Kahramanmaras is a city with a rich history, dating back to the earliest ages when it was known as 'Markasi' or 'Maraj'. The city has witnessed numerous invasions throughout its past. It was once the capital of Gurgum, a Hittite State around 12th century BC. In the 1st century AD, it was called Germanicia by the Romans, and later renamed Mer'as by the Ottomans.
The citadel of Kahramanmaras houses an archaeological museum, which exhibits Hittite sculptures. The Ulu (Grand) Mosque and the Tas (Stone) Medrese are also significant landmarks in the region, dating back to the 15th century. Ottoman era architecture can be seen at the Hatuniye and Haznedarli Mosques as well.
One of the specialties of the region is its famous ice cream, made from pure goat's milk and wild orchid roots that grow in nearby mountains. Carved wooden furniture, traditional silver and brass works, and handcrafted silk are also typical of the area. The natural beauty of the region, including hunting, fishing, caving, and picnicking, is popular among tourists who come to visit.