Elazığ, located in the Eastern Anatolia Region of Turkey, has a history of more than 4000 years. Harput, located 5 kilometers away from the city center, is one of the first settlements. In the region where the Hurrians settled, traces of communication with the Assyrians and the Hittites were also found. The main reason for Harput's importance in history is its location on the trade route. Therefore, it has always been a region of continuous settlement and conquest. It was conquered by the Anatolian Seljuks, Dulkadiroğulları, and Akkoyunlu. After the 1516 Battle of Chaldiran, it became part of the Ottoman territories. With the investments and regional planning made during the Ottoman era, it became one of the most valuable places in the country. However, later, a transformation began in the region, and the settlement shifted towards today's Elazığ.
At that time, the area, which was named Mamurat-ül Aziz, was given the name Elaziz for ease of use. Atatürk, who visited the city in 1937, named it Elazık, meaning abundance of supplies. Later, by a decision of the Elazığ council, it became Elazığ. Elazığ, which has been one of the most invested places in both the Ottoman and Republican periods, stands out with its development in all areas.
Historical Places in Elazığ
Elazığ, which has witnessed every period of history, offers its visitors different emotions with its historical texture and natural beauty. Harput, one of the most important places in Elazığ, is a place where historical texture is constantly preserved. Our first stop is Harput Castle, located right at the entrance of Harput. The castle is also known as Milk Castle, according to legend, because milk was added to its mortar. The history of the castle dates back to the Urartu period. It has been preserved since the 8th century BC. The reason why it still exists today is that every state that comes protects or repairs the castle. The outer walls of the castle, which consists of inner castle and outer walls, could not be preserved.
The Elazığ Archaeology and Ethnography Museum is located within the campus of Firat University. It was opened in 1965 under the name of Harput Museum and later moved to the university campus. Apart from the Ottoman and Seljuk civilizations, remains up to the Neolithic period are exhibited. Various items such as coins and carpets are also exhibited. We recommend you not to end your visit to Elazığ without visiting the Covered Bazaar. The bazaar, which witnessed history, was restored without being damaged in 2013. Explore the most important trade area of the past and do not forget to taste the famous Ağın Chickpeas.
Every civilization that settled in Elazığ has invested in this region. They built tombs, mosques, and caravanserais. Üryan Baba Tomb, which is one of the preserved ones, was built during the Ottoman period. Similarly, the Ulu Mosque, one of the country's oldest mosque structures, can be seen during the Harput tour. You can also visit the Virgin Mary Church, which was built in 179 AD and is located in Harput.
Natural Beauties of Elazığ
The Çırçır Waterfall, which is formed from the lake of the Keban Dam, is one of the magnificent natural beauties of Elazığ. If you come to Elazığ, we recommend you to visit Keban Dam and Çırçır Waterfall. You can rest and eat fish in the trout facilities. Lake Hazar, which is a tectonic lake, is another place that must be seen with its magnificent view and nature. If you are looking for thermal culture everywhere you go, the Karakoçan Golan Thermal Baths are perfect for you. It is believed that the thermal baths are good for rheumatism, skin diseases, and fractures. The Buzluk Cave, which underwent repair in 1990, awaits its visitors with its deep history and different air currents. The cave is very cool in summer and very hot in winter. Ice forms in the cave during the summer months. According to local people and past stories, these ice blocks can even cure some illnesses.
Sports and Adventure in Elazığ
When it comes to Elazığ, skiing is one of the first things that come to mind. Palandöken Ski Resort, which is an important tourism center in the city, is one of the busiest places during the winter season. For ski lovers, Hazarbaba Ski Resort, which is located near Lake Hazar, is also available. You can choose it for a day trip or a winter vacation.
What to Eat and Drink in Elazığ
According to research, Elazığ has the second-best cuisine in Turkey after Gaziantep. In addition to breakfast, lunch, and dinner, there are also mid-morning and evening snacks. Harput Soup and cold ayran aşı soup are some of the most famous flavors in Elazığ. Elazığ, which preserves the traditional cuisine culture, still maintains a flavor culture that dates back to the Oghuzs. Orcik, gömbe (kömbe), sırın made from special pastry, Lobik soup made from thin beans, küncülü köfte made with a sesame variety called küncü, kibe dolması or lamb tripe stuffed with rice, patile, and Harput köfte are all local delicacies that we recommend trying. After all these foods, experience the dolangeri, which rivals baklava, and çedene coffee unique to the region.
How to Get to Elazığ
Elazığ is a transit point for the Eastern Anatolia Region. Transportation can be provided by air, land, and rail. It takes about 14 hours by road from Istanbul and 9 hours from Ankara. Road transportation is the longest option.