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The province of Balikesir or Balikesir Ili in Turkish, is located on the western side of the country, having an exit to the Marmara Sea and an exit to the Aegean Sea. Balikesir is bordered by Canakkale, Izmir, Manisa, Kutahya and Bursa and has more than 1.5 million inhabitants. This large Turkish city is well-known for its olive production and its beautiful beaches. This is an important touristic area where the oriental elements and the Ottoman style are easily recognisable.
The travellers are welcome in this historically charged place, where the natural environment plays an important role. The city of Balikesir was founded in 124 AD under the name of Hadrianutherae by the emperor Hadrian. Back then, the entire city comprised of a few houses and the castle but it quickly grew and prospered due to the perfect hunting conditions that were provided by the area. Today, Balikesir has almost 300 000 inhabitants and it represents one of the oldest establishments in Turkey.
The capital with the same name hosts a great number of monuments and buildings that remind the humanity of the hard, old times in the past. Therefore, the travellers can admire the Clock tower which dates from 1892 and it is the symbol of the city, the Zaganos Pasha Mosque Complex, which is a highly appreciated spiritual area and many old Ottoman homes that have been restored but are still showing their great value.
The capital of the region offers many interesting sights that the tourists can visit during their stay. The mosques are spiritual buildings of a great importance in the Turkish culture, so they cannot miss from this city either. Yildrim Mosque, that was built in the 14th century and Umurbey Mosque that dates since the 15th century are extremely important to the community’s heritage and their architecture is quite impressive. There are other cultural and historical attractions, too: the Karesi Principality Tomb, Balikesir’s Historical Windmills, Balikesir City Park, the local civil houses and the thermal resorts.
Those who are fond of nature have the possibility of unveiling the beauty of the mountains of Kaz and enjoying the sight of the national parks and natural reservations around the city. The travellers are welcome to hike and take long walks while admiring the surroundings of the city that is mostly covered in neutral colours, having the aspect of a medieval settlement in many parts of the city.
The seaside offers Balikesir’s locals and tourists wonderful panoramas and a peaceful state of mind that can be achieved just by walking on the shores of the Aegean or Marmara Sea. There are a few interesting details to be observed while following the city lines, such as the Aegean elements, such as the stone walls, the facades of the buildings or the acclivity of the streets. Some of the most interesting streets in the city are Anafartalar Street, Milli Kuvvetler Street or Kizilay Street.
Balikesir has to offer a traditional cuisine that includes a granular cheese called Kelle Peyniri. The popular dessert called Hosmerin is very popular among tourists, as well as the old dishes such as guvec, manti, kaymaki and others.
This destination is recommended especially during the summertime, giving the fact that the winters are snowy. The tourists who will reach this place will soon discover the hospitableness of the locals and will be able to spend a pleasant time while discovering the city.
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