Kahramanmaras, which has been home to various civilizations throughout history has a location, which was a transit point of the old caravan routes. Maraş has a name, known at least for 4 thousand years and a history, which goes back 12.000 years. Home of the Hittites, Assyrians, Macedonians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Seljuks and Ottomans repectively, the city was honored with Red Striped Medal of Independence War for the struggle of resistance in World War I. Due to the resistance of the people during the Independence War, “Hero” title was given to Kahramanmaras, which is one of the few medalled cities in the world, by Grand National Assembly of Turkey and its name was changed as “Kahramanmaras” on February 7, 1973.
Because of its location and the fact that it has been home to many civilizations, Kahramanmaras has cultural and nature tourism potential, richness of flora and regional cuisine culture. In the province, where the diversity of tourism exists, cultural tourism, faith tourism and nature tourism are prominent. There are many sight-seeing attractions in the city center. Kahramanmaras Castle, City Museum, Grand Bazaar, Ulu Mosque and Tas Madrasa are among the prominent places. The province also has great potential for faith tourism. Eshab-ı Kehf (a.k.a. Seven Sleepers) Complex in the Afşin county is an important, popular place in terms of faith tourism.
A topic, which can revitalize the tourism potential of the city is the floor mosaics found as a result of illegal excavations in a house in the city center recently. Floor mosaics, belonging to ancient city “Germanikya,” are expected to attract the attention of both researchers, working in the mosaic area, and tourists.
5th International Symposium of Mosaic Corpus was held in Kahramanmaras with the supports of DOĞAKA for the research and the international promotion of mosaics, found in the city, in 2011. Many domestic and foreign researchers and academicians participated in the symposium and presentations were made in the fields of mosaic and archaeology and international promotion of Kahramanmaras mosaics was achieved.
Kahramanmaras hosts many plants in Kapıçam, Başkonuş and Yavşan plateaus, as well as with its historical and cultural values.
Kahramanmaras offers a great variety of accommodation opportunities with hotels, ranging between 2-star to 4-star for both domestic and foreign tourists. In terms of transportation, the city has a highway connection with Mediterranean, Central Anatolia, South-Eastern Anatolia and Eastern Anatolia regions. Bus terminal is in the city center and is very easily accessible. Direct flights from İstanbul are operated daily and flights from Ankara may be on different days of week. Airport is at a distance of 8 km from the city center.
Prominent Places of Interest
Eshab-ı Kehf(Seven Sleepers); Eshab-ı Kehf Cave is believed to have been in the vicinity of Afşin in the Seljuk Period. Seljuk Empire had an Islamic monastery, a small mosque and a madrasa constructed here in the first half of 13th century. The fact that a church had been found during the construction of the complex in the Seljuk Period shows that Anatolian Christians believed their cave friends of had also slept there. 1st International Symposium of Eshab-ı Kehf, held by DOĞAKA in 2012 is considered the most important step taken in the promotion of the region so far.
Kahramanmaras Castle; The Castle situated on an agglomerate hill in the middle of the city and was used in the Hittite, Roman and Ottoman periods and undergone repairs in various periods.
Hurman Castle; It is situated on the precipice in Marabiz village in Afşin, to the north of Hurman Creek. Its exact date of construction is not known. However; based on its technique, it is believed to have been built in Byzantine Period. There are cisterns and food storages, military shelters and a church in the castle.
Uludaz Ladybeetles; Seven-spotted ladybeetles found in the extensions of the 2.273 meter-high Uludaz Hill of Çimen Mountain, situated in the Kahramanmaras province in the eastern extension, can be seen from 1.500 metres to 2 thousand 271 metres with an extreme intensity in the certain periods of year (August).
Elbistan Pınarbaşı; Picnic area, at the source of Ceyhan River in the Pınarbaşı Neighbourhood of Elbistan county is flooded by nature lovers, especially in the summer months, with its boiling waters and green vegetations.
Ilıca Thermal Springs: On the foothill of Mount Berit, situated at a distance of 72 km from Kahramanmaras, Ilıca Thermal Springs, is recently among important tourism areas in our province, especially with its nature.
Ekinözü Mineral Springs: Ekinözü Mineral Springs, situated at a distance of 2 km from Ekinözü town center and emerging at 3 different locations, which are very close to each other, hosts many visitors from surrounding cities, particularly from the Southeast and East Anatolia regions.
Other Must-See Attractions