According to the ancient historian Strabo, Amasya was founded by an Amazon queen, Amasis, but this city 210 mi/335 km northeast of Ankara probably began as a Hittite settlement.

Later it was conquered by Alexander the Great. The city reached its peak during the Ottoman Empire, when it was a center of culture and learning.

Today Amasya attracts relatively few tourists, although its dramatic setting in Yesilirmak Valley, surrounded by 2,000-year-old rock tombs that are lit up at night, makes it well worth a 24-hour stop. The town has many medieval mosques and Ottoman houses, many of which have been converted to stylish pensions, hotels, cafes and pubs in recent years.

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