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Troy & Gallipoli Peninsula

Troy & Gallipoli Peninsula

The Gallipoli Peninsula has a long and memorable history extending back beyond the Peloponnesian Wars. Its rugged landscape and historic towns provide the backdrop to the battlefields of 1915, places of heroism and sacrifice which are of immense national significance to Turks, Australians and New Zealanders. Explore the sights of Gallipoli here.

The Gelibolu Peninsula Historical National Park, which has a total area of 33,000 hectares, was founded in 1973 and is on the United Nations list of Parks and Protection Areas. It is located within the province of Çanakkale, on the southern edge of the Gelibolu Strait, upon the European shore of the Dardanelles (Çanakkale Bogazi).

The entire area has been officially registered as a historical site area, and has enormous cultural importance. Within the park, there are also many archaeological sites and monuments, some of which date back to 4000 B.C. Between the ancient sites and monuments, there are beaches, bays, an interesting variety of plant life, a salt lake and geological and geomorphologic structures. The thickly wooded hills and valleys of the area are thought to have played an important role on the outcome of the war.
For many years, very few travellers visited Gallipoli. In more recent times, the battles that took place there have become significant to many people interested in their family history and their country’s wartime heritage. Along with a general increase in tourism more young backpackers from Australia, New Zealand and Britain have begun to include the Gallipoli Peninsula Peace Park in their itinerary.
The city that hosts most visitors to the Gallipoli peninsula is Çanakkale. It lies at the narrow, 1,200 meter entrance to the Çanakkale Strait that connects the Sea of Marmara and the Aegean whose shores touch both Europe and Asia. Passenger and car ferries run daily between Çanakkale on the Asian side; Eceabat and Kilitbahir on the European side. Yachts navigating the straits stop at the well-equipped Çanakkale Marina to allow tourists more time in the area. Hotels, restaurants and cafes along the promenade, offer a place to enjoy the comings and goings of the harbour, and view of the Kilitbahir Fortress and the Çanakkale Archaeological Museum. In 1451, Sultan Mehmet II, later the conqueror of Istanbul, built one fortress on the European side of the Çanakkale Strait at Kilitbahir and one on the opposite shore at Çimenlik to control the passage of ships through the strait. Today the Çimenlik fortress serves as a military museum dedicated to the Çanakkale Battle.

Close by to Çanakkale is the most popular ancient city of Troy which is mentioned in Homer’s Illiad and was first excavated by Schliemann. See his trenches, the house of his excavations and the Temple of Athena, visited by Alexander the Great before his famous journey to Asia.

From Edirne and Istanbul, it can be reached from the Tekirdag and Gelibolu highways. From Çanakkale, there are ferries to Kilitbahir and Eceabat. There is a small domestic airport in Çanakkale.
There is an information centre and museum in Kabatepe, and a Management and Visitors’ Centre in Eceabat. There is no accommodation available, but there are facilities for camping, and also refreshments.

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