The earliest inhabitants of Adana were the Hittites, who lived here during 18th century BC. Adana gets its name from Adanus, son of weather God Cronus. The city was founded in 63 B.C. by the Roman statesman, Pompey the Great. During those times, the city served as a resting place for caravans. Its importance stemmed from its strategic location, lying on a Roman army route to the East. After the decline of the Roman Empire in 746 AD, Adana`s significance ebbed until Harun al-Rashid, the caliph of Baghdad restored its former glory. Adana came under the control of the Turkish Empire only after 1840. The city is known for its’ kebaps and good quality cotton in these days in Turkey.
The most notable place in Adana is the 300-meter long stone bridge across the Seyhan River. This stone bridge or Taskopru is the oldest bridge in the world, which is still in use. Built in 2nd century AD during the rule of Roman emperor Hadrian and later restored by Byzantine emperor Justinian I, using the contemporary primitive means, this bridge is considered an engineering marvel of its times.
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The ruins of a castle dating back to 782 A.D is another living and breathing piece of history in this city. Turkish mosques are famed the world over for their grand, imposing structures and intricate and rich mosaic work in the interiors. The 16th century Ulu Camii (Great Mosque), Eski Camii (Old Mosque) with its elegantly restored minaret and Hasan Aga Mosque in Adana are no different.
Saat Kulesi is a grand clock tower built in 1882, which would transport you to the splendors of a bygone era. The Ethnographical Museum, once a church built by the Crusaders, houses a treasure trove of carpets, swords, tombstones and manuscripts, letting you have a glimpse of Turkish life. The Adana Archaeological Museum is worth a look too.
En route to Iskenderun, there are some ruins from the Roman era, the most stately and beautiful amongst them being a 4th century A.D. depiction of the Noah`s Ark in mosaic. You will be taken aback by the amount of detailing in it, which imparts realism to the entire work.
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