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South of the River

At the eastern end of the south bank, near the Künç Köprüsü, is the Beyazıt Paşa Camii, an early Ottoman mosque (1419), following a twin-domed plan that was a forebear in style to the famous Yeşil Cami in Bursa. It’s closed except at prayer times, but its most interesting features are external anyway.

Follow the riverbank west along and you’ll come to the pretty Mehmet Paşa Camii, built in 1486 by Lala Mehmet Paşa, tutor to Şehzade Ahmet, the son of Sultan Beyazıt II. Don’t miss the beautiful marble mimber (pulpit). The complex originally included the build- er’s tomb, an imaret (soup kitchen), tabhane (hospital), hamam and handan (inn).

Continue west and on the left you’ll see the Darüşşifa (Mustafa Kemal Bulvarı) or Bimarhane, which was built as a mental hospital by Ilduş Hatun, wife of the İlkhanid Sultan Olcaytu, in 1309 and may have been the first place to try to treat mental disorders with music. The İlkhans were the successors to Ghengis Khan’s Mongols, who had defeated the Anatolian Seljuks. Their architecture reflects motifs bor- rowed from many conquered peoples, and the building is based on the plan of a Seljuk medrese. Today the building is often used for exhibitions, concerts and events.

A bit further along the river is Amasya’s main square with its imposing memorial to the War of Independence. Perched on a rise to the eastern side of the main square is the Gümüşlü Cami (Silvery Mosque; 1326), the earliest Ottoman mosque in the town. It was rebuilt in 1491 after an earthquake, in 1612 after a fire, and again in 1688, then added to in 1903 and restored yet again in 1988.

If you keep walking west and head inland from the river you’ll come to the Vakıf Bedesten Kapalı Çarşı (Covered Market), built in 1483 and still in use today. Keep heading west along Atatürk Caddesi and on the left you’ll see the partly ruined Taş Han (1758), an Ottoman caravanserai. Behind it is the Burmalı Minare Camii (Spiral Minaret Mosque), built by the Seljuks between 1237 and 1247, with elegant spiral carving on the minaret.

Keep walking west and you’ll come to the graceful Sultan Beyazıt II Camii (1486), Amasya’s largest külliye (mosque complex), with a medrese, fountain, imaret and kütüphane (library). Finally, you’ll reach the Gök Medrese Camii (Mosque of the Sky-Blue Seminary), which was built from 1266 to 1267 for Seyfettin Torumtay, the Seljuk governor of Amasya. The eyvan (vaulted recess) serving as its main portal is unique in Anatolia, while the kümbet (domed tomb) was once covered in gök (sky- blue) tiles, hence the name.