Regions of Turkey: Northeast Anatoly
The northeastern provinces of the country are one of the most unusual and low-transmitted areas of Turkey. And the point here is not at all in the low population of these areas or harsh mountain conditions, although the high, injected by all winds and the ridges of Eastern Anatolia is really hard to compare with the warm Mediterranean coast. The richest history of these places is much greater importance, which, thanks to a small population, often comes to this day in a much greater degree of preservation than in the western regions of the country. It was here that the city of Urartu and the Armenian kingdom flourished, here the northeastern border of the Roman Empire was running here, and for her and Byzantia, it was in these mountains that many centuries fought for power Georgian, Armenian and Seljuk rulers, literally smisen by the Mongolian invasion in the XIII-XV centuries. And even the formation of the Ottoman Empire, and then Turkey did not add peace of mind to these edges – by 1923 the North-East almost extinct (10% of the population from the 1878 data), and today it remains the most unclosed area of the country with a very scarce road network (highway 200 / E88-100 / E80 between Sivas and Erzurum is almost the only major motorway). However, it is here that you can find the most authentic monuments of many civilizations and the most picturesque wild landscapes, and also to get acquainted with the customs and traditions of almost all peoples inhabiting multinational Turkey.
North-west of Erzurum begins the incomplete edges of the Pontic Mountains, which are a whole network of mountain ranges, almost parallel shores of the Black Sea. These hard-to-reach edges permeate only two highways, which go to the coast, but they only frame the area from the East and the West, as if desperate to break through these low, but harsh mountains. However, visiting these places is definitely worth it for this effort – framing from the North Anatoly Highlands The narrow and deep valley of the Chorokh River (Choruh-Nechry) is one of the most interesting historical places in the country. Once it was one of the foci of the formation of civilizations, which gave almost all ancient states in the region of the rulers (the local clan of the Bagratydides is easily traced in the history of many countries), the commanders, the poets and artists. Here passed one of "Sleeveless" The Great Silk Road, binding Asia with Europe, and then rushed the army of conquerors. Is it wondering that almost all of this valley quickly overthrew the fortresses and the Forts, which are in our days of its main visiting card.
In the upper course of Choroha, in the place where the Western highway today decays two sleeves, there is an ancient city-fortress Baiburt (Bayburt). Based by Byzantines (approximately VI in.) As a fortress for containing the incessant raids of the Georgian tribe of Lases, it was rebuilt by Bagratida into a powerful fortress, even more expanded during the Seljuk. In numerous wars between Russia and Turkey, he passed from hand to hand so many times, which is now only wondering how this ancient complex has been preserved in such an excellent form. Since the interiors suffered much more, enjoy the view of the fortress best of all of one of the many restaurants of the coastal strip, from where you can also consider the mosque well (XIII-XIV in.) with my madrasa, and the city itself is quite picturesque at any time of the year, although by and large unless other attractions.
Below the flow lies Spa (ISPIR) – Byzantine escription, once competing with Baibeta in the dispute for the title of the capital of Choroha. Now this is a very atmospheric city with a characteristic high-altitude appearance (around 8 vertices with heights of more than 2,600 meters), but only the Acropolis and the dilapidated fortress of Bagratydov are preserved from the old monuments (local restaurants and hotels have a very good reputation, so no one stops in the city for a long time in the city ). Northeast, along the road to Karsa (E80 / 100 highway), deserve the attention of the city Pacinler (Pasinler, 41 km east of Erzurum) with Citadel Khasancale (was also built by Bagrates in VIII in. N. NS.) and thermal sources, an elegant six-year bridge over Araks in Schobeede (XIII B., The most beautiful medieval bridge of Turkey) and two Georgian castle of the city Cake (Tortum, 57 km from Erzurum).
North-west lies the mouth of the vehal and choroha, the so-called Western valleys, considered the warmest and fertile region of Northeast Anatolia. "Gate" these grateful places is the old town Yusufeli (Yusufeli) – a modest and picturesque transport node, the starting point of popular water and track robes, as well as hiking to the ancient churches and castles of the X-XII centuries near Tekkale (Tekkale) and Barhala (Barhal). The city itself produces a two-way impression – on the one hand, there are many colorful old houses in it, and on the other hand it is clearly in decline – since the 70s of the last century there is nothing new here, because the water of the challenge mountain iris risk was risking at any moment even What is already there.
The best routes for hiking are running along the slopes of the Kachkar Mountains and the Laz Range – a huge barrier between the northeast Anatolian Plateau and the Black Sea. This area representing almost a rectangle with dimensions of approximately 70 by 20 kilometers, and can provide a huge number of trail of all complexity categories. And you Kachkar (3972 meters, in his name it is easy to distinguish between Armenian "Khachkar") is the fourth in the height of the Mount of Turkey and the most popular place to organize mountaineering routes. Also good for mountain hiking surroundings of the AltiParmak Range, Peaks Memetet (Meretet, 2200 m) and Karagel (Karagol, 2800 m) or nearby Green Alpine Plateau Satibe (Satibe, 2450 m), shores Okez, Yildy, Dilber, Derebash and Denise, Valley Korahmet and Chennakjur – Interesting Areas here are a lot.
Artwin and neighborhood
Small provincial center ARTVIN (Artvin) Lies across the steep mountain slope in the lower flow of Choroha. The main attractions are the medieval fortress Lebanese Calesse (now the army base) and the Festival of Art and Culture Cafcasor – one of the last truly folk fairs in the country. 30 km downstream lies a picturesque market town Borch (Borcka), which is easily accessible to Ibrikla – the only medieval church of the region, and what is interesting – constructed by Greeks using unique mosaic technologies (frescoes of this small church, even despite strong damage, are considered the most complete Orthodox cycle in the region).
A little east can be visited Ardanuch (Ardanuc) – the ancient capital of the Georgian Principality of Tao Clairzhei with the Gewhernik Giant Castle, Monastery X century Yeni-Rabat (Shatberrad) in the village of the same name, a beautiful stone bridge over the River Berta (Imergevi) near the village Shavsat (SAVSAT), Church of Rolishne (X., It is used as agricultural, which, in general, is characteristic of many Christian structures of the district), the fortress of Sughthly and Ferhatla (X-XIV centuries.), the monastery of the IX-X century Hantza with a sacred source and ruins of several churches, as well as the wedding beautiful valley of the north of Shavshat Church of TBTE (according to legends, it was here that the Georgian poet Shota Rustaveli lived).