Adapazarı, now known as Sakarya, is the capital city of the Sakarya Province. This densely populated region close to Istanbul, has some magnificent areas of natural beauty and incorporates part of the coastline of the Black Sea. In fertile agricultural land just west of the Sakarya River, the city is an important centre of commerce where tobacco and agricultural produce is processed. It is also famous for its textiles and cement.
What the province of Sakarya lacks in size, it makes up for in natural beauty. It is a popular tourist destination in the Marmara region. With its lakes, forest areas, valleys and canyons and unspoiled coastline, this region is exceptionally well blessed with a diverse and interesting landscape.
Adapazari or Sakarya, has a history dating back to 378 BC when it used to be called Agrilion. Empires have come and gone and little remains of past, in the city at least. There is however a large stone bridge which was built by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian in 533 BC. It would have formed part of the old military road from Istanbul to the east and was therefore of great strategic importance.
Named after the river Sakarya, that runs through the province, the city today is an important agriculatural and industrial centre connected by rail and road, with easy access to Istanbul. Damaged in 1999 by the Marmara earthquake it quickly modernised and became a very important production centre for vehicle manufacturing, with Toyota, Otokar, Eurotem Train Factory, and the defense industry, all making a significant contribution to employment in the area.
The pedestrianised street of Cark Caddesi is the busiest part of the city. With its bars, restaurants and cafes and shopping area is the best place to pick up souvenirs. The Sakarya University is the only university in the city but it is one of the largest in Turkey. Sakaryaspor the local football team, is a prominent name in Turkish football. Allow a full day to fully explore the city and two or three additional days to explore the province.
Places to visit
The museum is situated in the city centre on Milli Egemenlik Street, near the station. It houses a collection of archeological works from the Roman and Byantine periods. There are also ethnographic artifacts from the Ottoman period. Many of the items in the collection include tools and implements from every day life.
Both the Orhan Mosque and the Yunus Pasha Mosque from the 15th century can be found in the city centre
Deprem Muzesi (Museum of Earthquakes)
Opened in 2004, the museum illustrates the suffering caused by the earthquake of 1999 which caused extensive damage to Izmit and the surrounding towns and cities.
The Sangarius Bridge
As mentioned earler this is a large structure that would have formed part of the old military road. The course of the river has changed since this bridge was built. It can be found 5km from the centre of Sakarya city.
With in easy reach of the city, this lake provides much needed and valuable recreation for the citizens of Sakarya. It can get quite busy at the weekends and during the holiday season. Surrounding the lake you can find camping and picnic places and boating is also popular here.
Located approximately 15km north of Sakarya, near Harmantepe village, this Byzantine castle was probably constructed for border protection. Situated on a small hill by the Sakarya river, its ruins still stand. With its 10 metre high and 2 metre thick walls it would have been a formidable deterrent.
Poyrazlar Lake and Akgöl Lake
These two popular destinations attract weekend and holiday tourists and offer some stunning examples of the natural beauty that this province has to offer.
The waterfall is situated near Maksudiye village. This popular attraction is 600 metres above sea level and the area offers some good hiking trails. Outstanding scenery. Definitely worth a visit.
This coastal town on the Black Sea offers the visitor some peace and quiet amongst the natural habitat of swampland and forest. Nearby Kucuk Bogaz Lake and the Sakarya River Estuary are also popular.
Places to Stay
Sakarya Büyükşehir Öğretmenevi, Kent Park Girişi Adapazarı Sakarya. Tel: 0264 277 37 69
Double Room: 160 TL