17 Incredible UNESCO Sites in Turkey you should visit

17 Incredible UNESCO Sites Turkey
Source: goturkeytourism.com

Turkey has a total of 17 cultural and natural sites inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as of 2017. Explore UNESCO Sites in Turkey’s wonderful historical tales at the country’s seventeen world heritage sites.


The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. This is embodied in an international treaty called the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage , adopted by UNESCO in 1972.

Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration.

Know More about UNESCO : whc.unesco.org

About Turkey


So many words come to mind when you see the beauty of Turkey. Not only beautiful but also unique, not only sights but unforgettable experiences. This is what vacation in Turkey is. Turkey offers nothing less than a good life with happy memories.

Turkey is a modern country with a captivating blend of antiquity and contemporary and of East and West. The history of Turkey tells of a 10.000 year old civilization. You can Explore historical timeline, prehistoric times, Anatolian civilizations, Roman period, Seljuk Empire, Ottoman Empire and modern Turkish Republic in Turkey. Turkey hosts two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: the Mausoleum in Halicarnassus and the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus.


Cultural Sites UNESCO Sites Turkey: Historic Areas of Istanbul, City of Safranbolu, Hattusha: The Hittite Capital, Great Mosque and Hospital of Divrigi, Mount Nemrut, Xanthos-Letoon, Archaeological Site of Troy, Selimiye Mosque and its Social Complex, Neolithic Site of Catalhoyuk, Bursa and Cumalikizik: The Birth of The Ottoman Empire, Pergamon and its Multilayered Cultural Landscape.

Cultural/Natural Sites UNESCO Sites Turkey: Goreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia, Hierapolis-Pamukkale.

New Sites Inscribed on the UNESCO Sites Turkey:

  • Aphrodisias (2017)
  • Historic City of Ani (2016)
  • Ephesus (2015)
  • Diyarbakir Fortress and Hevsel Gardens Cultural Landscape (2015)

Following are the 17 Incredible UNESCO Sites Turkey

UNESCO Site: Selimiye Mosque

Selimiye Mosque and its Social Complex are located in Edirne, the capital of Ottoman Empire before the conquest of İstanbul, and were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2011.

Selimiye Mosque and its Social Complex are the masterpiece of the famous architect Mimar Sinan, some of the highest achievements of Ottoman architecture, which were built between 1569 and 1575 for Sultan Selim II.

Selimiye Mosque is visible from all parts of the city with its entire splendour. With its monumental dome and four slender minarets, the mosque was designed and built by Mimar Sinan, the world renowned royal architect.

UNESCO Sites Turkey Selimiye Mosque
Source: akhbarnama.com

UNESCO Site: Goreme National Park

Gureme National Park and Cappadocia were inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1985 as 7 parts: Goreme National Park, Derinkuyu Underground City, Kaymakli Underground City, Karlik Church, Theodore Church, Karain Columbaria and Soganli Archaeological Site.

Goreme National Park, the Rock Sites of Cappadocia and its surroundings are one of the most mysterious and extraordinary natural landscapes in the world. This site contains superlative phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance.

The most significant feature of Goreme National Park and Rock Site of Cappadocia region is the existence of a plenty of fairy chimneys, formed by the wind and the rain water.

You can Explore Hundreds of churches sculpted in the rocks at Goreme and its surrounding in particular and hundreds of underground cities such as Derinkuyu and Kaymakli built for security purposes at extraordinary times still remain a mystery.

UNESCO Sites Turkey Goreme National Park
Source: goturkeytourism.com

UNESCO Site: Hierapolis – Pamukkale

The sacred Hierapolis of Phrygia, one of the antique cities of the Aegean and Pamukkale, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1988. History and nature meets in an extraordinary manner at Pamukkale.

Pamukkale is the Aegean Region’s gem, an unreal landscape, gift from the nature. The ruins of the ancient city of Hierapolis, the thermal pools, temples and other Greek monuments can be seen at this heritage site.

Pamukkale, with its glaring whiteness and petrified waters, is an enchanted and magnificent natural marvel.

The ancient city of Hierapolis is believed to have been founded by Eumenies II, the King of Pergamum, in the 2nd century BC, and to have been named after Hiera, the beautiful wife of Telephos, the legendary founder of Pergamum.

UNESCO Sites Turkey Hierapolis Pamukkale
Source: rainbowtourturkey.com

UNESCO Site: Pergamon Landscape

Pergamon and its Multi-Layered Cultural Landscape, the only capital city from the Hellenistic Period, inholding the layers of Hellenistic, Roman, Eastern Roman and Ottoman periods were inscribed on the World Heritage List of UNESCO in 2014.

The Areas, inscribed on the World Heritage List as a cultural landscape consist of nine components; Pergamon City, Kybele Sanctuary, Ilyas Tepe, Yigma Tepe, Ikili Tumuli, Tavsan Tepe, X Tepe, A Tepe and Maltepe Tumulus.

Pergamon is an ancient city located near Izmir, gate to the history with its ancient temples, theaters, library, cultural heritage and richness. Pergamon rises high above the Bakircay Plain in the Aegean region of Turkey.

UNESCO Sites Turkey Pergamon Landscape
Source: goturkeytourism.com

UNESCO Site: Ephesus

Ephesus comprises successive Hellenistic and Roman settlements founded on new locations, which followed the coastline as it retreated westward. Excavations have revealed grand monuments of the Roman Imperial period including the Library of Celsus and the Great Theatre. Little remains of the famous Temple of Artemis, one of the “Seven Wonders of the World,” which drew pilgrims from all around the Mediterranean.

The main sites at Ephesus include the Library of Celsus, the Great Theatre, the Basilica of St. John, and the nearby Ephesus Archaeological Museum.

UNESCO Sites Turkey Ephesus
Source: goturkeytourism.com

UNESCO Site: City of Safranbolu

Safranbolu is known for its uniquely preserved traditional Ottoman Turkish architecture, included to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1994 on cultural criteria. City of Safranbolu is represented as three parts in the World Heritage List; Cukur, Kirankoy and Baglar.

Safranbolu is famous for its charmingly well preserved Ottoman Turkish houses dotted around its cobbled streets, as well as other famed must see architecture. It is one of the most beautiful small towns in Turkey with its extraordinarily Ottoman townscape.

UNESCO Sites Turkey City of Safranbolu
Source: goturkeytourism.com

UNESCO Site: Bursa and Cumalikizik

Bursa, as the first capital of Ottoman Empire located on the north western slopes of Uludag Mountain and Cumalikizik founded as a village during the same period, were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2014.

Bursa and Cumalikizik: The Birth of the Ottoman Empire inscribed on World Heritage List consists of six components including Caravanserais Area involving Orhan Gazi Kulliye and its environs, Hudavendigar Kulliye, Yildirim Bayezid I Kulliye, Yesil Kulliye, Muradiye Kulliye and Cumalikizik Village.

Bursa is the Ottoman Empire’s first capital city and Cumalikizik is the 700 year old village. Bursa and Cumalikizik are good examples of commercial culture and Ottoman lifestyle whereby rural living continues close to the city.

UNESCO Sites Turkey Bursa Cumalikizik
Source: goturkeytourism.com

UNESCO Site: Great Mosque and Hospital of Divrigi

Great Mosque and Hospital of Divrigi are of the first architectural constructions of Turkey inscribed on the World Heritage List as cultural assets in 1985. This building complex was commissioned in the 13th century by Ahmet Shah and his wife Melike Turan of the Principality of Mengucekli.

Renowned for its monumental architecture and traditional stone carving decorations of Anatolia, this masterpiece, with its two domed mosque, hospital and tomb, was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985.

Great Mosque and Hospital of Divrigi is one of the finest examples of Seljuk stone carving and architecture in Turkey, remarkable building combining a monumental hypostyle mosque with a hospital, which includes a tomb.

UNESCO Sites Turkey Great Mosque and Hospital Divrigi
Source: goturkeytourism.com

UNESCO Site: Historical City of Istanbul

The Historic Areas of Istanbul, situated on a peninsula surrounded by the Sea of Marmara, Bosphorus, and Golden Horn, were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985.

The historical city of Istanbul, the only city in the world located on two continents, was the capital of three great empires; Roman, Byzantine and the Ottoman Empire.

Istanbul is the only city situated on two continents in the world. The Historic Areas of Istanbul are represented by four main areas: Sultanahmet Archaeological Park, Suleymaniye Conservation Area, Zeyrek Conservation Area and Land Walls Conservation Area. These areas differ from each other in terms of the periods and characteristics of the cultural property that they house, and they display the urban history of Istanbul.

UNESCO Sites Turkey Historical City of Istanbul
Source: goturkeytourism.com

UNESCO Site: Xanthos – Letoon

Xanthos was the capital of Lycians dating back to 3000s BC, is known to be the largest administrative centre of Lycia during antiquity. Letoon was inscribed on the World Heritage List together with Xanthos in 1988, was one of the most prominent religious centres in antiquity.

Xanthos – Letoon, which was the capital of Lycia, illustrates the blending of Lycian traditions and Hellenic influence, especially in its funerary art. Xanthos was the city in ancient Lycia. Letoon was one of the most important religious centers in antiquity.

UNESCO Sites Turkey Xanthos-Letoon
Source: goturkeytourism.com

UNESCO Site: Hattusha

Hattusha, inscribed to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1986 on cultural criteria.

Hattusha is the first Anatolian organized state of Hittites’ capital, takes a very important part in Anatolia’s archaeological past. The city of Hattusha was founded around 1600 BC after Hattus was destroyed.

Having been founded around 1650 BC, Hattusha was the capital of the Hittite Civilization and became the focus of the arts and architecture of that time.

Hattusha is located within the Bogazkoy – Alacahoyuk National Park. The Hittites were one of the two largest civilizations of its age and excavations made at their capital city show that the first settlements in this area began with the Paleolithic Age, while the settlement was most fully advanced during the Old Bronze Age (3000-2500 BC).

UNESCO Sites Turkey Hattusha
Source: goturkeytourism.com

UNESCO Site: Mount Nemrut

Mount Nemrut is described as the sacred place of Commagene Kingdom with its enchanting statues standing ten metres high and inscriptions that are several metres long, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as a cultural asset in 1987.

Mount Nemrut is known as the highest open air museum in the world. Also, the huge disembodied stone heads of Mount Nemrut are one of Turkey’s most iconic images.

Mount Nemrut is known as the Eight Wonder of the World with its 2000 year old giant statues, of gods, one of the strongest draws in the historical region in which it is found.

UNESCO Sites Turkey Mount Nemrut
Source: goturkeytourism.com

UNESCO Site: Archaeological Sites of Troy

Archaeological Site of Troy, added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1998 on cultural criteria. Troy is waiting for those who would like to trace the stories of ancient cultures.

Troy is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world with its 4000 years of history. Step into a world of myth and legend amidst the ruins at Troy Archaeological Site. In the 6th century, Troy was called Ilion, and was ruled over by Alexander the Great.

UNESCO Sites Turkey Archaeological Sites Troy
Source: goturkeytourism.com

UNESCO Site: Diyarbakir Fortress

Located on an escarpment of the Upper Tigris River Basin that is part of the so-called Fertile Crescent, the fortified city of Diyarbakır and the landscape around has been an important centre since the Hellenistic period, through the Roman, Sassanid, Byzantine, Islamic and Ottoman times to the present.

Diyarbakir surrounds the sprawling site of the old city and fortress, with its preserved walls and watchtowers, ruins, and elevated views out over the river basin.

UNESCO Sites Turkey Diyarbakir Fortress
Source: goturkeytourism.com

UNESCO Site: Historic City of Ani

The city flourished in the 10th and 11th centuries CE when it became the capital of the medieval Armenian kingdom of the Bagratides and profited from control of one branch of the Silk Road. Later, under Byzantine, Seljuk and Georgian sovereignty, it maintained its status as an important crossroads for merchant caravans. The Mongol invasion and a devastating earthquake in 1319 marked the beginning of the city’s decline. The site presents a comprehensive overview of the evolution of medieval architecture

Historic Ani ruins in Kars, was included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List, 15 July 2016.

Source: goturkeytourism.com

This are the best Tourism UNESCO Sites in Turkey which you can visit while you are in Turkey. Explore Turkey’s most popular holiday destinations and unique Turkish cities. You can also Discover beautiful islands, enchanting coastline and spectacular icons.



Source: www.goturkeytourism.com and whc.unesco.org


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