Anatolia In A Nutshell
POISED AT THE INTERSECTION OF THE MESOPOTAMIAN AND ANATOLIAN CULTURAL BASINS, KAHRAMANMARAŞ IS BOTH A NATURAL AND AN HISTORIC TREASURE.
One of the cities founded in Anatolia by the Roman Emperor Caligula, Germenicea was sought by archaeologists for years. Then, in 2009, the floor mosaics uncovered in the district of Dulkadir, aka Kahramanmaraş, in an area quite near the city center provided clues to the location of this lost city. You should certainly see the spectacular mosaics of the Roman villas here. They are open to visitors, and some new section is being brought to light with every passing day.
MARAŞ CASTLE AND MUSEUM
The castle at Kahramanmaraş stands on a large tumulus dating back as far as the Hittites. Following Rome, Byzantium and the Arabs, it was used by both the Dulkadir beylicate and the Ottomans. From its height you can get a bird’s-eye view of the city and then catch your breath at one of the cafes inside its walls. Kahramanmaraş Archaeology Museum is another of the city’s must-see’s. This museum, where you can trace the history of the Kahramanmaraş cultural axis, is located at the city center.
GRAND BAZAAR AND VICINITY
With its main avenue and side streets, the Grand Bazaar is a venue that readily attracts travelers. Its quintessential ‘tarhana’ (homemade dried soup), red pepper and other spices make it ideal for those seeking a taste of the local culture. Kahramanmaraş is also known for its fine jewelry, and the bracelets known as ‘Maraş work’ offer aficionados a style totally unique to the city.
One of Turkey’s regions most abundant in water resources, Kahramanmaraş also reflects this richness in its natural beauty. There’s nothing easier than taking photographs and breathing in nature in its forests, which boast every shade of green and flowers of virtually every color as well as being home to many endemic species. And you simply must see the Başkonuş and Yavşan highlands in early spring.
Made with goat milk and sahlep (pulverized tubers of the wild orchid), Maraş ice cream has a unique flavor. Other must-taste specialties include goat’s head soup with egg-lemon sauce and Maraş homemade dried soup, which is also eaten in the form of chips. Worth seeing are the Great Mosque and conical roofed mausoleum, built next to the grand bazaar in the time of the Dulkadir beylicate, the shops of the traditional Maraş knife makers, and the makers of the local sandals made of leather and goat hide. Finally, you won’t be sorry if you sample the local gastronomic specialties such as analıkızlı meatballs, stuffed sheep’s intestines, içli köfte (stuffed meatballs), grilled eggplant söğürme, Maraş pilaff and simit kofta.