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[Erzincan]


ERZINCAN      



Erzincan is one of the oldest cultural centers of Anatolia, located at the upper region of Yukari Firat in the Eastern Anatolian Region. Throughout the history; Hittites, Urinians, Meds, Persians, Romans, Byzantine, Seljuqs and Ottomans reigned in this region and had left important works. Erzincan is a real tourism heaven with its natural beauties, geography, cuisine and shopping possibilities besides its historical and cultural richness.

Erzincan is generally covered with mountains and plateaus. On the high mountains, there are bushes and oaken. At the west side of Erzincan, especially from Refahiye to the vicinity of Kemah, Kemaliye; pine grove, oaken and bushes are widely seen. The biggest river of the city is Karasu River. There is terrestrial climate in Erzincan, but the summers are hotter and longer than the surrounding cities.

Erzincan, located on the historical Silk Road, had inhabited a vivid historical and cultural life throughout the centuries. The region determined to be a settlement area since the Bronze Age, had been under the dominance of Turks after 1071 and experienced the periods of Mengucek, Seljuqs and Eretna. It had entered under the reign of the Ottomans with the Battle of Otlukbeli in 1473. Erzincan had been occupied in the 1st World War and had been liberated by the Turkish Army on 13 February 1918.


THE DISTRICTS


The districts of Erzincan are; Cayirli, İlic, Kemah, Kemaliye, Otlukbeli, Refahiye, Tercan and Uzumlu.

Cayirli


The foundation date of the district, which is 114 km. away from Erzincan, is unknown. The places that can be visited in the district are; a mansion of which the walls are bond with ashlars, the ceiling is ornamented with wooden engravings and constructed by Tahir Usta from Kars, the natural wonder Aygir Crater Lake on the Kesis Mountain, Büyük Yayla Lake, Yedi Lakes and Kartalli Village Lake.

İlic


It is 153 km. away from Erzincan. There are numerous tumulus and relics of historical structures in İlic and its vicinity, of which the history dates back to very old times. The relics in the village of Altintas belonging to the Roman and to the periods afterwards can be counted as examples.

Kemah


The district is founded within a beautiful valley on the coast of Keban Dam Lake. The historical relics like Endici Castle, Roman Cemetary and Topkapi Mosque, Orta Mosque and Hidir Abdal Sultan Tomb in the village of Ocak, which has the characteristics of Seljuq Ottoman architecture, are among the places that should be seen.

Kemaliye


The district is founded within a beautiful valley on the coast of Keban Dam Lake. The historical relics like Endici Castle, Roman Cemetary and Topkapi Mosque, Orta Mosque and Hidir Abdal Sultan Tomb in the village of Ocak, which has the characteristics of Seljuq Ottoman architecture, are among the places that should be seen.

Otlukbeli


The Battle of Otlukbeli in 1473 between Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror and Akkoyunlu Monarch Uzun Hasan had taken place in this district, which is 142 km. away from Erzincan. The formation of the travertine seddi lake (travertine seddi formed by mineral water), which is 6 km. northwest of the district center, still continues today. The most significant characteristic of Otlukbeli Lake is its being unique among the lakes of the world to be known until now with the calyx and formation of the lake.

Refahiye


It is 71 km. away from Erzincan. Among the places that should be visited in the district, there are Kutlutepe, Kutsal Rock, Kadikoy Church, Merkez Mosque, Koroglu Cave, Balkaya, Refahiye Forest and Dumanli Plateau.

Uzumlu


It is 23 km. away from Erzincan. Among the places that should be visited in the district, there are historical relics like Akkoyunlu Mosque, Haci Nutullah Mosque and Seyh Karpuz Cave, Aygir Lake, Hidrellez Lake, Bayirbag Degirmenonu Resort Place and Karakaya Cermik Resort Place.

Tercan


It is 88 km. away from Erzincan. In the district, the places that are worth to see are; Kefrenci Temple, Cadirkaya Castle, Kotur Bridge and Mama Hatun Kulliye (complex of the buildings adjacent to a mosque), one of the most interesting and important works of the Turkish architecture of Medieval Era, which is composed of caravansary, bathhouse, mosque and tomb.


HISTORICAL MONUMENTS


The Museums and Historical Ruins



Erzincan Kemaliye Ocak Village Private Museum (Ali Gurer Private Museum)


There are studies going on to establish a museum in Erzincan centre. Until this museum is established, the historical foundlings obtained during the excavations in the region are exhibited in Erzurum museum. In the region, there is a private museum in the village of Ocak which is 40 km. away from Kemaliye district. In this museum named as Ali Gurer Private Museum, there are approximately 1300 works that are being exhibited. This museum is the only private museum established in Erzincan under the control of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Altintepe Historical Ruins


It is 15 km. away from the city center and at 100 km. north of Erzincan – Erzurum highway. It is one of the most enduring Urinian cities that succeeded to reach our times. At the scientific excavations and researches in 1959, a temple-palace complex protected by two castle walls, one around each other, chamber with columns, outdoor temple, tombs, residential, warehouse and numerous archeological works were discovered.

Among the works belonging to the 8th century B.C. found in the tumulus; the ivory and metallic objects, helmets and shields, ceramics and wall pictures are interesting. These high level works belonging to the most advanced period of the Urinian art are being exhibited in the Ankara Anatolian Civilizations Museum.

Mama Hatun Kulliye


The Kulliye in the Tercan district, is one of the most interesting and significant examples of the Turkish architecture. It was constructed by Mama Hatun who was the daughter of the Saltukogullari Monarch Izzettin II. It is a big kulliye composed of caravansary, bathhouse, mosque and Mama Hatun’s own mausoleum.

Gulabibey Mosque


It is understood from the inscription at the entrance of the mosque, which is in Kemah district center, that it had been built by Gulabibey in 1454. The mosque is still in use at the present time.

Gulabibey Bathhouse


The bathhouse built at the same time with the mosque; has the parts of cold, hot and boiler room.

Erzincan Castle


The construction date of the castle is unknown. The castle had been greatly damaged in the earthquake in 1939. Only a part of the entrance gate, the part supposed to be the supply depot and a relic of wall had reached us.

Cadirkaya Castle


The castle in Cadirkaya town of Tercan district had been built with the natural rocks of 100 m. height and is composed of the rooms, cisterns and stairs carved into the rocks.

Kemah Castle


The establishment date of the Kemah Castle, one of the oldest and natural castles of Anatolia, goes back to the Hittite – Urinian period. The castle, founded on the steep rocks, has two gates nested to each other. Part of the castle, which is surrounded with walls, is ruined.

Cadirci Bathhouse


The Cadirci Bathhouse which is in solid situation has two inscriptions indicating the dates of 955/1670. Cadirci Bathhouse supposed to be renewed at the beginning of the 19th century, has a plan of four liwans and halvet (small, hot places).

Nafiz Pasa Bathhouse


The bathhouse built by Nafiz Pasa in 1878, reflects the classical Ottoman bathhouse plans.


The Kumbets


The Tugay Hatun Kumbeti belonging to the Mengucek Dynasty period in the Kemah district center, Gozcu Baba Kumbeti, Vidilli Baba Kumbeti are among the important kumbets.


The Mausoleums


The Terzibaba Mausoleum, Hidir Abdal Sultan Mausoleum (Kemaliye) and Melik Gazi Mausoleum (Kemah) are among the places worth to see in Erzincan.


Abrenk Church


The date of 1854 is inscribed on the entrance gate of the church located at the vicinity of the Ucpinar village in Tercan district. There is a chapel and two obelisks besides the church. These stones attract attention with their architecture and decoration. They have inscriptions dated at the Seljuq Prince Nasiruddin period after the 12th century.


OTHER TOURISM, NATURAL AND CULTURAL VALUES


ski center



Yildirim Akbulut Ski Facilities


It is constructed in the Bolkar Mountains at the main highway route, 40 km. away from Erzincan. The skiing season starts in December and continues to April. The snow thickness is approximately 60-100 cm. In the centre, there is a skiing lodge and tracks for the professional and amateur skiers.

The ski center has T-bar facility of 1050 meters length with the capacity of 1200 people and baby-lift facility of 300 meters length. The ski run is around 1100 meters long and has a medium-hard level. The ski run is 100-200 meters wide, with a gradient of % 20.

At the Yildirim Akbulut Ski Facilities located at the Sakaltutan locality, it is possible to ski throughout the 5 months of a year. At the facilities, skiing in Alpine skiing style is possible. The ski hotel and facilities are connected to the E-80 highway with an asphalt way and the roads are open in every season. It has got all conveniences with a hotel of 60 beds, a restaurant and meeting room with the capacity of 100 people, sportsmen rooms and sauna. It is a real tourism center for winter and mountain sports as well as for the plateau tourism. The facilities had been constructed on an area of 30.000 m². It has got 5 tracks starting from the top station. These are; Dereici Track (has a gradient of % 50, 800 meters length, for professionals), Su Deposu Track (1.000 meters length), Koy Yolu Track (2.000 meters length), Yamac Sirti Track (1.200 meters length) and Karsi Sirt Track (1.800 meters length).


The Resort Places


Otlukbeli Lake


The most significant characteristic of Otlukbeli Lake is its being unique among the lakes of the world to be known until now with the calyx and formation of the lake. The lake is qualified as a natural monument because of this characteristic. Otlukbeli Lake had been announced as a natural preservation area by the decision of Erzurum Preservation Committee of Cultural and Natural Existences and had been under preservation.

Girlevik Waterfall


The waterfall located in Caglayan town which is at 29 km. southeast of Erzincan, is a resort place famous for its natural beauty and coolness. As it allows climbing while the stalactites form in the winter and cooling in its cold water in the summer, it attracts several local and foreign tourists to the region.

Aygir Lake


The Lake located on the Kesis Mountain, is a rather interesting and beautiful picnic and relaxation area with its characteristics of being a crater lake besides its natural beauty.


The Spas


Eksisu


Bogert Mineral Water called as Eksisu is 11 km. away from the city center and very beneficial for health. The mineral water is good for some diseases like anemia, liver, stomach, intestine and gall. The warmth of the spa water in the vicinity of Eksisu is 33 degrees. The water of the spa used in bathing is known to be good for rheumatism, skin, atherosclerosis and heart diseases. There are 12 indoor pools. It is possible to drink mineral water from its source and to go inside the natural whirlpool bath in Eksisu Resort Place.


The Caves


Buz Caves


It is in the village of Ayranpinar of Kemah district. There are large ice blocks, stalactites and stalagmites formed by ice inside the cave. The people in the surrounding villages use the cave as a cold storage.

Ala Cave


The cave located at the northeast of Kemaliye district, contains galleries and channels. At the entrance of the cave, a thin water line is flowing.

Koroglu Cave


The cave located at the Altkoy locality in the Refahiye district, is reached with stone stairs. There are benches of stone blocks inside the cave.


Sporting Activities


Paragliding


Paragliding is done at the locality of the village of Kucuk Cakirman which is connected to the city center and at Ergan Hill in Yaylabasi Town. Munzur Mountain is the highest jumping area and preferred by the experienced sportsmen.

Rafting and Water Ski


Karasu and Sansu Rivers which are the branches of Firat River and about 40 km. away from Erzincan city center are suitable for rafting sport. It is easy to reach the rafting course. Rafting is generally done between the months of May – June in the region.

Water skiing can be done in Erzincan Dam and Tercan Dam Lake. Erzincan Dam is 16 km. away from the city center and at the southwest of the city.

Canoeing


Karasu River is suitable for canoeing and it can be done in every section of the river. Munzur- Firat Nature Sports Association is active in river canoeing sport. The course between Beytahti – İlic is a very suitable course for this sport.

Ice Climbing


With the freezing of Girlevik Waterfall in the months of January, February and at the beginning of March, some sportsmen come here for ice climbing. The spectacle of Girlevik Waterfall is very interesting in this period.

Trekking


The suitable courses for trekking are; started from Merkez Yaylabasi Municipality to Munzur Melan Plateau; started from Karakaya town to the Tekcam-Kesis Mountains, Aygir lake, Esence Summit; started from Karakaya town to the Sarigoller direction, Kesis Mountains, Aygir Lake and Esence Summit; started from Cayirli Esendoruk village to Kesis Mountains, Yedigoller - Esence Summit; started from Cayirli - Turan Meadow Aksu River to Kesis Mountains, Yedigoller, Esence Summit. Moreover, Girlevik Waterfall is also suitable for trekking. Trekking and rock climbing can be done in Yaylabasi, Ardiçligol locality forests; trekking and camping can be done in Esence, Yedigoller, Refahiye Dumanli Forests.

Jereed (Cirit)


There are two clubs in Erzincan for the traditional ancestor sport, javelin. These are Erzincan Atli İhtisas Club and 13 Subat İhtisas Club. The aim of the establishment of the clubs is; the rehabilitation of the horse breed in Erzincan and its vicinity, horse riding, to perform traditionally in our national days and to participate in the national and international activities. There are three jereed fields with the mixture of sand and soil, with tribunes and in regulative measures (with the capacity of 50 people). Two of these fields are at Terzibaba locality, the other one is in the city center.

Hunting


The city of Erzincan is rich in hunting sources. There are game animals like fox, weasel, chukar, see-see partridge, rabbit, island rabbit, quail, rock dove, woodpigeon, turtle dove, wild ducks, white-fronted goose, lapwing, blackbird, wolf and wild boar.

The regional cuisine is rich in dish types. Most of these meals are pastries. Esgili, kesme corba and yaprak sarma are the major meal types. Moreover, su boregi and especially kete and deserts are widely consumed pastries. Tulum cheese, babikko and pestil desert are different tastes of the region.

Among the authentic souvenirs of Erzincan, there are handcrafted copper works (souvenir and ornamental objects like samovar, tray, trinkets, wall plate, sugar bowl and vase) and carpet weaving.

At the shopping in Erzincan, Erzincan fried roasted chickpeas and Erzincan tulum cheese should be bought.

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