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Erzurum

Coordinate: 39º54’00.00’’K 41º16’12.00’’D Height: 1941 m

Erzurum was founded at the slopes of Mount Palandoken. As of the region, it is located in the highest and hilliest part of Turkey. Most of its land is over 2000 meters.

Erzurum had sovereignty of many states and civilizations. City of Theodosiopolis which was named after Byzantine Emperor Theodosius II was established in the 5th century A.D. .  It became the center of Saltuk State from Turkish principalities after the Battle of Malazgirt in 1071. The region where many Turkish states dominated was joined to Ottomans by Sultan Selim the Excellent in 1517 while returning from Egypt campaign.

 

Castle of Erzurum was built on a hill overlooking the city in Byzantine period in the 5th century. One of the most important monumental structure is also Çifte Minareli Madrasah. The structure which has no inscriptions is dated to second half of the 13th century by looking its style and architecture. It is quite spectacular with its portal in the northern façade of structure, decorations and minarets. Minarets that are collapsed till the balconies are decorated with glazed bricks and tiles.

In the south of the Çifte Minareli Madrasah, the biggest vault of Three Vaults is assumed to belong to Emir Saltuk, the founder of Saltuk State. It was built at the end of 12th century, and one of the oldest vaults of Anatolia. It is unknown who the other two vaults belong.

Ulu Mosque which was built by "Nasiruddin Muhammed from Saltuk in 1179 is on Cumhuriyet Street. Inside of the mosque is covered with piers and it is covered with flat soil roof. 40 thick pillars carry the roof. A dome covers the front of the altar.

 

Yakutiye Madrasah, which was built in İlhanlılar period between 1310 and 1311, is in the group of enclosed courtyard madrasahs. Portal in the west façade of the structure is decorated with rich carvings and relief stone works. Minarets rising in this façade that upper parts are collapsed are placed in the corners different than the other madrasahs.

 

Two magnificent churches from Georgian can be seen around Erzurum. These are; the Church of Oshki in Camlıyamac Village in Uzundere district and Khakhuli (now Haho) Monastery which is used as mosque in Bagbasi Village in Tortum district.  These churches, built in Bagrat Dynasty period, are dated to 10th century.

Mount Palandoken (3185 m.) located in the south of the city is one of the major skiing resorts of Turkey. Accommodation facilities and restaurants provide services in here.

Must-see places

Çifte Minareli Madrasah, Great Mosque, Yakutiye Madrasa, and Oshki Church

Do Not Return Without Doing

Food: Çağ Kebab, Den Soup, Shopping: Souvenirs made of oltu stone.

Entertainment: skiing in Palandoken Mountain.

Game: Folk dances called Bar.

Activity: Erzurum Congress, 23 July.