From Bishop to Jolly Old Elf – The Tale of St. Nicholas and Santa Claus

One of the most famous stories about Saint Nicholas involves him secretly providing a dowry for three impoverished sisters. According to the legend, Nicholas heard about a poor man who could not afford dowries for his three daughters, which meant they might be forced into a life of destitution. Nicholas, wanting to help, threw three bags of gold through the man’s window at night, providing the dowries and saving the girls from a dire fate.

Crossing Millennia in a Day – From Hittite Kultepe to Seljuk Sivas

These sites are crucial for understanding the early interactions and commerce between various ancient civilizations in the Near East. The cuneiform tablets found at Kaniš/Kültepe have been instrumental in reconstructing the history of the Hittite Empire and its relationships with neighboring powers.

The Seljuks of Rum, also known as the Anatolian Seljuks, were a medieval Turkish Sunni Muslim dynasty that ruled parts of Anatolia (modern-day Turkey) from the 11th to the 13th century.

Seljuk Remains in Tokat and Ballica Cave

In 2024 we visit Ballıca Cave, Tokat Taşhan and Ali paşa Cami   Ballıca Cave, (Ballıca Mağarası) is a natural wonder located in the Tokat province in the Black Sea region of Turkey, known for its rich history, cultural heritage, and natural beauty. Ballıca Cave, one of the largest and most impressive caves in Turkey,… Continue reading Seljuk Remains in Tokat and Ballica Cave

Ankara Where Modern Turkey Connects With Its Past

The Anatolian Civilizations Museum in Ankara, is one of my favorite museums in the world (as usual don’t ask me to rank anything – just accept it’s one of the best) In attractive displays it highlights the rich history and cultural heritage of the Anatolia (most of modern Turkey).

Early Christian and Ottoman history in Bursa, Iznik and Nicaea

Bursa is in the Marmara region of Turkey Historical Importance: Bursa was the first capital of the Ottoman Empire, serving as its capital from 1326 to 1365 before Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul) took its place. The city played a crucial role in the early years of the Ottoman Empire’s expansion. Cultural and Architectural Heritage: Bursa boasts… Continue reading Early Christian and Ottoman history in Bursa, Iznik and Nicaea

Whirling Dervishes & Camel Hotel – Konya & Sultanhani

We visit Konya on our 2024 small group tour Konya has a rich history and cultural significance, often referred to as the “city of whirling dervishes” due to its historical association with the Mevlevi Order, a Sufi sect that practices the spiritual dance known as the “whirling dervish” dance. One of the most prominent landmarks… Continue reading Whirling Dervishes & Camel Hotel – Konya & Sultanhani