CITY LIFE

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The province of Manisa is located in Western Anatolia between Spil Mountain and Gediz River and is at an important junction point for transportation of Aegean Region, Turkey. Manisa is on the main route which links İstanbul to İzmir. It is 30 km from İzmir. The city is a developed agricultural, industrial and trade city. The foundation history descends to the BC 3000 years and the traces and remnants of Hittite, Frig, Lydia, Macedonian, Roman, Byzantine, Turkish States and Ottoman civilizations are found in the city.Since the great Ottoman Sultans chose Manisa as the training ground for crown princes, there are many examples of Ottoman architecture, as well as Seljuk. The Sultan Mosque of the 16th century was built for Ayse Sultan, mother of Suleyman the Magnificent. In her honor, theMesir Macunu Festival (Spiced Candy which is supposed to restore health, youth and potency) is held every year in March, in the grounds of this mosque. The Muradiye Mosque of the 16th century was built by the great architect Sinan, and the Murad Bey Medresse now houses the Archaeological Museum of Manisa. Manisa celebrates the annual Vintage Festival every September, when bringing in the fruits of the vineyards is celebrated with excitement. The vineyards surround the city and provide dry fruit for export from Izmir port and grapes for wine making.In every March, Manisa International Mesir Festival, a parade is held in Manisa.Mesir Paste (Mesir Macunu in Turkish) tradition is a very old tradition in the history of Manisa, an Anatolian city in the Aegean region, dating back to almost 500 years. Mesir paste was started as a medicine invention during the Ottoman period but later on it became an important part of local festivity in this city.According to the story about the origins of Mesir paste; Ayse Hafsa Sultan, who was the wife of Yavuz Sultan Selim and the mother of Suleyman the Magnificent, after her placement from Crimea to the Ottoman Harem in the 16th century, became very ill after the death of her husband. Unfortunately doctors couldn't find a cure thus Sultan Suleyman consulted Merkez Muslihiddin Efendi, the head of the theological school belonging to the Yavuz Selim Mosque. He was already making medicines using herbs and spices for the sick people and built a small sort of hospital next to the school. After receiving Suleyman's letter regarding his ill mother, he mixed 41 different types of plants and spices together to form a medicinal paste and sent it to the Palace.When Hafsa Sultan ate this paste, she was recovered and wanted to share this miraculous medicine with others. As requests from the people increased, the Sultan told Merkez Efendi to distribute the paste to the people every year in a form of festivity. For this, 22nd of March was selected because it symbolized the beginning of Spring, and the tops of the Sultan Mosque's domes and minarets were chosen for its location. The Mesir Celebration began this way in around 1527-28. Since then, every year on or around March 21st thousands of people gather in front of the Sultan Mosque to catch the Mesir Paste wrapped in paper and thrown from mosque?s rooftop. In 2006, 466th Mesir Macun International Festival was held on March 26th, Sunday .The Spil Mountain National Park is a cool spot with a richly forested area, hot springs and a profusion of flowers, especially wild tulips known as Anemon. There are about 120 kinds ofendemic plants here. You may go mountaineering or camping in this area as well as seeing the famous "crying rock" of Niobe, and the carving of Goddess Cybele. 

Sardis, in Salihli, is one of the most remarkable sightseeing areas of Turkey. It is the ancient capital of Lydia, once ruled by King Croesus, who was the first one to use silver and golden coinage in exchange for goods. Since Sardis encountered earthquakes, most of the remains date back only to Roman times. There are the remains of the temple of Artemis and a restored gymnasium, exhibiting of the past splendor of this ancient city. The splendid Synagogue from the 3rd century is worth visiting, with its elaborate mosaics and artfully carved colored-stone panels. Sardis was also one of the Seven Churches of the Revelation of St. John. 

The ruins of the ancient city of Philadelphia, another of the Seven Churches, lie in the Alasehir area. From the ancient city nothing much left, except some ruins of a Byzantine church. 

Houses at Kula are beautiful examples of the Ottoman architecture. Yunt Dagi, Gordes, Kula and Demirci are famous for their precious carpets and kilims. In addition there are manythermal springs throughout the area

 
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