The Most Stunning Sights in Samsun, Turkey
Samsun may be one of the lesser known provinces in Turkey, but it actually has some very striking natural and historical sights. From breathtaking canyons to important historic ruins, we took a look at Samsun’s most beautiful attractions.It consist of Alaçam, Asarcık, Atakum, 19 Mayıs, Ayvacık, Bafra, Çarsamba, Canik, Havza, İlkadım, Kavak, Ladik, Salıpazarı, Tekkeköy, Terme, Vezirköprü and Yakakent Districts.
Certainly one of Samsun’s most breathtaking sights, the Şahinkaya Canyon is located on the Altınkaya Dam Lake in the Vezirköprü district and is Turkey’s second largest canyon. Visitors can take part in tours that not only go through the historic Ottoman homes and mosques of Vezirköprü, but also feature an amazing 1.5 km boat ride through the canyon via Kızılırmak (Red River).
Being an artificial village, Amazon Village was constructed by Samsun Metropolitan Municipality to show the visitors the Amazon History. Today, when the tourists come there, they witness closely Amazon History by seeing waxworks of Amazon female fighters, tents illustrating their daily life, caves, prisons, and weapons.
The natural wonder, being a step to the paradise, famous Amisos Hill (Samsun Hill) is located at the centre of Samsun hence; it dominates whole city. Also the history of marvellous Amisos Hill which is the one of the most visited places in Samsun for domestic and foreign tourists dates back B.C 3th century.
But this natural archaeological site was uncovered by in 1995. When the people come here, they use a cable car (telfer) which is 320 m in long in order to arrive at the hill. Within this amazing cable car, the visitors experience a very funny journey and they are enchanted by the unique landscape of Amisos Hill with its mystic and sincere atmosphere.
Except for those features, today this glorious hill includes tea houses, cafes and restaurants. Thus it indicates us that it is highly appropriate for tourists being able to rest, read a book, make an inner journey and retire like the monks here.
Moreover, this dreamy hill is also well known its tumulus figured out by a treasure hunter before years but later this area of tumulus was protected by government. There two tumulus; North Tumulus and South Tumulus. According to the excavations between 2004 and 2005, it is confirmed that these tumulus reflecting the Hellenistic Era consist of the graves belonging to the noble people and Pontus King Dynasty.
Additionally, this wonderful tumulus not only includes grave rooms but also there is found Amisos treasure which is exhibited in Samsun Samsun Archaeology Ethnographic Museum today. At present, this location is open to the visitors.
Amisos Hill is placed at the centre of the Samsun city. It is also next to the Batıpark which is the wonderful place of amusement, Amisos hill provides the people amazing atmosphere; when they visit here, they can drink tea and enjoy with the huge, dreamy landscape of the city from this hill.
AMISOS TREASURE AND TOMB
As a result of some researches about Amisos Hill and its treasure, it was turned out very valuable pieces, materials and graves into a hole of Amisos Hill. There was a tomb or graveyard which had been established by carving the clumped rock plate. The tumulus’ floor and ceiling walls had been covered with the plaster by soil mixture made from lime and brick dust. The tomb is 5 and 5.5 m in dimensions, 2.30 m in height. This tomb includes five graves which was the family tomb. These skeletons in graves belong to the female and male noble or elite persons in the community.
Besides, it was found out various treasures containing jewellery (death gifts), pots and pans the crown is on the head, necklace is on the neck and the earrings at the level of the ear , a gold ring with a gem , gold buttons , gold bracelets with human and animal motives on it broken gold bracelets, a gold barrette , earthenware , kerosene lamps of death bodies belonging to the a prince, king or commander, queen and princess of the Pontus Kingdom.
Therefore today, it is said that this amazing, marvellous, fascinating and breath-taking collection of the treasure in Samsun is the biggest and unique masterpiece uncovered in Turkey after the treasure of Karun which symbolizes us the limitless wealth, of the money, gold, silver, petroleum, diamonds, emeralds, jewellery, goods, and property.
It is located within the borders of the Tekkeköy District, 14 kilometres to the east of Samsun. There are big and small pits and caves on rocks alongside the valley watered by the Fındıkçay and Çınarlı streams.
During the digging activities and researches carried out in 1941, by a committee under the presidency of Professor Dr. Tahsin Özgüç, one of the lecturers in the Ankara University, the Language, History - Geography Faculty, many prehistoric caves, shelters and settling areas are found and some findings that belong to the Paleolithic Age were obtained.
The people of the Paleolithic Age living in these caves did not know metal, and made all their tools from stone, wood and bone. They earned their lives by means of hunting and collecting, and used various tools such as axes, lance tips, cutters, scrapers which they made by chipping stone.
Vessels, earrings, bracelets, knives, daggers, barbs and pins generally used as the grave gift were found in the digging activities and researches carried out in Tekkeköy. These works have the Central Anatolia characteristics in terms of their shapes and technical properties; and the bone tools have a better workmanship when compared to the ones in Central and Western Anatolia.
The rocky region located at the joint area of the Çınarcık and Fındıcak valleys and seeing each two valleys is known as "Delikli Kaya". The stairs of the rocky region were examined in terms of technique and shape, and it is understood that Delikli Kaya is a Frig Castle. The findings of Tekkeköy are being exhibited in the Samsun Archaeology Museum.
Story Of Tekkeköy District
As a result of these studies, it is uncovered that the history of Tekkeköy district is based on the very old ages, B.C 600.000 and 10.000 years which are the Palaeolithic Period. Additionally, some findings, relics and materials give us much information about Hittites and Phrygians. Moreover once upon a time, Pontus Empire, later Rome (Byzantine), Anatolian Seljuk and Ottoman Empire were found their community here. Especially, within Seljuk and Ottoman Period, there were established many different mosques, inn, caravanserai, fountains, bridges, Seljuk and Ottoman style homes. Also, in Seljuk Time, Islamic monastery or dervish lodge was built here.
Culture & Art Of Tekkeköy District
Handmade productions, ceramics, mosaics and the other ornaments are well known here. When you visit this amazing city, it is highly possible to witness tombs, caves and the ancient masterpieces located there. Other precious things are mosques and mausoleums. Today thousands of people coming from different countries visit these mosques and tombs.
Moreover, there are located three Rum Houses turned into the exhibition spaces of separate historical periods; ceramics, jewellery design, souvenir shops, human and animal sculptures and other ancient, traditional productions are displayed here. Also a valley having a unique landscape used as a famous excursion spot and hazelnut garden in front of the caves was converted into glorious picnic area in order to entertain and to rest the visitors. When they come there, they can be picnic, sport activities and go to their children around park in our day.
Except for that, there is found Hittite Road and Frig Castle surrogated by those marvellous inns which sees us this place is the first grade archaeological protected area which is very long and old.
Honorary Monument Of Samsun
The Onur Anıtı (Statue of Honor) is also known as the Atatürk Monument and is located in Atatürk Park in the İlkadım district of Samsun. Designed by Austrian sculptor Heinrich Krippel, the statue is dedicated to the landing of Atatürk in Samsun, which marked the beginning of the Turkish War of Independence (1919-1923).
Symbol of victory and eternal power of Turk people, famous, glorious Honorary Monument of Samsun was erected by Vali Kazım Pasha for the sake of Samsun brave citizens and great leader of Republic of Turkey, Ataturk in 1932. This magnificent monument was made by grand Austrian architect, Heinrich Krippel.
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk gave a major honour to the public of Samsun by landing on Samsun in order to start the War of Independence. Therefore, the citizens living in Samsun desired to erected his monument, which is the most important and valuable masterpieces in Turkey, here so that they express or reflect their respect,gratitude and love to Ataturk.
Firstly, pedestal of this marvellous masterpiece was founded by Governor Kazım Pasha on May 19, 1927. He communicated with famous architect Heinrich Krippel to make the monument because there were no any Turk artists who could construct this fascinating statue those times. Finally, he completed the bronze monument in 1931 and it was displayed to the public with amazing ceremony in 1932.
Honorary Monument of Samsun is 8, 85 meter in height with pedestal. Atatürk is majestically displayed on a horse by rearing up which symbolizes the power of, brave of and determination of Turks. With a lordly expression in his face, his eyes directly look at the west and they are full of resolution and victory.
Kızılırmak Delta: A heaven for bird watchers
The Kızılırmak Delta Bird Sanctuary, which is on the Tentative World Heritage List of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), is ready to welcome bird watchers.
The bird sanctuary hosts 356 migratory birds on its 56,000-hectare area on the borders of the 19 Mayıs, Bafra and Alaçam districts.
In the Kızılırmak delta, where the Ondokuz Mayıs University (OMU) Ornithological Research Center is located, bird ringing for identification has been conducted for 16 years.
Vanellus cinereus birds, which are grey-headed and live in the Far East, are the latest species observed for the first time in Turkey and Europe in the delta, which is one of the most important wetlands in the country.
The Samsun Metropolitan Municipality demolished unlicensed constructions in the field and built bird observation towers and visitor centers to protect natural life and increase the number of bird photographers and nature lovers visiting the field.
Wildlife expert and bird watcher Emin Yoğurtcuoğlu, who has seen 433 of the 485 bird species in Turkey and managed to photograph 431, took photos of the Kızılırmak Delta.
Yoğurtcuoğlu told Anadolu Agency (AA) that he admires the Kızılırmak Delta Bird Sanctuary.
Since the delta houses many bird species, he invites bird watchers to the delta and said this place where natural life is protected should be seen.
"I am happy to see that great efforts were made to protect natural life and to provide a proper environment for animals with the works of the Samsun Metropolitan Municipality. The delta has many habitats with unbelievable diversity. I will make a presentation about the beauties of the delta on June 11 in Paris," the expert continued.
Since bird observation has become a tourism attraction, Yoğurtcuoğlu said people travel to countries to take photos of new bird species.
He said that because Turkey has a rich habitat, bird watchers and photographers prefer the country, adding, "Many people in the world deal with this job. One percent of them travel to see birds. Bird observation is sustained as a culture in the U.S., U.K., Canada and many other countries in Europe and developed with cameras in the Far East. Nature and bird observations are a kind of evolved hunting. The only difference is that the animals that you observe do not die, and you have data in every observation." The expert added people in many countries transitioned from hunting to bird observation and interest in this field increases every year.
Also called Hamidiye Mosque and Valide Mosque, famous Great Mosque was built Hacı Ali of Batum in 1884. Later it was renovated by Valide or mother of Ottoman Sultan Abdulaziz. It reflects Classic Ottoman Art Style and it is biggest mosque in Samsun. Takin a place in a big yard, the glorious mosque with was made of face stone. It has four special domes decorated with engraving and a wooden mimbar covered with the star and medallion motives which creates a fascinating atmosphere for the visitors.
HAMAMYAGI THERMAL SPRING
Well known Samsun Hamamyagi Hot Spring is in fact looking like a nursing home for sick people. Located in Ladik, province of Samsun, this healing centre includes a sparkling mineral water in a high level which is good for rheumatism, nerve diseases, neuritis and etc. hence, today it is not only visited by domestic people but also various foreign people coming from different country visit here in order to heal.
The İkiztepe Tumulus
The tumulus, which is located in the İkiztepe Village 7 kilometres north - west of the Bafa District of Samsun, has four hills. It covers nearly 375 x 175 metre area.
The digging activities in this tumulus began in 1974 by Professor Dr. U. Bahadır Alkım, and had been continuing under the control of Professor Dr. Önder Bilgi, one of the lecturers of the İstanbul University, since 1981.
The diggers went down up to the main soil at the Hill I and the Hill II. As a result of the researches, the Bronze Age I and II, and the Transition Age (Before Hittite) cultures were found in the Hill I; in addition the existence of a necropolis dated to the First Bronze Age III was understood. The First Bronze Age I and II and the Calcolithic Age cultural ruins were found in the Hill II. As a result of the diggings carried out in the Hill III and IV, it is understood that the first Bronze Age III culture was dominant in this region. There is a tumulus type, a two-room mausoleum with a dromos at last culture level of İkiztepe, in a Hill I. It is understood from the golden coins found in dromos (corridor) of the stone-built mausoleum and printed on behalf of a Thrace King Lysimakhos in İstanbul that this grave belonged to the Hellenistic Age.
The well-protected ceramic oven found in diggings carried out in 1989 is very interesting. Foundations or walls laid with stone or a sun-dried brick could not be found in these diggings, and thus it is understood that the building is made of wood in İkiztepe. The works found in archaeological diggings in İkiztepe ruins are being exhibited in a Samsun Museum. The Bafra Asarkale and The Rock Graves
It is located within the Kızılırmak Valley, 30 kilometres south - west of the Bafra District and close to the Altınkaya Dam. Asarkale belongs to the Hellenistic Age and is built for defence. It is thought that three graves made by chipping the main rock belong to the same period.
This section takes places three special tomb rooms located in the hill which is 8 m in height and 3 m diameter. This tumulus is 18 m long, 2.25 in width and 2.5 m in height and its walls of rooms were decorated with fake column without plaster.
South tumulus consists of a graveyard with two rooms situated on the hill. It is 6 m long, 2.5 m width and 3 m in height. Its walls, ceiling and floors were covered with cream plaster.
Samsun Archaeology and Ethnography Museum
Archaeology and Ethnography Museum located in Samsun city center Fair Ground, was opened at 19 May 1981. Historical monuments founded in excavations by Turkish History Association, sent to Kastamonu Museum because of there was no museum for display in Samsun in that times. In terms of the importance of Samsun in national history, opening a museum with name “ Ataturk and 19 May Museum” was offered to Culture and Tourism Ministry by governor Turgut Baskaya at 1956. At the same time some historical monuments founded in an excavation and gathered from region, protected under Samsun Men Art Instıtute. The museum was like storage at first, at 1 March 1960 works begun. Subsequently, Governor Enver Saatçigil at 1967, addressed the idea of museum again and the 19 May Art Gallery in Fair Ground changed to “Ataturk Museum”. After that, near to Ataturk Museum in Fair ground, the construction began for Archaeology and Ethnography Museum at 1976, just after 6 years it was opened for visitors. In the museum,archaeological and ethnographic artifacts on display which are gathered from Samsun and region.
In archaeological section, bronze, terracotta, bone artifacts are displayed from Early bronze Age, Hittite, Hellenistic and Roman periods. These artifacts include bronze athlete statue, Old Bronze Age operated skulls, Ancient Amisos City artifacts, Amisos Mosaic of Roman Emperor Alaxender Severus times, treasures from Amisos tombs, Hellenistic age jewelers.
Most important section of the museum, artifacts found in Amisos Tomb are from BC 400 -300 years. In this section, gold crown, earrings, bracelets has remarkably beauty. In addition, Coins from Classical, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman periods in museum. Also moneys from Republic period are on display. At Museum Ethnography Section, traditional handicrafts of Samsun such as bindal, napkins, bolero, hours sacs, manuscripts, Korans can be found. Traditional cutters and firearms are organized in another section.
The Amisos treasury, which was found during diggings carried out by the Museum Directorate in a grave of Amisos City, is also being exhibited in the central hall. The Jewellery (a crown, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, buttons, cloth ornaments, rings, etc.) which belong to a man, a woman and a female child are the most interesting works of the museum. These works that belong to the Hellenistic Period reflect the art and workmanship of those times.
The coins of the Classical, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk, Ottoman and Republic periods are also being exhibited in this hall.
The works of the Calcolithic, First Bronze Age, Hittite, Hellenistic and Roman periods found in Samsun and its environs are being exhibited chronologically in the hall located on the right side of the central hall. The bronze, bone, stone and cooked soil works of the Calcolithic, First Bronze and Hittite ages, which are found in the archaeological digs carried out by the İstanbul University in the İkiztepe tumulus of the İkiztepe Village in Bafra, carry a specific importance. Bronze lance tip embossed at both sides is one of the samples that show high levels of the İkiztepe people in metal art. The skulls, which had operations, that belong to the First Bronze Age and found in İkiztepe, constitute an interesting part of the museum. The naked athlete statue (the 1st century AC copy of the original specific to the 5th century BC) being exhibited in this hall is one of the most popular works of the museum.
Among the works being exhibited in the other hall, there are ethnographic works transferred to the museum from Samsun: velvets, napkins, sleeved short jackets, money and clock bags, hand script Korans, ornaments, weapons, kitchen materials, carpets, matting, etc.
The works of the Classical, Rome, Byzantine and Ottoman periods are being exhibited in the garden of the museum. The pithos, the tombs, the stelae, the milestones, various architectural works and embossments are the most popular works, which draw attention of the visitors.
Opening hours 8 am-5 pm Tue-Sun
One of the other unique masterpieces in Samsun, Gazi Museum was built by grand architect Jean Lonnis Mantika in order to be used as a hotel named as Mantika Palas in 1902. It is well known that it was given as a gift to the great leader of Turkish Republic, Ataturk. Later this miraculous structure was turned into a museum. Today, this museum which contains photographs, documents belonging to Ataturk and a miniature of Bandırma Ferry is open to visit.
The Gazi museum is located on the Mecidiye Avenue at the Kale district in the centre of Samsun. The walls of this two-storey building were made of bricks. Lathwork was used inside. Atatürk stayed for 6 days in this building during his first arrival to Samsun on 19 May 1919. In that time this building was known as the “Mintika Palace” (hotel). During the second arrival of the Great Leader (20-24 September 1924), the subject building was presented to him as a gift of the Samsun People. The Great Leader also stayed in this building during his third (16-18 September 1928) and his fourth (22-26 November 1930) visits to Samsun. After the transfer of the building to the Ministry of Culture by the Samsun Municipality and than, after its restoration and rearranging for exhibition, it was opened to the publicors on 8 November 1998.
The Atatürk museum, which was constructed as the 19th of May Gallery within the old fair ground, opened to the publicors on 1 July 1968. The museum building which was constructed entirely with stones and coloured marbles, has a monumental and effective appearance. The steps and reliefs representing the War of Independence in front of the building give it a motion. 114 works belonging to Atatürk are exhibited in the museum.
The works in the museum are exhibited in three sections. In the entry and exit section various books about Atatürk, the photographs taken during the arrival of Atatürk to Samsun are displayed in chronological order. A panel, made of locally produced tobacco leaves and presented to Atatürk as a gift by the Samsun people, is also exhibited in the museum. And in the glass showcases situated in the rear large rooms, various belongings of Atatürk that were brought in from the Ankara Anitkabir Museum, some wearing apparel such as hats, suits, gloves, etc. and weapons, canes, cutlery, etc. are displayed.
At the right side of the centre large room's exit, a special section is situated for the rest of the state high officials during their visit and to put down their impressions of the museum in writing.
Havza Atatürk House
A three-storey building is situated on the street. Between 25 May 1919 and 12 June 1919 Atatürk stayed and worked in this building which was known as the Mesudiye Hotel. The room that Atatürk stayed in is on the second floor. The building which functions as a museum was transferred to the Ministry of Culture by the directorate of the Private Administration.
A real size copy of Bandırma Boat, by which Ataturk arrived Samsun with 18 friends to start independence war, now was made and opened as a museum in East Park coast in Samsun. The boat was built on 2000 m2 on land and 1000 m2 on sea in filled area. Meanwhile, landscaping made in sea shore. There are places for different kinds of events such as a large ceremony ground, lion road, 70m length Wall with reliefs of National Indepence War, a monument with 7 figures. The original sized wax statues of Ataturk and 18 friends made in Prof. Dr. Yılmaz Büyükerşen ‘s workshop, and placed at the different locations of the boat, especially at captain station. Monument with seven-figure was built just across the boat..
Bandirma Boat was built on Scotland, Paisley region by Mac Intyre Company as 279 gross tonnage, passenger and freight ferry. The first owner was Dussey & Robinson Company and the first name was Torocaderto. In 1883, Greek shipowner Psiche recorded to ship to Piraeus Port and gave the name Kymi to the ship. Later the boat was sold to Greek ship-owner Andreadis, and again was sold by Andreadis to “Rama Derasimo İstanbul” Company. Then name changed to Panderma and ship registration was transferred to Ottoman Maritime Administration. Ottoman Maritime Administration changed the name Panderma to Bandırma in 1910 and the boat was worked as a postal ferry. In 19 May 1919, ship brought to Ataturk and his friends to Samsun, and then continued on the postal service. In 1925, Ship was sold to a man named İlhami Söke, within 4 months the ship was disassembled in Golden Horn by same man.
Mater Dolorosa Catholic Church
It is one of the alternative praying places. The church that serves to Catholic Public was got built by V.Murat in 1845 because of Catholic people and eight Italian origin immigrant priests from Georgia that had lived in Samsun. 30 % of Samsun population was Christian in these years.
The priests firstly built a school for children in the region and called sisters to help. V.Murat of the time has supported co-living with the Christians. Therefore, he ordered to build a church. The church was completed in 1885 and started to serve.
Mater Dolorosa Catholic Church goes on to attract tourists today with its magnificent architecture. You must see Mater Dolorosa Catholic Church when you visit Samsun.
Mater Dolorasa Catholic Church is a very important for both Samsun people and Christians due to its deep history. At the past Christians escaped from their country and settled into here so that they freely worship. Therefore the public and their leaders 8 monks built this marvellous construction here.