Tarsus Cleopatra met Mark
Antony, birthplace of St. Paul, church and
Termessos has been referred to as the 'Eagles Nest' by the ancients. The
habitants, Solymians, were of Asian descent that raided seaside neighbors around
Antalya. No one was able to defeat them, not even Alexander the Great whose men
were showered with boulders from atop the hill. The downfall happened after an
earthquake in 567. Antiquities here include Hadrian's Gate, theater, gymnasium,
agora, bath complex and a necropolis with about 1,000 tombs scattered along the
hillside. Nearby is the Karain Cave where evidence of inhabitants from the
Paleolithic Age were discovered.
Trabzon (Trebizond, Trapezus) was founded by
Miletians in 746
B.C. by the Black Sea. In the 4th century, the Sumela Monastery was carved into
shear rock by the monks. It is over 800 feet above the valley floor. Alexius
Comnene had his coronation here. In the early 13th century the Greek State of
Pontus became independent. The Hagia Sophia church was built in 1245 and has one
of the best Byzantine frescoes. Marco Polo was one of its visitors. Although the
walls had never been breached, Emperor David surrendered the region without
bloodshed to the Ottomans in 1461, 8 years after Constantinople's surrender.
This area has all the lush shades of green imaginable.
Ilium) was first settled in the early Bronze Age 3000 B.C.,
hosted the Trojan War circa 12th century B.C. and was concocted in Homer's
Iliad. Hector, Heros, Achilles, Paris, King Odysseus of Ithaca and Ajax were
among some of its residents. The city was built and destroyed nine times, the
last being circa 400 and then forgotten. In 1871 Schliemann discovered Troy but
smuggled the treasures to Germany. In 1993 they re-surfaced as the lost
treasures of Priam in Moscow, apparently the Soviets had looted it after W.W.II.
Urfa Ancient Edessa, Babylon settlement, Abraham's birthplace, holy carp
pool, museum, covered bazaar.