Ankara was historically known as Ancyra and Angora. It is the capital city of Turkey and has been since the empire’s fall in 1923. Ankara is also the country’s second largest city with Istanbul being the biggest. The central location of Ankara (in Anatolia) is important to the city and has shaped it into a commercial and industrial hub, housing all the foreign embassies and being the centre of the Turkish Government. Trade is strong here as Ankara is located at the centre of turkey’s highway and railway networks. You may be familiar with the name ‘Angora’ as the city is famous for its long-haired Angora goat and its prized wool (mohair).
Ankara is also famous for its unique breed of Angora cats, Angora rabbits and their prized wool, pears, honey and muscat grapes.
The climate here is cold and snowy during winter due to its elevation and inland location and the summers are hot and dry. Rainfall occurs mostly during the spring and autumn.
Some sites worth visiting while you are in Ankara:
Anitkabit (located on an imposing hill) – it forms the Anittepe quarter of the city where the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (completed in 1953) stands. He was the founder of the Republic of Turkey.
Ankara Ethnography Museum - opposite the Ankara Opera House where you’ll find a fine collection of folkloric items and Seljuk and Ottoman period pieces.
The Museum of Anatolian Civilisations - located at the entrance of the Ankara Castle, it is an old covered bazaar which has been restored and now houses a unique collection of Paleolithic, Neolithic, Hatti, Hittite, Phrygian, Urartian and Roman works.
The State Art and Sculpture Museum – close to the Ethnography Museum, you’ll find here a rich collection of Turkish art from the late 19th Century to present day.
Cer Modern – the modern-arts museum of Ankara, inaugurated on 1 April 2010. This museum is located in the renovated building of the historic TCDD Cer Atolyeleri, formerly a workshop of the Turkish State Railways. You can find here the largest exhibition hall in Turkey, holding periodic exhibitions of modern and contemporary art as well as hosting other contemporary arts events.
The War of Independence Museum – this was originally the first parliament building of Turkey. This is where the War of Independence was planned and directed as recorded in various photographs and items presently on exhibition as well as wax figures of former presidents of the Republic of Turkey.
Ankara Aviation Museum – This is home to various missiles, avionics, aviation materials and aircraft that have served in the Turkish Air Force.
Ankara Citadel Walls – laid by the Galatians n a prominent lava outcrop, the rest being complete by the Romans. The area around and inside the citadel, being the oldest part of Ankara, contains many fine examples of traditional architecture.
The Roman Theatre – the remains, stage and backstage of the Roman theatre in Ankara can be seen outside the castle along with Roman statues that were found here being exhibited.