Adana is a city located on the south of the Taurus Mountains, by the Seyhan River in Cukurova. It is surrounded by Osmaniye and Hatay on the east side, Kahramanmaras on the northeast, Kayseri on the north, Nigde on the northwest and Icel on the west.
Seyhan and Ceyhan rivers arise in the Central Anatolia, pass through Adana and flow into the Mediterranean Sea. Yedi Goller (Seven Lakes) on the top of the Taurus Mountains, artificial Seyhan and Catalan Lakes over Seyhan River, artificial Aslantas Lake over Ceyhan River and Akyatan and Agyatan Kus Cenneti (Bird Paradise) Lakes are important lakes of Adana. Adana has the features of Mediterranean climate with its magnificent nature. Summers are hot and dry, winters are soft and rainy. Adana, that is located on this fertile and watery land, has a very old and vivid history. Settlement in this area goes back to the 6000 BC.
Adana was one of the most important cities of Ancient Kilikya civilization. The name comes from the Adanus, who is the God of Sky in Greek mythology. Tepebag Hoyuk belongs to the Neolithic age that people begin to settle. This hoyuk goes back to 6000 BC and is one of the oldest residences in the world. Adana joined the Hittites Federation in about 1350 BC when it was the center of Kiznuwatna Kingdom. It was captured by the Assyrians in 9th century BC, by Iran in 7th century BC and by Alexander the Great and his army in 333 BC and after his death it was captured by Selefkiler. Roman state started to dominate Adana in the 1st century BC and became one of the biggest trade centers of Eastern Roman. It was captured by Sasaniler in 260 AC, by the Byzantines in the 4th century AC, by Abbasiler in the 8th century, again by Byzantines in the 10th century, by Seljuks in the 11th century, by Armenians in the 12th century and by Memlukluler and the area started to become Turkized. During the Turkish Memluk state, Turks migrated from Middle Asia to Cukurova and have settled on this fertile and watery land. Ramazanogullari principality was established in 1352 in Adana and continued till 1517. During his military expedition to Egypt, Yavuz Sultan Selim added Adana to Ottoman Empire lands.
In the year 1918, when World War I was over, a new struggle began for Adana and Turkey. During 1918-1919 occupants were cruel and unjust; people of this area could not resist it anymore and formed “Kilikya Milli Kuvvetler Teskilati” (Kilikya National Forces Organization). Mustafa Kemal, Fevzi Bey and parliament members decided Pozanti to be the city center and established Pozanti Congress on 5.August.1920. French were defeated in 1920 and French Government had to recognize Buyuk Millet Meclisi (the Turkish Parliament) officially. On 5.January.1922, France has officially withdrawn from Cukurova. From this date on, Adana again became the city center. Inonu-Churchill meeting made in 1943, during the World War II, was also made in Adana.www.adana-bld.gov.trwww.adana.gov.tr
The districts and the center of Adana, carry the colorful history of the region to date.
It is 105 km away from the city center. Residues of the ancient age, Orta Cag Kalesi (Middle Age Castle), residues of Kırık Kilise (Broken Church) in Akoren region are important features of Aladag. There are also Acisi Icmece (thermal spring) and Bigbigi Cave on the Meydan Plateau.
It is located at a 47 km distance from the city center. Yilan Castle (Snake Castle), which is made up of a 700 m long solid rock with four sides, is in this district. Ulu Cami (Grand Mosque), Mecidiye Mosque and Durhasan Dede Tomb are interesting historical buildings. Kurtkulagi Caravansaray in Kurtkulagi region was built in 1711 and it is on the old Aleppo caravan route. On a big rock by the Ceyhan River, you can see the relief of one of the Hittites kings, Muvallatti, wearing a long dress.
Feke Castle located in this district is believed to be built by Byzantines or the Seljuks in the 12th century. The tourists, who come to Goksu River for rafting, also visit this district.
It is at a 47 km distance from the city center. Yerkopru Promenade and Kizildag Plateau are places worth seeing.
It is 47 km away from the city center. It was an important city in the Antiquity and was called Magarsus. There is Kara (Black) Church in the district that was built by Greeks and it is also called Yanik (Burn) Church because it was later burned down by again the Greeks. There are two khans in the district. Tarihi (Historical) Khan in the market square was built in 1608 and the Menzil Khan in the bazaar was built in 1782 by Mar Ali. Akyatan Kus Cenneti (Bird Paradise) and Lake, those take place in the Ramsar Agreement are also in this district.
It is at a 72 km distance from Adana. Kozan Castle was built by Assyrians. One of the important historical buildings is Hoskadem Mosque; it was built in 1448 by Abdullah Hoskadem, Sultan of Egyptian Kolemen. Ancient Anavarza City, that is 22 km away from Kozan and close to Dilekkaya village, was built by Assyrians. There are also rock tomb, church and cistern residues reaching today. There are mosaics in Anavarza. Kozan is also famous for Dagilcak Promenade and high plateaus.
It is 116 km away from the city center. Old and New Annas Castles are located at the most important crossing of the Taurus Mountains; Gulek Bogazi. It is believed to be made by the Scythians. Kiziltabya and Aktabya Castles, located between Gulek Bogazi and Tekir Plateau, are built by Misirli Ibrahim Pasha.
It is 156 km away from Adana. Its old name is Hacin. In 1923, the district was named after Saim Bey who was a hero in the Independence War.
This district is famous for its underground city.
The most important buildings of this district are Buyuk Saat (the Big Clock), Taskopru (Stonebridge), Yag Cami, Yeni (New) Mosque, Carsi Hamam (Turkish Bath), Bebekli Church and old Adana houses.
It is 200 km away from the city center and it is a very old residence. Sar city, which was the regional center of the Hittites, Hieropolis and Komana are located at a 20 km distance to the northeast from the district. The mounds located close to Doganbeyli village on the south side of Sar Residues and Hittites Monument close to Hanyeri, are important places to see. In addition, there are also hieroglyph inscriptions, columns, building residues and tombs.
It is 81 km away from Adana. The district’s brightest period was in the second half of the 13th century and the beginning of the 14th century, due to the transportation of the goods coming from India through the Silk Road to Venice and Genoa. The most important historical buildings in the district are Ayas Castle, Suleymaniye Tower and Marko Polo Wharf.
This district, located by the Ceyhan River, was an important city center during Misis, Roman and Memluk periods. Misis, which was the capital of Iran Satraplar, was added to Ottoman Land by Yavuz Sultan Selim in 1517. There is Misis bridge over Ceyhan River and it has nine arches.
There are a lot of places to see in Adana.
It was built over Seyhan River and by Roman Emperor Hadrianus in the 2nd century. 14 of 21 arches have survived till today; there is a lion relief in the big arch in the middle.
Ulu Cami (Grand Mosque)
It is the biggest mosque in Adana. In 1513 Ramazanoglu Halil Bey have started to build it however his son Piri Mehmet Pasha completed in 1541.
It is one of the oldest Turkish historical buildings in Adana. It was built in 1409.
It is located in the big shopping place. It was formerly an Armenian church called Saint Jacque and turned into a mosque by Ramazanoglu Halil Bey in 1501. Its minaret was built in 1525. It was named after the oil market next to the mosque in the past.
Saat Kulesi (Clock Tower)
It was started to be built in 1882 and the tower was completed by Governor Abidin Pasha. The tower is made up of hewn stone and it is 32 meters long.
It is close to the Dumlu village of Sagkaya region. It is believed to be built in the 12th century and it has 8 bastions. There are building residues and cisterns inside of it. There are also rock toms around the hill.
Kurt Kulagi Caravansaray
It is made up of big hewn stones; the rooms are covered by gable arch and lightened by two windows with sharp vaults.
It is built over the rocks those see Ceyhan Savanna. It is believed to be built by Byzantines. It is also called as Sahmaran Castle among the people.
It is located over Tavsantepe. It was built by Assyrians. During the war, France has fired Tufanli Village from this castle. It has 44 towers and bastions, underground rooms reached by stairs and hidden roads.
Most of these houses are from the 18th century. The houses, located on the sides of Tepebag Hoyuk and reflect Adana’s history of hundreds of years, are really worth seeing.
It was built by Ramazanoglu Halil Bey in 1495. It is made up of hewn stones and it has three floors. It is one of the oldest house models of Turkey. It is also known as Tuzhani.
Ramazanoglu Shopping Place
It was the most active trade center in the 15th century in Adana, which was located on the Silk Road. It is still an important shopping place. It is located over a big area in Ramazanoglu Kulliye.
Today there are only two antiques market, Gok Khan (only its portal is left) and Carsi Hamam (Turkish bath) in the shopping place. Carsi Hamam was built in 1529. It is a typical sample of classical Ottoman hamam architecture. Stonework on the entrance door is really interesting.
It was built in 1540 and it has the classic Ottoman madrasah plan.
Kozan Castle and Monastery
It was built by the Assyrians. It is an important place for the Christian world due to the baptize ceremonies made once in three years.
Hasan Aga Mosque
It is an important mosque because it is the only mosque of Adana with the classic architecture of Ottoman period.
It is located in Kozan district and was built by Egypt Kolemen Sultan Abdulah Hoskadem in 1448.
Its original name is Saint Paul. On the top of the church, there is a bronze sculpture of the Virgin Mary, which is 2.5 m long.
Museums And Historical Ruins
Adana Archeological Museum
In there are valuable pieces those belong to Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Hittites, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman times. It has a rich money collection. The sarcophagus found in 1958 in Tarsus is worth seeing. On the sarcophagus, there are drawings of Hector (hero of Troy), King Priamos and the king’s carriage.
It is called “the Old Museum”. Several various belongings of the Yoruk, residing at the Taurus Mountains and Cukurova, are exhibited in the museum.
It is one of the old traditional Adana houses built in the 19th century; it is located in the historical Tepebag, which was the center of Adana in the past. It is a stone building with two floors, a jut and pleated roof. Our honorable leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, and his wife were guests in this house on 15.March.1923. Every year the anniversary is celebrated with ceremony in the museum.
Misis Mosaic Museum
This museum was established in 1956, to protect the mosaics taken from Misis Hoyuk. The mosaics are located on the floor of a Byzantine church and they describe the animals Noah took to his ship during the big flood. It is an interesting historical work worth seeing.
It is close to the Dilekkaya village. The city’s brightest times were during the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus period. It became the metropolis of Kilikya, Isauria and Likaonia States in 204-205 AC. Anavarza became the capital city of Kilikya State in 408. The city castle has traces of Roman and Islamic periods. City walls, triumphal arch, castle, columns and two pools with mosaics ruins are worth seeing. Today the region is an open air museum.
It is in Sarkoy, at a 20 km distance to the north of Tufanbeyli. During the Hittites period the region was a center called Komana. The residence is very old and has been through Hittites, Roman, Byzantine and Armenian periods. It was used as a religion center by the Hittites. The theatre of the Roman times, a church from Byzantine times and Ala Kapı (Door) which is 6 m long and made up of marble blocks have survived till today and are worth seeing. Because Turkish people called the city ruins as sar, the city is named like that.
It is located on the historical Silk Road. It is located in Yakapinar area of Yuregir District. Mosaic floorings of a basilica belonging to the 4th century AC, a stone bridge with nine arches, city walls in the acropolis, aqueducts, hamam residues and Harvaniye Caravansaray and mescit with a single dome from Seljuks and Ottoman times are what have reached today.
It is located in Dort Direkli, Karatas. Magarsos is the religion center of Mallos which was one of the important cities of Ancient Kilikya. It is famous for its temples and especially Athena Temple in which Alexander the Great prayed. City walls extending as far as the sea side, theatre, stadium, church and hamam residues are interesting works to see.
Ayas (Aigaiai) Ancient City
The building date of the city is not exactly known. It was one of the most important ports of east opening to Mediterranean in the Middle Age. Especially merchants of Ceneviz and Venice set up colonies in the Aigaiai Port. Famous traveler Marco Polo has landed at this port during his trip to China in 1268 and after completing his trip; he again shipped from this port and returned back to Venice. In the region there are also Ayas and Atlas Castles and an observation tower having three floors, built in the Kanuni Sultan Suleyman period.
This area is newly found. The researches show that there are four churches, building ruins and streets.
Relief human figures on the rocks by the Ceyhan River belong to the Hittites King Muvattali leaving for Kades War. So it is understood that this work was made in 1286 BC. Muvattali Relief is the oldest Hittites relief in Anatolia.
Other Cultural And Tourist Values
Adana is an admirable place for the visitors with its natural beauties.
Aladaglar National Park: It is very rich in terms of vegetation. The temperature difference between the day and night is huge. The park has a large range of fauna including chevrotain, bear, lynx, marten, otter and raptors which are about to vanish. In the national park there are camping areas, daily areas, trekking and climbing routes.
Yumurtalik Tabiati Koruma Alani (Yumurtalik Nature Protection Zone): It is Karatas district. It is a complex with Seyhan-Ceyhan Rivers’ delta, lake lagoons, seaside sand dunes, animals and plants it hosts and historical and cultural values. There are Akyatan and Agyatan Lakes in the Protection Zone and they are important in terms of the kinds of birds they shelter.
Dagilcak and Forest Promenade: It has an area of 10 hectares. The ponor where Cakit Stream sinks 300 m and comes out, bridge and Egner village with scotch pine woods are important promenades. Simit Selale (Waterfall) in Egner is one of the unique natural beauties of the region.
In Pozanti district, there are many resting places especially Belemedik.
There is a big port in Karatas for the yachts. One can feel the taste of Mediterranean Sea from the beaches in Karatas and Yumurtalik districts.
In the region, one should taste Adana kebab, turnip juice, aslama which is prepared from licorice root and bici bici. Also a dessert called Halka Tatli (Ring Dessert) is a delicious one.
The visitors will see enjoyable activities if they visit Adana during Altin Koza Film Festivali (Golden Cocoon Film Festival) (14-25 September).
The visitors shall buy traditional woven kilims, carpets, wooden spoons, wooden dower chests, wool socks, copper objects and silver accessories.