Apart from the forests, Karaca Arboretum, waterfalls, recreation areas, beaches and thermal springs, Yalova is also worth seeing with its historical past. The first settlements in this region date back to the 2000s BC. Yalova also hosted civilizations such as Hittite, Rome and Ottoman empires.
Yalova City Museum
Stopping by the Yalova City Museum, you can bear witness to a history extending from the first settlement traces dating back 8 thousand years ago to the Ottoman Empire and the Republican Period.
The museum also grants wide coverage to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic. Ethnographic artifacts, documents, decorations and models within the museum also shed light on the cultural, geographical and historical past of the city.
The Walking Mansion
The mansion was built by Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, in 1929. According to the story, one day Atatürk saw a gardener trying to cut the branches of the plane tree adjacent to the mansion when he came to the farm. The gardener told him that the branches were too long and pushed against the walls of the mansion. After hearing this, Atatürk orders: "Don’t cut the tree, shift the building."
A group consisting of İstanbul Municipality teams and technical staff first dug the ground and reached the foundation, then put the mansion on rails that were brought from İstanbul and moved it away from the tree by 4.80 meters on Aug.10, 1930. Thus, the great plane tree evaded being cut down.
Since then the name of the mansion has been known as "The Walking Mansion." Atatürk stayed at the mansion between 1930-1937 intermittently. A study conducted in 2015 found out that the plane tree is of the Eastern Plane (Plantanus Oriantalis) family and is 390 years old.
It is possible to see about 7 thousand different plant species in the arboretum founded on a land of 13.5 hectares. Türkiye's first private arboretum, or botanical garden, Karaca Arboretum was founded by Hayrettin Karaca.
It hosts many leading species and culture forms of Acer, Prunus, Malas, Magnolia, Quercus, Betula, Pinus, Agabeyes Picea species.
In June 2004, Karaca Arboretum was awarded an award that had been previously given to 14 arboretum or collection gardens by the International Dendrology (Tree Science) Society.
If you are ready to bear witness to the Byzantine period, you will definitely want to see this building which was used as a bathhouse in the 8th century AD and as a church in the 8th-9th century AD.
The church was built in the early Byzantine period, and a double narthex and apsis were added later. The plan of the building is in the form of a cross and it has a wide door. In the middle section, there is a hooped dome with eight windows. The church is a different example of the free-cross plan.
There are also ruins of an ancient harbor and aqueducts on Çiftlikköy coast where the Black Church is located.
Hersekzâde Ahmed Pasha Mosque
The mosque was built by Hersekzâde Ahmed Pasha, who served as the grand vizier during the time of Sultan Bayezid II and Selim I. It is located along the coast of İzmit Gulf, between Karamürsel and Yalova.
There is no exact information about the date of construction in the available sources. However; Evliya Çelebi, one of the prominent travelers of the 17th century, reported that Ahmed Pasha built a settlement of 700 houses with his own wealth in the town of Hersek, where he visited in September 1648.
Kurşunlu Bath was built 16 centuries ago by Emperor Justinian during the Byzantine period. Over time, it was damaged due to reasons such as disasters and wars and buried in the ground, however it was restored in 1900 at the order of Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamit II. Since the top of the bath is covered with lead, it is called Kurşunlu which means "with lead."
It includes a large indoor pool, sauna, shower and bath rooms. There is an Ottoman inscription written on marble on the exterior of the bath.
The decorations are concentrated on the east and south facades. The reliefs on the dome hoop are remarkable. "Heracles" is depicted in a frame and three Aves are depicted at the bottom. "Heracles" is bearded and naked. His head is slightly turned to the left. He has an athletic body. With his right hand, he leans on a stick with its one end touching the ground and holds the cane on his left arm. The Aves wear long dresses and hold each other's hands.
Termal Atatürk Mansion
Atatürk Mansion was built by architect Professor S. Hakkı Eldem in the Termal district of Yalova. The mansion was built in 38 days with two floors, by using only wood. After its construction was completed, Iranian King Reza Pahlavi became the first guest to visit the mansion.
Atatürk took important decisions such as the establishment of the Turkish Historical Society and Turkish Language Association, the translation of the Holy Quran into Turkish, and the transition to the multi-party system at this mansion.
The mansion, which is preserved with the items specific to the period when it was built, is open to visitors today as a museum. The mansion hosts many items such as a painting by Ayvazoski, Iranian and Hereke carpets, Yıldız Porcelain, French, Japanese and Chinese vases made of brass and ebony wood, a brass bedroom set, French lacquer chairs, a German (RCA) brand radio, a piano made by Wilhelm Spaethe (Gera) as well as a cross stitched prayer rug from Atatürk's grandmother and a gift from the Shah of Iran.
The mansion, one of the early examples of our Republican era architecture, is also famous as a place where Atatürk frequently talked with his citizens.
It is thought to have been built by Rüstem Pasha (1500 - 1561), the grand vizier of Süleyman the Magnificent, as a complex which consists of a mosque, inn and bath. Its date of construction is uncertain. Only the mosque and baths have survived from the complex.
The inn, which was used as a school during the Ottoman period, was destroyed during the First World War, but was rebuilt as a school in the Republican Period. The school was later demolished and re-arranged as a park.
While the bath is still used with some partial amendments, Merkez Mosque was built next to the mosque after it fell short of being large enough for the congregation.
Armutlu Thermal Springs
Armutlu Thermal Springs, one of Türkiye's most important thermal springs, is composed of different resources lined up over a river bed in a valley surrounded by trees and maquis.
Although the existence of the springs has been known and its waters have been used since the Byzantine period, they were discovered after the Thermal Springs. It is closer to the sea when compared with Thermal Springs, giving visitors the pleasure of sea and thermal springs together. The beauty of the dense forest it is located in and its scenery increases its relaxing effect.
The water temperature ranges from 57 degrees Celsius to 73 degrees Celsius. In terms of chemical classification, thermal spring waters have a composition of sulphate, bicarbonate, chloride, calcium, sodium and carbon dioxide.
Spring waters can be applied through bathing, drinking and as mud, as well as by inhaling the gases from the water. Thermal springs are beneficial in removing acid from the body, nerve health, inflammatory diseases and gynecological diseases, stomach and intestinal diseases, wound healing, regular functioning of the liver, healing of hormones and as diuretics.
Diseases for which they are not beneficial are cancer, lung tuberculosis, chronic kidney diseases that leads to poisoning in the blood (gout) and chronic heart diseases.
İbrahim Müteferrika Paper Museum
The first paper house of the Ottoman Empire was founded in Elmalık village of Yalova. The printing house, which was run by İbrahim Müteferrika, the first printer of the Ottoman Empire, is significant in terms of achieving the domestic production of paper, which was all imported at that time.
İbrahim Müteferrika Paper Museum stands as being Türkiye's first paper museum. The museum offers information on the history of paper, its production, preservation, paper arts, Turks and the paper industry, the history of books and librarianship to the visitors. During their visit, guests can also attend workshops to produce their own paper in the museum.
Termal Hot Springs
Termal Hot Springs are located in the city center of the Termal district of Yalova and they stand out as the most regular and advanced hot spring area of Türkiye.
Famous for its hydrangeas, Termal also hosts quite rare trees. It has 39 types of deciduous trees, 26 types of evergreen trees, 25 types of deciduous and evergreen shrubs, and 18 types of wrapping and covering plants. There are pine trees, magnolia trees and other different types of trees in Güney Park.
The healing water resources of Termal, which has been a place where civilizations have found healing for centuries, are used in the treatment of many diseases today as well. Thermal spring waters offer healing to patients with rheumatic and metabolic diseases, digestive system, liver, gall bladder, kidney and urinary tract diseases, skin diseases, psychological diseases, gynecological diseases, functional disorders and after orthopedic operations.
Influenced by different cultures in history, Termal received the most attention and gained importance during the Roman period. According to researches, Termal Hot Springs, known to have emerged as a result of a major earthquake in 2000 B.C. , have been named Pythia Therma (power and power baths in Pythia) since the 6th century. This was because it was thought to belong to an underground god because of the steam and hot water that emerged in the earth crevices. The Elixir of Life thermal baths, built by King Constantine and restored by Justinian, are among the most popular thermal springs.
The thermal springs, which gained importance again in the time of Sultan Abdülhamit, took their final state during the period of Great Leader Atatürk. Atatürk attached great importance to Termal. He frequently visited Termal to take a rest and spent a long time here. As you can see, Termal has been a center of health and recreation in every period of its history.
Termal Hot Springs waters were examined by the Society of Medicine in 1892, and a hotel and a bath were built here after it was discovered that the waters were of equal quality with the waters of Aix Les-Bains.
Various votive steles, tombstones, a church and a corridor, columns bearing the monogram of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian II (A.D. 565-578) were found in the studies launched in 1932 with the excavation order given by Atatürk.
According to rumors, the church and the passage were used as places of confession at that time, and the patients slept here to hear from the future. The fact that the slightest whispers are heard from the other side of the passage sheds light on these rumors.