Arzrum is revered as the main city in Asian Turkey. <…> The climate of Arzrum is harsh. The city is built in a hollow that rises 7,000 feet above the sea. The mountains surrounding it are covered with snow for most of the year. The land is treeless, but fruitful. It is irrigated by many springs and is everywhere crossed by water pipes. Arzrum is famous for its water. The Euphrates flows three miles from the city. But there are many fountains everywhere. Each has a tin bucket hanging on a chain, and good Muslims drink and do not boast.
A. S. Pushkin “Journey to Arzrum during the campaign of 1829”
The capital of the largest province of the same name in Eastern Anatolia is located 880 km east of Ankara at an altitude of more than 1700 m above sea level. The name of the city comes from the Persian arz-i rum, which means “the border of Rome.” Through Erzurum passes the railway from Anatolia to Iran, built along the route of the trade caravan route that ran here in antiquity.
Bit of history
Erzurum came under the control of the Ottoman Empire in 1515, and until that time the Byzantines, Arabs, Armenians, Seljuks had disputed the right to possess the ancient Armenian city of Karin; the city was renamed Carano, Calicalo, Theodosiopolis, and then Arz al-Rum. In 1829, Russian troops entered the city, later this will happen twice more – in 1878 and 1916. A member of that first campaign was A.S. Pushkin, who subsequently wrote “A Journey to Arzrum during the Campaign of 1829.”
In the modern history of Turkey, Erzurum is known as the venue for the congress in 1923 with the participation of Kemal Atatürk, which adopted the doctrine of national borders, which determined the territories now belonging to the Turkish Republic.
Entertainment and Attractions Erzurum
A stunning view of the city and the surroundings opens from the walls of the city citadel. The inner fortress was built at the beginning of the V century at an altitude of almost 2000 m above sea level. A small mosque of the 12th century with a conical roof and a clock tower minaret (the beginning of the 12th century), for which Queen Victoria presented the clock, were preserved in the fortress.
Cifte minarel madrasah
Erzurum has one of the largest educational institutions in Anatolia – the Chift minarels of the madrasah (XIII century). The madrasah owes its name to two twin minarets (the shift in the lane from the Turkish “twins”). On the territory of the theological school there was a place for a small mosque, rooms for students and a mausoleum, which, possibly, belonged to the daughter of the Sultan of Keykubad I.
The central street of Erzurum – Jumhuriyet – most of the city’s attractions are concentrated on it, including the Lal Mustafa Pasha mosque, Jaferia and the Ulu mosque of impressive size, built in 1179. From that moment, Ulu was reconstructed 5 times and, in fact, only the central nave and the wall facing Mecca, with three mihrabs, were preserved from the 12th century mosque.
Museums of Erzurum
The Ethnographic Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art exhibits samples of weapons, pilgrim clothes in Mecca, dervishes accessories and handmade jewelry from obsidian – a mineral that is mined 150 km from Erzurum in mines near the city of Oltu.
The exposition of the Erzurum Museum presents archaeological finds dating back to different historical periods: ancient Greek jewelry, Roman glassware, ancient coins.
5 km south of Erzurum is located the ski center Palandeken with slopes of different difficulty levels. The most favorable time for skiing is from December to May. The area for active winter recreation is located at an altitude of 2200-3100 m above sea level. Pleasant climate and well-developed tourist infrastructure make Palandeken very attractive in the eyes of tourists and athletes. This is confirmed by the fact that in February 2011 the XXV Winter Universiade was held in Erzurum.
How to get there
By plane – Erzurum Airport is 12 km from the city center to the northwest. Flights from the following Turkish cities arrive in Istanbul: Istanbul, Ankara, Adana, Antalya, Izmir, Trabzon.
By train from Ankara, Istanbul, Sivas, Kars and Kayseri.
The journey by bus from Ankara will take 13 hours, from Istanbul – 19 hours, from Trabzon – 6.