With a population of about 2.2 million, Adana ranks among the largest cities of Turkey. The city is located in the middle of the highly fertile Çukurova, the ancient Cilician plain deposited by the rivers Seyhan and Ceyhan. Due to this fact, Adana has always been an important city and agricultural centre and was extensively described in the books of the famous Turkish novelist Yashar Kemal. In more recent years the city has also developed as a large industrial centre. Adana's wealth led to rapid and chaotic growth and nearly all of the old neighbourhoods have been demolished. The high temperature and humidity make it less popular for tourism. However, back in 2004 Adana had the only commercial airport in the region and was the starting point of our trip along the Mediterranean Coast.
Sights and Photos of Adana
Adana's most prominent monument is the Sabancı Merkez Camii, an enormous beautiful new six minareted mosque whose white marble reflection sparkles in the Seyhan River. The mosque was built by the industrial magnate Sakip Sabancı and was opened in 1999. It is second in size only to the Sülemyaniye Camii in Istanbul. It is crowned by a 51-meter high dome and provides space for 30,000 worshippers. The inside decoration tries to copy Istanbul's Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Camii).
Here are the photos of Adana, click on the thumbnails to get a greater picture.
Apart from local industry and the agriculture of the intensely fertile Çukurova, much of Adana's wealth comes from the traffic passing through the Cilician Gates by the D400 highway. The Seyhan Barajı Gölü is a large artificial lake 5 km north of the city centre.
The Adana Regional Museum (Adana Bölge Müzesi) has some nice exhibits of Roman statuary and mosaics. Especially the 2nd century Achilles sarcophagus decorated with scenes from the Iliad is worth a visit. It was found at Tarsus in 1958.
An interesting historical fact about Adana is that it still carries its original name. The city of Adana was already mentioned as such by the 6th century Byzantine Greek historian Procopius when he describes the famous Roman bridge over the Seyhan River. Among the other noteworthy buildings of Adana are the Ulu Cami or Great Mosque and next to it the Ramazanoğlu Türbesi. The Ulu Cami was built in 1507 by Halil Bey emir of the Ramadanid Beylik in a typical Syrian style. Unfortunately, both places were closed at the moment of our visit in 2004.
Here are the remaining photos, click on the thumbnails to get a greater picture.