Thu, May 10th, 2012 - By

Spotlight on Adana, Turkey

Adana is a Turkish city in south-central Anatolia and one of the most ancient cities in the world. Its nearest neighbours are the historic cities of Mersin and Tarsus. Adana sits in the centre of a huge area of some of the most fertile land on the planet. Although landlocked, Adana is only 30km from the Mediterranean.

south-central turkey-4

Adana’s history can be traced back to the first human settlements in Neolithic times (about 6000 BC). It is also mentioned in an ancient Sumerian epic. Adana was later ruled subsequently by the Hittites (1335 BC), Assyrians, 6th century Persians, Greeks (under Alexander the Great), Romans, Arabs, Byzantines, Egyptians, Ottoman Turks and Armenians. Adana’s importance varied through the centuries, in close relationship to the nearby city of Tarsus. However, the huge scale of important infrastructure creation throughout the ages (roads, bridges, irrigation, important administrative and religious buildings), made Adana a very wealthy and cultural city.


The 1882 Great Clock Tower (Büyük Saat), the tallest in Turkey is a city landmark. Amongst Adana’s many bridges over the Seyhan River, the 4th century Roman Taşköprü bridge is the most charming.

mosque lighting

The Ottoman style Sabancı Merkez Camii is one of the largest mosques in the world. The Ramadanid era Ulu Camii has a lavish black and white marble mosque with precious Iznik interior tiles.

Adana Museum

The largest public baths (hamam) in Adana is the 1529 five-dome Çarşı in the Bazaar and features exquisite interior marbles. There are also the Irmak, Mestenzade and Yeni hamams


There are some lovely parks and gardens in Adana.These include the central Merkez Park spread over both banks of the river Seyhan, which has a Chinese garden and a huge amphitheatre. A scenic pathway from Adnan Menderes Boulevard leads to Seyhan Reservoir along the river. The walkway along the Grand Canal crosses the city east end to west. Merkez Park, Çobandede Park and the multi-plant species Süleyman Demirel Arboretum are also excellent. The commercial district’s more modern Atatürk Park is more formal and the location for important public ceremonies.

For hiking opportunities, you can visit the Yaşar Kemal Woods in the district of Karaisalı.

Photo credits: minamie, kmcfaddenh, Everett Harper, Verity Cridland, Gavin

Karen Bryan

As well as writing about travel, Karen Bryan offers tips on saving money, frugal living and how to live well on less, on her site Help Me To Save

Posted : Thursday, May 10th, 2012 at 10:00
Category : Spotlight
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