We continue with our visit of Amasya (see previous page) with the Taş Han, a 17th century Ottoman Caravanserai. When we visited Amasya in 2003, the Taş Han was badly ruined. In the mean time it has been restored (2011-2012) and turned into a luxury hotel (Tashan Hotel). According to some sources the han commissioned by Mutasarrıfı Rahtuvan Hacı Mehmet Paşa in 1758 and built by Mimar Mehmet Kalfa. A few steps from the Taş Han is the 15th century Vakıf Bedesten Kapalı Çarşı. A bedesten is a vaulted fireproof market enclosure where valuable goods are kept. The Amasya Bedesten was built in 1483 by the Janissary guard of Sultan Beyazit II. The term Vakıf means that it is a donation from individuals to the community.
Here are the photos of Amasya, click on the thumbnails to see greater pictures
On June 22, 1919 Mustafa Kemal Atatürk issued the Amasya Declaration regarding the need for a national resistance against the invasion of foreign powers, which was the actual starting point of the Turkish War of Independence. This is commemorated by the impressive monument at Atatürk Meydanı.
The Bimarhane Medresesi was built by Amber Bin Abdullah for Iduş Hatun, the wife of the Mongolian Ilkhanid Sultan Oljaytu in 1309 as an asylum for the mentally ill. It is the first known mental hospital and is a typical example of how the Mongols adapted the architectural styles of their subjects, as the hospital was built like a Seljuk medrese. The building was also called Timarhane (House of Correct Treatment) or Darüşşifa (House of Healing). In the Bimarhane, the sound of water and music was used as a therapy for the mental patients. In relation to this, it is interesting to know that the Bimarhane housed the town's conservatory between 1999 and 2011. Now it has been restored as a medicine museum, named after Şerefeddin Sabuncuoğlu (1385-1468), a famous Ottoman surgeon and physician from Amasya who worked for 14 years in the Bimarhane. He was the author of the first illustrated surgical atlas, the Cerrahiyyetu'l-Haniyye (Imperial Surgery). The portal of the Bimarhane reflects the classical Seljukian architecture and is a beautiful example of Seljukian craftsmanship.
The Mehmet Paşa Camii dates from 1486 and was commissioned by Mehmet Paşa, the tutor of Prince Ahmet, son of Sultan Beyazit. Inside there is a finely decorated marble pulpit.
The Gümüşlü Cami or Silvery Mosque is Amasya's earliest Ottoman mosque. Originally built in 1326, it was rebuilt after an earthquake in 1491, originally built in 1326, again in 1612 and once more in 1688. The final restoration was in 1988.
From 323 BC until 183 BC Amasya was the capital of the Pontic Kingdom. As a remnant of this golden age, the impressive rock tombs of the Pontic kings still dominate the city. The tombs are illuminated at night, which contributes much to Amasya's attraction. The Palace of the Maidens was actually the seat of the Palace of the Pontic Kings, of which the most famous was undoubtedly Mithridates th Great. In later times the Seljuks used it as an arsenal. From the tombs the panoramic view on Amasya and its dramatic setting makes the climb more than worthwile.
Back in town, we visit the Beyazit Paşa Camii, with its coloured marble arches of the porch, was finished in 1419 and is an example of early Ottoman architecture. The main bridge Hükümet Köprüsü is opposite the main square. Next to the clock tower is the Amasya Şehir Derneği, a quasi private club. Nevertheless, foreign tourists are more than welcome here to join Amasya's prominent citizens in drinking and eating.