Culture and Creative Tourism in Erzurum
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Erzurum, built at the feet of Palandöken Mountain Range, had been the economical and political center of the neighborhood throughout its history of 6000 years. In Erzurum which is one of the oldest settlement centers of Anatolia, many remnants belonging to Persians, Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks and Ottomans have survived until today. Beside historical artifacts, Erzurum draws attention with traditional folk dances, handicrafts which are continually produced and local flavors.
It is one of the oldest and noble Turkish constructions of Erzurum. It was made built by “İnanç Yabgu Alp Tuğrul Beg Ebü’l Muzaffer Gazi bin Ebü’l Kasım” titeled “Şemsü’l- Müluk ve’l-ümem” from Saltuklular in the middle of 12th century. Clock Tower is adjacent to the northern side of the western wall of the inner castle standing today. Upper side of the minaret was demolished at the beginning of the 16th century and it was began to be used as a “Clock Tower” by adding a clock and as a watch-tower as well first in 1848 and then in 1881.
The castle found on a hill near Oltu Streamlet in the center of the town Oltu was made built by the Urartian in 4 B.C. The inner castle found on natural rocks and named “Ehmedek” today stands in front of us with all magnificence. On the northeastern edge of the castle, over a steep and a high bastion, there is a chapel remaining on the base level.
It is located on an escarpment bordering Çoruh River on the west and the south in the town İspir. The first construction of İspir Castle reaches back to the Urartians. The surviving castle was built in the peri- od of İlhanlılar in the 13th century. There is a mescid which has remained from the Saltukians inside the castle.
Erzurum bastions are important works-of-art carrying bitter memories of the 19th century. Bastions were established on 21 strategic points of the city against dangers from the east during the regression period of the Ottoman Empire. Especially Aziziye and Mescidiye Bastions played a crucial role in the Ottoman- Russian War named “93 Harbi” between 1877-1878. The defense of Aziziye had been a stage to bravery of the public and enabled the city to be rescued from invasion. The public of Erzurum arrange a marching to the bastions in anniversaries of the defense and memorialize their heroes each year.
The work-of-art which was made built by Hoca Yakut Gazani in 1310 in İlhanlılar period is the biggest of the madrasas with a covered yard in Anatolia. The madrasa forms a great view with a balanced architecture, large motive ornamentations, its crown gate protruding to the outside of the facade, with a sunken arch and carvings. Date leaves, leopard and eagle figures are major symbols of the Middle Asian Turks. 6 cradle vaulted rooms stand in line facing one another on both sides of the yard. Additionally one can reach to the minaret from the room on the right corner. Its geometrical motives and minaret adorned with ceramics draw attention. Yahudiye Madrasa have served as Museum of İslamic Works-of-Art and Ethnography since 1994.
Double Minaret Madrasa built at the end of the 13th century is one of the most important, remaining works-of-art of the Seljukian Civilization and a symbol of Erzurum as well. Ornamentations found particularly at the crown gate of the madrasa display the depth and the aesthetics perspective of Seljukian stone decoration. Palmet and rumi motives and two-headed eagle, the symbol of Seljukians, and tree of life figures draw attention. Half minarets which are mentioned in legends and the mosque’s ceramics are charming. Double Minaret Madrasa is one of the most important madrasas of its time. The mausoleum on the south of the yard is titled as the biggest mausoleum of that period.
Ulu Mosque, one of the oldest and the most prominent mosques in Erzurum, was made built by Nasreddin Aslan Mehmet, a Saltukian Amir in 1179. The rectangular shaped mosque reflects the architectural perspective of the Seljuks with its thick stone columns, swallow cupola, mihrab and minaret. There are 40 columns inside the mosque illuminated with 28 windows. The mosque has five doors, two on the east and three on the north.
It was made built by Kuyucu Murat Pasha in 1573. The ham am next to the construction forms a social complex together with Ana Hatun Mausoleum and Ahmediye Madrasa. The dome, squinches and arches of the mosque are ornamented with flower and leaf motives in European style by painting on plaster in the 19th century. Original wooden door, mimber and window lids are of the best illustrations of Ottoman woodwork.
It was made built by Zakreci Ali Ağa who served in Erzurum in 1608. It is known with the name Ali Ağa Mosque. The square shaped prayer place is covered with a central dome fitting on squinches on sides.
Kurşunlu Mosque which was made built by Şeyhülislâm Feyzullah Efendi in 1701 is among the work-of-art belonging to the Ottoman period. The square planned construction made of stone is covered with a dome fitting on six drums. Wooden minbar of the construction is one of the best samples of Turkish woodwork.
It is situated on the east of Double Minaret Madrasa in Tebriz Kapı neighborhood. The work-of-art was made built by Narmanlı Hacı Yusuf in 1738 according to a four row inscription on the door. Narmanlı Mosque has one big dome and five small domes on sides. The mosque made of straight dimension stones draws attention with its craftsmanship.
It was made built by İbrahim Ethem Pasha, Erzurum governor in 1748. The square planned mosque with a single dome was made of white color marble stone. The narthex in front of the mosque has three domes with four columns linked together with arches. Mihrab of the mosque is of marble.
It was made built by Hacı Cafer, the son of Ebubekir, in 1645. Three domes which open to the forth and to sides, are carried by four columns and hidden within the inclined ground were revealed during restorations in 2006 in front of the construction. The inner area is covered by a single dome fitting on squinches on sides.
It was made built by Lala Mustafa Pasha, Erzurum governor, in 1562. It is the first mosque built in Erzurum during the Ottoman period. The architecture of the work-of-art belongs to Architect Sinan. The inscriptions on windows of the mosque illuminating the inner side are of unique calligraphy samples. Inside the narthex, there is a firman dated 1670, narrating that 4. Mehmed brought tax exemption to the public.
Üç Kümbetler is among the best mausolea in Anatolia. The biggest of these mausolea which is supposed to be built in the late 12th century and belong to Emir Saltuk. Animal relievo on this one are zodiac figures of Middle Eastern Turks. The other two mausolea are the 14th century works-of-art.
It is found in the town center of Oltu. It was made built by Arslan Mehmed Pasha, the safeguard of Kars from Çıldır Atabeks, in 1664. The social complex was established involving a mosque, madrasa, han, hamam and a palace.
It belongs to Ebu İshak Hazretleri of the biggest Islamic philosopher. Construction date of the mausoleum on the fortification wall bounding the inner castle to Double Minaret Madrasa is not exactly known.
The tomb known to belong to a woman named Firuze was built in the 14th century. The body of the bastion with a round base was designed in accordance with the base.
Hier lies Abdurrahman Gazi Hz., a sahabe (companion), who served as flag-bearer for Hz. Muhammed’in (s.a.v). The mausoleum was made built by Ayşe Hanım who was the wife of Yusuf Ziya Pasha, Erzurum governor, in 1796 and a mosque was added next to it.
It was made built by Rüstem Pasha, the grand vizier of Süleyman the Magnificent, in 1561. The construction is one of the most beautiful Ottoman caravanserai samples. This work-of-art named Taşhan currently serves as a production and a sales place of Oltu stone artisans.
The museum which was in service first in Yahudiye Madrasa in 1944 and later in Double Minaret Madrasa in 1947 began to serve in its current building in 1968. The museum includes a II thousand B.C. Trans-Kafkas Culture Hall, an Urartu Hall and an Armenian Extermination Hall. In the exhibition hall of the museum, informative pieces in various matters such as cultural development, production, life style, art, believes and traditions of communities who used to exist in the neighborhood are being displayed.
It is in Çamlıyamaç Village in the town Uzundere. It was made built by Magistras Bagrat in 973 during the time of Gürcü Bagratlı Dynasty. Öşvank Church, interesting with its colorful stone adornments and relief figures, is one of the leading religious constructions of the 10th century. The work-of-art included a hamam, bedroom, baptistery, priest houses, kitchen and a library.
The construction which was aimed to be İdadi Mektebi (high school) in 1867 is the main symbol of War of Independence history. Erzurum Congress assembled in this building in leadership of Atatürk in 23 July 1919. Foundations of Turkish Republic were laid during this congress addressing Unity of the Nation. The building Congress Hall of which was turned into a museum today serves as a High School for Fine Arts.
It is found on the north side of and 15 km away from Pasinler on Erzurum-Horasan Highway. The bridge found on the historical Silk Road route was made built by Salduzlu Emir Çoban Noyin, the vizier of Gazan Han (1295-1304), an İlhanlı ruler, in 1298. The construction form and head of bridge design reflect Seljuck and İlhanlı architectural styles. The bridge built on the conjunction point of Karga Pazarı and Aras River has the length of 128 m and the width of 8.5 m.
It was built as a mansion in the 19th century. Mustafa Kemal Pasha with his companions who came Erzurum in 3 July 1919 stayed in this house for 52 days. The construction with two stairs upon the basement currently serve as a museum.
It is in Bagbaşı Village in the town Tortum. The construction known as Meryem Ana Church was made built by III. David, a Bagratlı King, in 1001. The construction, turned into a mosque in the 19th century, was named to be Stone Mosque.
In Erzurum named Kalikala meaning Carpet City for a period of time, weaving has an important place. Erzurum carpet business is recently kept alive by Public Education Directorate and in Carpet Atelier of Atatürk University, Faculty of Fine Arts. Ehram is one of the main woven products. Ehram is an outdoor clothing woven completely in sheep’s wool and used by women in one piece as an outgoing robe. Ehram weaving loom is found in Ilıca Quarter.
It is an art of making and repairing leather and buff parts of car harnesses, suits for mount and pulling animals, saddles. Artisans who manage this art are called saraç in Turkish. Today there are only two saraç in the saddlery in Gürcükapı Quarter in Erzurum.
Folk dances performed in Erzurum vicinity are cal- led “bar”. Bar means unity and solidarity. Women and men bars are performed in different ways. Men bars have 18 categories, while the number is 15 for women. They are performed in special days, during celebrations and several organizations.
Oltu stone is a black, solid, bright, polishable and trimmable lignite type with tinder fractures. Accessories like mouthpiece, rosary, pin, earring, ring and bracelet are produced from Oltu stone which can be used together with gold and silver. Oltu stone ateliers are found in Taşhan and in different parts of the city.
Javelin, based on fighting of mankind using horses, is accepted as a demonstration of masculinity. It is a game played by the Turks since centuries ago. This game combining movements of horse and man during wars is played on a javelin square.