only 20m/65ft. Completely encircled by mountains - Barla Dag (2,263m/7,427ft) and Karakus Dag (1,995m/6,547ft) to the west, Davraz Dag (2,635m/8,648ft) to the south, and the summits of Dedogöl Dag (2,388m/7,837ft) and Kirisli Dag (1,889m/6,199ft) to the east - the lake, its sparkling waters every shade from green to deepest blue, has the air of a huge tarn. The ancient town of Oroanda was probably situated at the north end of the lake.
Kovada Milli Parki
To the south of Egridir a 2km/1.25mi-wide longitudinal trench, the continuation of the Egridir Gölü basin, forms a narrow valley running south for more than 25km/15.5mi to the plane tree fringed Lake Kovada and the Kovada National Park. The terrain at the southern end of Kovada Gölü is heavily karstic, water draining from the lake underground to re-emerge from several karst springs near Gökpinar a little further south. Compounding the already damaging effect of Kovada Gölü's two hydro-electric stations, this water loss poses a considerable threat to the well-being of the Park, to counter which water for the hydro-electric plants is now brought direct from Lake Egridir by an aqueduct.
Near Mahmutlar, about 46km/28mi northeast of Egridir, south of the district town of Gelendost, the remains of the Seljuk Ertokus Hani can be seen standing 100m/110yds or so from the lake shore. It was founded in 1223 by the Atabey Emir Mübarizeddin Ertokus, an influential functionary of Alaeddin Keykubad. The gateway side of the building is now in very poor condition. Six rather squat triangular towers on the exterior of the three-bayed, barrel vaulted main hall are of later date. More barrel vaulted rooms lead off the arcades either side of the inner court.