Things to Know

Manisa is a striking city with an expansive history in the Aegean region of Anatolia. Manisa has been around since 500 BC, but archaeologists have dated the first settlements back to 14th century BC.

Since the great Ottoman sultans chose Manisa for their training ground, there are many examples of Ottoman architecture, as well as Seljuk. The Sultan Mosque of the 16th century was built to honor Ayse Sultan and Suleyman the Magnificent's mother. In her honor, they hold a Mesir macunu festival every March or April in honour of her family tradition which is supposed to restore peace and prosperity.

The Muradiye Mosque of the 16th century was built by the great architect Sinan and now houses the Archaeological Museum of Manisa.

The Mount Spil Mountain National Park is a cool spot with a rich forest, hot springs and a profusion of flowers like wild tulips. There are about 120 kinds of endemic plants in this area which you can enjoy exploring when you come here on excursions or camping trips. You may even go mountaineering to find the famous "crying rock" of Niobe, as well as the carving of Goddess Cybele.

A visit to the ancient site of Sardis in Salihli, Turkey offers a glimpse into history. Located in Lydia - one of the first regions where coinage was introduced and ruled by King Croesus in 500 BC - this sightseeing spot is also one of the areas that has been most affected by earthquakes. Most of its remains date back only as far as Roman times, however viewers can still get an idea of how life may have been during its heyday and what it might be like living under such rules. There are remains of the temple of Artemis, as well as a restored gymnasium exhibiting the past splendor. The Synagogue from the 3rd century is worth visiting with its elaborate mosaics and artfully carved colored-stone panels.

From the ruins of ancient Philadelphia, one of the Seven Churches of Revelation, only a few pieces from an old Byzantine church remain.

Places to Visit in Manisa