Adana Information

Adana , Turkey

Adana (pronounced [aˈda.na]) is a city in southern Turkey and a major agricultural and commercial center. The city is situated on the Seyhan River, 30 km inland from the Mediterranean Sea, in south-central Anatolia. It is the administrative seat of the Adana Province and has a population of 1.6 million, making it the most populated city of the region.


Adana lies in the heart of Çukurova, a geographical, economical and cultural region that covers the provinces of Mersin, Adana, Osmaniye, and Hatay. Home to approximately six million people, the region is mostly a large stretch of flat, fertile land regarded as one of the most agriculturally productive areas of the world.

Adana-Mersin metropolitan area, with a population of 4.5 million, stretches over 100 km from east to west and 25 km from north to south; encompassing the cities of Mersin, Tarsus, Adana, and Ceyhan.

History

The history of the Tepebağ tumulus in the middle of Adana dates to the Neolithic Period, 6000 B.C., and the time of the first human settlements. It is considered to be the oldest city of the Çukurova region. A place called Adana is mentioned by name in a Sumerian epic, the Epic of Gilgamesh, but the geography of this work is too imprecise to identify its location.

According to the Hittite inscription of Kava, found in Hattusa (Boğazkale), Kizzuwatna was the first kingdom that ruled Adana, under the protection of the Hittites by 1335 BC. At that time, the name of the city was Uru Adaniyya, and the inhabitants were called Danuna. Beginning with the collapse of the Hittite Empire, c. 1191-1189 BC, invasions from the west caused a number of small kingdoms to take control of the plain, as follows: Quwê Assyrians, 9th century BC; Persians, 6th century BC; Alexander the Great in 333 BC; Seleucids; the pirates of Cilicia; Roman statesman Pompey the Great; and the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia (Cilician Kingdom).

The history of Adana is intrinsically linked to the history of Tarsus; they often seem to be the same city, moving as the neighbouring Seyhan River changed its position. Their respective names also changed over the course of the centuries. Adana was of relatively minor importance during the Roman's influential period, while nearby Tarsus was the metropolis of the area. During the era of Pompey, the city was used as a prison for the pirates of Cilicia. For several centuries thereafter, it was a waystation on a Roman military road leading to the East. After the permanent split of the Roman Empire in 395 AD, the area became a part of the Byzantine Empire, and was probably developed during the time of Julian the Apostate. With the construction of large bridges, roads, government buildings, irrigation and plantation, Adana and Cilicia became the most developed and important trade centers of the region. Ayas (today Yumurtalık), and Kozan (formerly Sis) were the other major urban and administrative centers in the area, especially during the period of the Cilicians.

Mosques
Sabancı Merkez Camii
Ulu Cami
Saint Paul Catholic Church


Sabancı Merkez Camii, though not being historical, is the most visited mosque in Adana, as it is one of the largest mosques in the Middle East. Built in loyalty to Ottoman Architecture, the mosque was opened to service in 1998 to a capacity of 28,500 prayers. The mosque possesses six minarets, four of them having height of 99 meters. Dome has a diameter of 32 meters and it is 54 meters high from praying area. It is located on the west bank of Seyhan River at the corner of Seyhan Bridge and can be seen from a wide area.[60]

Ulu Cami, a külliye built in 1541 during Ramadanid era, is the most interesting medieval structure of Adana with its mosque, madrasah and türbe. The mosque has black and white marble with decorative window surrounds and it is famous for the 16th century Iznik tiling used in its inner space. The minaret is a unique sample with the Mamluk effects it bears and with its orthogonal plan scheme.

Yağ Camii was originally built as Church of St. James, then converted into a mosque by Ramazanoğlu Halil Bey in 1501.[61] Later, his successor Piri Mehmet Paşa added its minaret in 1525 and its madrasah in 1558. It is in the Seljuqid Grand Mosque style and has an attractive gate made of yellow stone.

Yeni Camii (New Mosque) was built in 1724 by Abdülrezzak Antaki, and still known as Antaki Mosque by some. The influence of Mamluk architecture is visible. It is built in rectangular order and has an interesting stonework on south walls.[62]

Alemdar Mescidi, Şeyh Zülfi Mescidi, Kızıldağ Ramazanoğlu Mosque, Hasan Aga Camii (16th Century wooden architecture constructed without nails) are some other mosques with historical value.

Architecture

The golden age for the architecture of Adana was the late 15th and the 16th century when Ramadanid principality chose Adana as their capital. City grow rapidly during that period with many new neighborhoods had been built. Most of the historical landmarks of Adana are built during this period, thus Mamluk and Seljuqid architecture are dominant in Adana's architectural history. Taşköprü is the only remaining landmark from Roman-Byzantine era, and few public buildings were built during the Ottoman rule.
Rowhouses of Tepebağ

The first traces of settlement in the quarter of Tepebağ, can be traced to be the neolithic age. The quarter is next to the Taşköprü stone bridge, situated on a hill which gives its name Tepebağ (Garden on the hill). The city administration has launched campaign to preserve the heritage of this area, particularly the Ottoman houses. Ataturk stayed in one of these houses on Seyhan Caddesi which now houses the Atatürk Museum.
Taşköprü
Büyük Saat


Several bridges cross the Seyhan river within the city, the most notable among them is the Taşköprü, a 4th-century Roman bridge.[58] Currently used by pedestrians and cyclists, it was the oldest bridge in the world to be open to motorized vehicles until 2007. Demirköprü is a railway bridge that was built in 1912 in part of the Berlin-Baghdad Railway project. Regülatör bridge, at the southern section of the city, is a road bridge as well as a regulator for the river water. There are also three footbridges, Seyhan and Mustafakemalpaşa road bridges, the bridge of the metro and the bridge of the motorway spanning the river.
Ramazanoğlu Hall

Büyük Saat (The Great Clock Tower), built by the local governor of Adana in 1882, is the tallest clock tower in Turkey rising 32 m (104.99 ft) high. It was damaged during French occupation, but was rebuilt in 1935, and its image can be found in the city's coat of arms. Kazancılar Çarşısı (Bazaar of Kazancilar), founded around the Büyük Saat.

Ramazanoğlu Hall was built in 1495 during the reign of Halil Bey. A three-storey building, made of stone and brick, it is one of the oldest sample of a house in Turkey. This hall is the Harem section, where the Ramadanid family lived. Selamlık section, where the government offices were, do not exist today.

Çarşı Hamam (Turkish bath of the Bazaar) was built in 1529 by Ramazanoğlu Piri Pasha and it is the largest hamam in Adana. It is built with five domes and inside is covered with marbles. During the time it was built, water was brought from Seyhan River by water wheels and canals.[59]

Irmak Hamam (Turkish bath of the River), located next to Seyhan District Hall, was built in 1494 by Ramazanoğlu Halil Bey on the ruins of an ancient Roman bath. Its water comes from the river. Other historical hamams in the city are Mestenzade Bath and Yeni Bath.


Churches

In the 19th century, the city had four churches; 2 Armenian, 1 Greek and 1 Latin. Saint Paul Catholic Church (Bebekli Kilise) was built in 1870 and used as an Armenian Church until 1915. It is currently serving to the Roman Catholic community of the city. It is located in the old town, close to 5 Ocak Square. On Abidinpaşa Street, there used to stand a larger Armenian Church.[63] During the republic period, the church was demolished and Central Bank (Merkez Bankası) regional headquarters was built instead. Latin Church was built in 1845 at Kuruköprü area and converted into a museum in 1924.
Parks and gardens
Dilberler Sekisi

Adana has plenty of parks and gardens, mostly well maintained.[64] Owing to the warm climate, parks and gardens are open all year long without the need of winter maintenance.

Recreational pathways on both banks of Seyhan river cross the entire city from south end to Seyhan Reservoir. Pathway then connects to Adnan Menderes Boulevard which goes all the way along the southern shores of Seyhan Reservoir, and the wide sidewalks of the boulevard extend the pathway to the west end of the reservoir. Dilberler Sekisi is the most scenic part of the pathway which is along the west bank, in between the old and the new dam. Recreational pathway along the north side of the Grand Canal goes from east end to west end of the city, crossing Seyhan river from old dam's pathway. Some sections of this pathway has not been completed yet. Once completed, within the city there will be almost 30 km of continuous recreational pathway connecting several parks along.
Clock Tower at Merkez Park
Çobandede Park


Merkez Park (Central Park) is a 33-hectare urban park that is located on both banks of Seyhan river, just north of Sabancı Mosque. It has an interesting landscaping, carrying wide variety of trees and plants in an open concept. With a 2,100-seater amphitheatre, a Chinese Garden, and two cafes, it is the main recreational area of the city. In the park, there is a Rowing Club which serves recreational rowers.

Süleyman Demirel Arboretum is a large botanical garden containing living collections of woody plants intended partly for the scientific study of Çukurova University researchers. The arboretum is also used for educational and recreational purposes by city residents. 512 species of plants exists in the arboretum.[65]

Atatürk Park is a 4.7-hectare city park built during the first years of Republic. It is centrally located at the commercial district. The park holds a statue of Atatürk and hosts Public Ceremonies.

Çobandede Park is a 16.5-hectare park at the west shore of Seyhan Reservoir. It is situated on a hill and has a nice scenery of Reservoir and around. The park hosts the tomb of Çoban Dede, a wiseman from Karslı Village.

Yaşar Kemal Woods
is a hiking area on the east bank of Seyhan river across Dilberler Sekisi. It is dedicated to Çukurova native writer Yaşar Kemal. Çatalan Woods is a large recreational area in between Çatalan and Seyhan Reservoirs, north of the city, in the Karaisalı district.

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