Manisa Information

Manisa , Turkey

Manisa (Turkish pronunciation: [maˈnisa]) is a large city in Turkey's Aegean Region and the administrative seat of Manisa Province.

Modern Manisa is a booming center of industry and services, advantaged by its closeness to the international port city and the regional metropolitan center of İzmir and by its fertile hinterland rich in quantity and variety of agricultural production. In fact, İzmir's proximity also adds a particular dimension to all aspects of life's pace in Manisa in the form of a dense traffic of daily commuters between the two cities, separated as they are by a half-hour drive served by a fine six-lane highway nevertheless requiring attention at all times due to its curves and the rapid ascent (sea-level to more than 500 meters at Sabuncubeli Pass) across Mount Sipylus's mythic scenery.

The historic part of Manisa spreads out from a forested valley in the immediate slopes of Sipylus mountainside, along Çaybaşı Stream which flows next to Niobe's "Weeping Rock" ("Ağlayan Kaya"), an ancient bridge called the "Red Bridge" ("Kırmızı Köprü") as well as to several tombs-shrines in the Turkish style dating back to the Saruhan period (14th century). Under Ottoman rule in the centuries that followed, the city had already extended into the undulated terrain at the start of the plain. In the last couple of decades, Manisa's width more than tripled in size across its vast plain formed by the alluvial deposits of the River Gediz, a development in which the construction of new block apartments, industrial zones and of Celal Bayar University campus played a key role.

The city of Manisa is also widely visited, especially during March and September festivals, the former festival being the continuation of a five hundred year old "Mesir Paste Distribution" tradition, and also for the nearby Mount Spil national park. It is also a departure point for other visitor attractions of international acclaim which are located nearby within Manisa's depending region, such as Sardes and Alaşehir (ancient Philadelphia) inland. There is a Jewish community.
 

Architectural landmarks


Example of civil architecture -1930s- in Manisa.

The 16th century Sultan Mosque was built for Ayşe Hafsa Sultan, Süleyman the Magnificent's mother. In her honor, Mesir Festival (featuring the "Mesir Paste" (Turkish: Mesir Macunu), a spiced paste in the form of candy, and claimed to restore health, youth and potency, also known in recent years as the "Turkish Viagra") is held every year in March, in the grounds of this mosque, and is an occasion for public gathering as well as attendance by personalities of fame and prominence at national scale.

The mosque is part of a large külliye -a religious complex- among whose buildings the hospital "darüşşifa" is particularly notable. Specialized in mental diseases, the medical center was in activity until the beginning of the 20th century when new buildings were built within the same compound. That Turkey's only two institutions specialized on mental health were until recently located in İstanbul district of Bakırköy and in Manisa gave way in Turkey's public lore to gentle innuendos on the challenging spirit of the natives - Manisalı.

One such likeable eccentric of the 20th century was Ahmet Bedevi, the Tarzan of Manisa or "Manisa Tarzanı", a figure who became a symbol for the city by contributing to raising consciousness for protection of the environment across Turkey and a reference especially since the 1960s when an importation reforestation effort covering thousands of hectares was made in and around Manisa.[17]

The Muradiye Mosque of the 16th century was built by the great architect Mimar Sinan (and completed by Sedefkar Mehmed Agha), and the Murad Bey Medresse now houses the Archaeological Museum of Manisa.

Manisa celebrates the Vintage Festival every September, when the fruits of the vineyards are celebrated. The vineyards surround the city and provide dry fruit for export from İzmir, and grapes for wine making.
 

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