Monday, March 8, 2010

Ankara Citadel: Shopping and Culture

The Ankara citadel is an interesting mix of many different sights and activities.  To begin with, the citadel looms over Ulus and Ankara with its Roman towers atop.  Although the northern tower is not enterable and difficult to find, the eastern tower is flanked with small cafes hotels and tourist boutiques, as well as one of the oldest mosques in Ankara: Alaettin Cami (dating to 1100).  The northern tower is best enjoyed from below the citadel looking up.  On the way up the hill to the citadel, you can glimpse the remains of Ankara's Roman theatre. 

Alonside the historical architecture, the citadel boasts the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, which has won awards in the past.  The citadel is also home to the Ankara Industrial Museum. 

The shopping on the citadel can be divided into three parts:  art, tourist and spice.  Behind the archaeology museum you will see a medium sized spice market where you can shop for dry goods of all kinds.  Continuing up the hill, through the tower gates, you will find small tourist shops and cafes.  Continuing down the hill from the spice market you will find tourist shops, including shops that specialize in basket making.  One shop imparticular that is recommended is "Yore".  If you continue past the spice market and down the otherside of the hill, you will find yourself in a more upscale, albeit small, area of the citadel that has art galleries of sculpture, bronze and painting.  This is good area to go if you are looking for high quality traditional crafts or artifact reproductions.

To get to the citadel:
The Metro can be taken to the Ulus stop, and by sight one can walk towards the citadel's high peak.  This walk can prove long and tedious if the weather is hot or walkers are not in strong health. 
A bus or dolmus can be taken towards "Altindag" (meaning "under the mountain") and you will be dropped closer to the peak than with the metro. 
Taxis' are the most convenient way to get to the citadel's peak; allowing vistors to amble back down towards the subway stop.  To ask for the citadel, use the word "kale". 

No comments:

Post a Comment