Official language: Turkish
Time zone: UTC +3
Currency: Turkish lira (TRY)
Sikak Çermik, Soğuk Çermik and Kangal Balıklı Kaplıca – these are three most popular thermal springs in the neighborhood of Sivas. Reportedly with their help you can cure circulation, skin or bones diseases.
In the ancient times the city’s name was “Sebasta”, which in Latin means “somebody from town”. Sivas is the Turkish version of that name. This is where the cult of Forty Saint Martyrs of Sebasta comes from.
It is known that ancient Sebasta was home of St. Blaise and St. Peter, bishops living in the 4th century, catholic and orthodox church satins, whose cult till today is celebrated.
A city of the most beautiful madrasas in the whole Turkey. From the Osmanli province of the little importance it has become a modern city with university thanks to development of light industry – but only in the beginning of the 20th century. Back in the day grains grew there and copper was mined, nowadays most of citizens work in carpets, fabric, bricks or cement production. In the ancient times Sivas was on the area of Armenia.
Archaeological research showed that first settlers lived there long before the era of Romans. Probably, people lived there around 2600 year B.C. But only establishing the city Megalopolis in 64 B.C. by Pompey the Great is the first certain date in history. A few years later the city was renamed to “Sebasta”. Turkish reign in Sivas started in 1059 from raiding and burning almost the entire city.
The most beautiful buildings in the city are dated back to the 13th century, to Seljuk times. Make sure to pay attention to Şifaiye Medresesi from 1218 and Mavi Medrese or Çifte Minare Medresesi from 1271. All the temples have amazingly elaborately sculptured facades and minarets. Their opposite is the oldest preserved mosque in Sivas, coming from the 1196, Ulu Camii. Full of charm temple is known for simplicity. Worth attention is also a few hundred years younger, the biggest Turkish bath in town – Kurşunlu Hamamı from 1576. It is a classic example of Osmanli architecture.
The heart of today Sivas beats on Hükümet Meydanı, the square located close to a governor’s home and hotels, restaurants. For shopping go to nearby Atatürk Avenue.
What should you taste while staying in Sivas? Local specialty, that you can get in almost every restaurant, is tarhana, soup based on sour yoghurt. Popular version of soup is kalecos, with potatoes. If you want to try local bread, ask for katmer. What is distinguishing cuisine of that regions is common use of madimak, a herb similar spinach. If you don’t have time for long dinner in a restaurant, taste local kebab – sivas kebabı.