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Amasya and Tokat

Set in a narrow gorge on the Yesilirmak (Iris) River, Amasya dates from the third century B.C.The ruins of the citadel - where an Ottoman Palace and a secret underground passageway remain-rise from the craggy rock. Hewn into rock above the city, impressive Roman rock tombs are lit at night creating a spectacular image. The beauty of Amasya's natural surroundings and its splendid architectural legacy have combined to endow the city with the accolade of one of the most beautiful cities in Turkey. Among the sights of interest for visitors, the 13th century Seljuk Burmali Minare Mosque, the Torumtay Tomb and Gok Medrese, the 14th century Ilhanid Hospital with lovely reliefs around its portal, the 15th century Beyazit I Mosque complex and the unusual octagonal Kapi Aga Medrese should not be missed.

Traditional wooden Turkish mansions, or konaks, on the north bank of the Yesilirmak River in the Hatuniye quarter (Yaliboyu), have been restored to their former splendor, and some of these have been turned into guest-houses. The restored 19th century Hazeranlar Konagi, one of the loveliest,now houses an art gallery on the first floor and the Ethnography Museum on the second. The Archaeology Museum has an interesting collection of regional artifacts including mummies of the Mongol jihanid rulers of Amasya.Cafes, restaurants, tea gardens and parks line the riverside and provide tranquil spots from which to enjoy the city's romantic atmosphere. From the top of Cakallar Hill you have a beautiful view of the city.Just 50 km northeast of Amasya amid magnificent mountain scenery, Borabay Lake is a popular place for day trips. Amasya is surrounded by orchards which produce some of the world's most delicious apples.

Tokat , also on the Yesilirmak river , has many Seljuk and Ottoman monuments which lend a picturesque yet solemn aesthetic to the cityscape. Among the main historical buildings are the ruins of a 28-tower castle, the 11th century Garipler Mosque and a Seljuk bridge. The 13th century Pervane Bey Darussifasi (Gok Medrese), one of Tokat's finest buildings, is now the Archaeology Museum.A regional commercial center , Tokat has retained many of its hans , or commercial warehouses , including the Tashan, Suluhan, Yagcioglu Hani and Gazi Emir (Yazmacilar) Hani.
 
A walk down Sulu Sokak in the city center, a street lined with hans, mausoleums, bazaars and baths, provides an excellent overview of Tokat's architecture. In the Gazi Emir (Yazmacilar) Han you can find many examples of the block-printect cloth, a 300-year-old tradition for which Tokat is famous.

A tradition of carved and painted wood decoration and painted murals give Tokat's konaks a particular elegance. The 19th century Madimagin Celalin Konak and the Latifoglu Konak have been restored to their former splendor and give an idea about wealthy life in rural Turkey, 100 years ago.