What to see in Mersin – Turkey. We are located on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, in the eastern part of the country, where the city of Mersin, one of the main urban centers of Southern Anatolia, is located.
The capital of the province of the same name, Mersin with a population of almost 1 million people boasts a long coastline with golden sand, from which you can enjoy one of the best waters for swimming in the Mediterranean.
Mersin is often characterized by waters, sometimes almost turquoise, one of the cleanest in the Mediterranean, and, above all, one of the most popular for tourism in Turkey.
In addition, Mersin is a historical city where various cultures and historical buildings are mixed, testifying to the rich past of this important place located along the Mediterranean coast. Saint Paul was born in Mersin among many characters, to whom the cathedral of the city is also dedicated. Let’s find out what to see in Mersin.
Ataturk House Museum
Our route to Mersin starts from the Ataturk House Museum, located in the very center of the city. Built in 1897 by German councilor Herr Christmann to celebrate his wedding, the building is about 150 square meters wide and was empty from 1976 until 1992, when the municipal committee decided to use it as a museum complex dedicated to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the first president of Turkey.
The museum houses numerous photographs and memorabilia related to the public figure, as well as dozens of items related to his personal and political life.
Among the attractions of Mersin, we mention Mamure Castle, one of the main historical buildings preserved in the city. Mamure Castle is characterized by a thick wall surrounding it, which has historically been used to pacify enemy invasions from the coast. The impressive estate has preserved 39 towers along the walls and a mosque located on the territory of the complex.
Caves of Heaven and Hell
We continue our journey to the sights of Mersin with the caves of Heaven and Hell, located about 50 km south of the city. We are located in the municipality of Narlikuyu, where the Caves of Heaven and Hell are one of the main attractions of Mersin due to the peculiar morphology that has made many areas physically inaccessible. In the past, the Caves of Heaven and Hell were one of the main places where criminals were dumped and left to starve to death.
St. Paul’s Cathedral
In the very center of the city is St. Paul’s Cathedral, one of the most historic in Turkey, since it was built in the 12th century. The structure of the Cathedral of San Paolo is characterized by high and mighty walls topped with large stained glass windows.
We will continue with one of the most important attractions of Mersin, Viransehir, located about 12 km from the city.
Viransehir is home to an ancient city known as Soli Pompeiopolis, the first urban center founded in the current Mersin district. It is believed that the city dates back to the 1st millennium BC, although we know with certainty that due to a strong earthquake it was almost destroyed in the 6th century BC.
The earthquake destroyed 159 of the 200 columns supporting the imposing municipal building, the remaining 41 columns are now the main attraction of archaeological excavations. Viransehir is one of the most important sights of the ancient era in Turkey.
Cave of the Seven Sleepers
Considered a sacred place for Christian and Muslim beliefs, the Cave of the Seven Sleepers is famous for its legend. It is said that in 250, one of the rulers of the nearby city of Tarsus warned 7 young people that if they decided to honor only one God, they would be punished. After the warning, 7 young people fled and, according to legend, hid in this cave for more than 3 centuries.
The Grotto of the Seven Sleepers is celebrated according to the Christian faith every July 7 (7/7), as for the Muslim religion, there is no exact date for the celebration, so it is always visited throughout the year.
We finish our trip to the sights of Mersin at the Mughdat Mosque, located in the northern part of Mersin.
The construction of the mosque began relatively recently, in 1988, and it took 10 years to complete, so the official opening took place in 1998. The Mugdat Mosque covers an area of 7,900 square meters and can accommodate up to 5,500 believers.
When to go to Mersin
The best time to visit Mersin is the summer season, the most recommended months are June and September. In high season (July/August) Mersin is very crowded, so much so that visiting is difficult, including because the sights get the biggest tourist peaks, and the coasts are crowded.
It is not recommended to visit Mersin in the winter season, as in January and February the temperature can drop even below zero. In addition to swimming, the middle of the season is an excellent alternative to visiting Mersin, as the temperature here is mild, there is little precipitation, and the climate is generally dry.