Exploring the architecture of Sivas

Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve had so much fun visiting some of western and central Turkey’s deservedly popular sights, made all the more special by sharing it with Mum and Dad. They don’t have their own blog on which to defend themselves, so I can tell you that the reason there was a pause in us publishing blog posts was because they kept encouraging us to drink beer 😉

However, we were also excited to explore the lesser-known places on our overland route. Mum and Dad waved us off on our afternoon bus to Sivas, and we were once again alone and heading into the unknown.


We’d only planned to stay overnight in Sivas before catching a (very) early train the next day, but after reading a bit more about the city, we decided it was worth a proper visit. We’re glad we did as the city had beautiful architecture and a really nice buzz to it. When we arrived, there was a honey festival underway. Just to explain, my posing cue in the photo below was to act like a bee (actually, I’m not sure if this explains my expression at all, but there we are).

The next morning, we explored some of Sivas’ incredible examples of Seljuk medrese (schools), with elaborate carvings and turquoise details.

We’d seen lots of Ottoman-period houses from the outside (for instance in Xanthi and Antalya) but had never been inside, so in the afternoon we headed to explore Abdiağa Konağı. Here, we met Mr Muhabbet, who kindly showed us around his family’s former home and, with the help of Google translate, gave us some details about daily life. He also directed us in a proper photoshoot so we have some great photos of us ‘living’ in the house – some highlights below!

We also had a go on the piano, which we understood was not typical in a house of this period. It was incredibly hard work, as you needed to pedal furiously on the bellows to make any sound. It’s a good job this clip doesn’t have audio – I was making a right racket.

After we’d toured the house, Mr Muhabbet invited us to share some tea in his kitchen. Again with the help of Google translate, we had a lovely chat and drank many cups of tea (although I think our definitions of ‘many’ might be different – Mr Muhabbet told us he drinks 50 cups a day!!) We tried to pay for our tour, but Mr Muhabbet told us a story about how he’d met some other travellers and gave them a lift from Alanya to Antalya and they offered some money so he threatened to drive them back to where they started! Suitably chastised, we instead asked his permission to write about him and his house on our blog. Mr Muhabbet, thanks so much for your friendly welcome – it was so lovely to meet you.

The next day, we travelled to Erzurum in eastern Turkey on the Doğu Ekspresi – more on this to come in the next post.

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