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Central of City

Mersin as the provincial capital
On its western side is Antalya, one of the most attractive touristic centres of Turkey, on its eastern side Adana, an agricultural and industrial centre; its southern side consists entirely of the Mediterranean seashore and on its northern side it is separated from the Anatolian mainland by means of the Taurus mountain range.

It is one of the important ports of the Mediterranean and a centre of maritime commerce, just as it was during very ancient times.

There have been very few archaeological findings concerning Zephyrium, which is considered to be the first urban settlement in the area occupied by present day Mersin. The walls, marble columns and various architectural elements found in the Çavuşlu neighbourhood are the only things that have survived from Zephyrium. It is thought that archaeological excavations to be done in the tumulus will provide us with important data that will shed light on the history of both Mersin and Kilikia and also, at a more general level, on the history of civilisation. Mersin was an important city in ancient times, but later it lost its importance. Towards the mid 19th century its rebirth as an urban centre began.

During this time it acquired importance as a port from where the agricultural products of the fertile Çukurova plain and of Central Anatolia, with which it had a rail connection, were exported to Europe.

Many European countries established consulates, and commercial companies established representative offices. During this period, on the one hand Ottoman architectural works were completed and on the other Catholic and Orthodox churches were built. These churches have survived to our days and most still have their communities of faithful.

In our days Mersin is a modern Mediterranean city and port, with large boulevards and green parks.

Pompeipolis, with its urban location surrounded with modern buildings, is an exciting archaeological site. Situated as its is, among 20 story apartment towers, it is truly impressive. The colonnaded road is enough to give us an idea about the richness and architectural splendour of this city. Before being destroyed by an earthquake in the 6th century, Pompeipolis was an important Roman city. It is thought that the 450 metre long and 10 metre wide avenue leading to the sea was built in the 2nd or 3rd century. Forty of the 200 columns originally embellishing the road have been recovered.

Excavations are on-going and every day a little more light is being shed on its history. Previously this area was occupied by the city of Soloi, which means sun. It was a port, it had grown rich by trading with Cyprus and Egypt, and had progressed in philosophy and the sciences.

The Roman General Pompeius, who had come to Kilikia with his army, put an end to the activities of the pirates who were based here.

He rebuilt the city and gave it his own name. Thus Soloi became Pompeipolis. The city maintained its importance during the Byzantine period and was a bishopric. A great earthquake in 527 destroyed the city.

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