ABOUT ÇANAKKALE


Canakkale is not only name of a city but also the province including the battelefileds and memorials of GALLIPOLI, the legendary ancient city TROY, the mystical and fascinating ancient city ASSOS, the popular historical resort island BOZACAADA, the impressive nature of MOUNT IDA and so on. According to the reports of  Ministry of Culture and Tourism, there are about 175 archaeological, 34 natural and 5 historical sites in the province of Canakkale. The city of Canakkale lends its name to the strait, whose shores touch both Europe and Asia, while connecting the sea of Marmara to the Aegean. Canakkale hosts the 60 km (38 miles) long strait, which is well-known as Dardanelles. It would be a privilege to enjoy  the impressive scene of dardanelles, which is one of the two straits that split the continents Asia and Europe. Throughout the history, anyone who controlled this gateway, commanded a highly strategic area. This has stimulated the importance of canakkale province as the homeland of many civilizations and critical battles throughout the centruies. According to the Archaeologists, there are about 200 ancient sites in the province of Canakkale, where many of them are still unexcavated. Hellespont is the ancient name for this strait. The history of the area can be traced back to 3000 B.C. According to the mythology, the children of King Athamas, Phryxus and Helle, were sent away by their step mother, Nephele, the goddess of cloud.  They were mounted on a flying ram with a golden fleece. While they were flying over the straits, Pincess Helle fell off the ram into the water. Thus, the name Hellespont appeared. Phryxus flew to the Colchis, where he sacrificed the ram to the Zeus and hung its golden fleece on a tree, to be guarded by a fierce dragon. Another commonly told story of the region is about the towns  Abydose  on the Asian shore and  Sestus   on the European shore. Leander was a handsome youth from Abydos, who was in love with Hero, a priestess of Aphrodite. Every night, he was swimming from Abydos to Sestus to see her. One night there was a terrible storm and he had never arrived. Hero, asuming that Leander had drowned, threw herself into the sea.

Troy (Truva), also called Ilium, is located at Hissarlik on the east side of the river Scamander, where the straits join with the Agean Sea. Wooden Horse and the Archilles` Hell come from here. Troy is famous for several reasons. It is a site that was continually occupied from the early Bronze Age to early Byzantine times. It is also associated with the sagas of the Trojan War written by Homer in  the iliad and  odyssey , which is the well-known in  European literature. Homer immortalized Truva (Troy) in his stories of King Priam, Hector, Paris and the beautiful Helen. Archaelogical digs have revealled nine cities with various ruins of city walls, typical house- foundations, a temple and a theather. A symbolic wooden Trojan horse commemorates the legandary war. Historical port, Alexandria � Troas, was constructed during 3rd century B. C.,  and St. Paul had visited here two times, and his third missioner voyage to Assos was started from here.

The excavations of Troy can be traced back to 1870s, which can be considered as another historical event by its own. From 1988 onwards, excavations have been directed by Professor Manfred Korfman of Tubingen University in Germany. Apollo Smintheus Temple, where first episode of Iliad epic emerged, is located around Gulpinar village. Temple ruins and pieces of art revealed from the temple can be visited in here. Furthermore, Zeuss Cavern, can be visited on the front side of a cliff, which is at the upper side of Adatepe Village of Kucukkuyu.

Other familiar historical names can be stated as follow ; Neandria, Alexandria-Troas, Assos, Chryse, Dardonos and Lampsakos. The traces of several civilizations can be found in the province of Canakkale. The persians were here in the 5th century B.C.; the persian King Xerves built his bridge of boats across the narrowest point of Dardanelles to land 100.000 troops on Thrace as part of his planned conquest of Europe. Alexander the Great began his eastern campaign by crossing the strait. The Romans took over the area between 2 B.C until 395 A.D., later on the Byzantine Empire ruled the area. There were Arab and Crusader invasions in the following centuries. The Karasiogullari, a Turkish tribe, came into the area in the 14 th century and made Balikesir their capital. In the 15th century, Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror built citadels on both banks of the strait and founded the city of Canakkale.

Dardanelles also played an important role in the first world war . The eight month-long struggle between the Allies and Turkish forces is known as Gallipoli Campaign. Serious casualties were given on both sides. Several countries have involved this battle such as Turkey, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, France, and so on. Every year on April 25th (  The so called Anzac Day ) , Gallipoli is invaded again not by the Allied troops, but by their descendants, other veterans, and tourists. The sounds of the riffle fire ring out at Anzac Cove, but this time as a salute to hereos by the Turkish Honor Guard.

When you reach galliboli pennisula you can feel the spirit of the heroes from several countries. Today galliboli pennisula is a national park, which acts as an open air museum and is open to all visitors who come to pay respect in many memorials. The following words are quoted from Ataturk , the famous Turkish commander of Gallipoli and the founders of modern Turkish Republic.