Çanakkale Province spans both Europe and Asia. The city of Canakkale is near the ancient site of Troy and situated on the southern side of the Dardanelles at their most narrowest point. The city is approximately 5 hours away from Istanbul and an equal travel time from Izmir. There are good roads connecting these cities and the surrounding countryside with its hilly olive groves is particularly beautiful especially in the Spring.
From the Aegean Sea a narrow straights takes you into the Sea of Marmaris and on towards Istanbul. The city is famous for its association with the Gallipoli Campaign or the Dardanelles Campaign of 1915 when Turkey was fighting against the allies for its very survival.
Today the city of Çanakkale is a modern town with its own unique sense of identity. The people here are very friendly and hospitable and there is plenty to see and do both within the town and the surrounding area. Obviously no visit would be complete without visiting Troy which is just 31 km away. You can see most of the city in a day but we would urge you not to rush it and to spend a little time here. Across the water you have Eceabat and the War Graves, the town of Gallipolli and also the islands of Bozcaade and Gokceada. If you want to take a trip along the Dardenelles then you can book a breakfast ferry tour from one of the ticket booths along the promenade.
The City Park in Canakkale used to be the gardens of the British Trade Centre. Today it has been renamed and has some beautiful trees and fountains. Outdoor exhibitions and craft fairs are held here during the summer months.
The central theme of Çanakkale has to be the wonderful promenade. It stretches all the way from one end of the town to the other. With its fine restaurants, tea houses, open squares and ferry terminal this is a very relaxed place to be. Unlike Istanbul the stress and frantic rushing around is not necessary and the pace of life here is much more condusive to a well balanced and more relaxed lifestyle. People living in Çanakkale are very fortunate. The “wooden horse” from the 2004 Troy movie is exhibited on the seafront.
This five storey Saat Kulesi or Clock Tower was provided for by an Italian Merchant who left 100,000 gold francs specifically for this purpose. It was built near the main harbour in 1897 and now takes pride of place in a main shopping square set back just behind the sea promenade.
Emili Vitalis was also the Italian Consul in Çanakkale and although he died in France he wanted to leave behind a water system and a clock tower for the people of Çanakkale. Leaving provisions for this in his will the Çanakkale Municipality was able to construct the clock tower and water system with his legacy.
This museum deals with the history of the city and covers exhibits form the 1915 Gallipoli Campaign as well as past and present information about life in the city, its administration, local and foreign influence and stories and memories from citizens. Many of the exhibits have been donated to the museum by citizens of the city.
Çanakkale Naval Museum was established on the 67th Anniversary of March 18, 1915 Naval Vidctory as a complex building in the city centre to serve the need for informing the visitors about 1915 Çanakkale Naval Battle and Campaign.
In addition to the existent collection of artillery in Çimenlik Fortress, materials, donated by people and private foundations were gathered and used to enrich this collection. During this enterprise, a team of volunteers also searched the battlefield. Furthermore, archives and inventory lists were thoroughly researched.
The construction of the exhibition halls were arrayed in accordance with the criterium of modern museology in 2000 and project activities besides are continuously practiced in this concept.
The library in the complex of the museum was rearranged as Çanakkale Specialization Library in 2002 and with the order of Çanakkale Strait Command, documents about 1915 Naval Battle and Campaign were initiated to be gathered and have been continued since then.
TCG Nusret Mine Layer, which was constructed as a replica of the original ship in Gölcük Shipyard, has been serving in the museum since March 8, 2011.
The museum ship ACAR, which was used by Atatürk as an excursion boat, has been started to be exhibited since April 18, 2018.
Çanakkale has everything that you would need and expect from a big town. It has an old quarter with a beautiful clock tower and paved stone streets full of craft shops and goods and gifts of all kinds. In this part of town you can find the best restaurants and the best bargains. Make sure you visit the famous Aynali Çarsi ( Mirrored Shopping Alley ) with its souvenir shops. As you move out from the busy centre of Çanakkale you find the larger national stores of which the new flaghship shopping mall 17burda is a must for keen shoppers. On Friday there is a huge market in the centre of the city where you can get all the fresh dairy and vegetable produce you need.
Çanakkale is often thought of as the place you pass through on your way to Troy or the Gallipoli War Graves. Çanakkale is without doubt a city worth spending some time in.