BALIKESİR HISTORICAL&TOURISTICAL PLACES
¨ Area: 14.292 km²
Population: 1.076.347 (2000)
Traffic Code: 10
Balıkesir has shores that clean sea water reach's the sanded beaches, and those shores surrounded by green olive trees. Ayvalık, Burhaniye, Ören, Edremit, Akçay and Altınoluk are attractive holiday place for whom want to rest in enjoyable environment or whom interested by archeological places.
Districts: Balıkesir (center), Ayvalık, Balya, Bandırma, Bigadiç, Burhaniye, Dursunbey, Edremit, Erdek, Gömeç, Gönen, Havran, İvrindi, Kepsut, Manyas, Marmara, Savaştepe, Sındırgı, Susurluk.
It is estimated that Balıkesir and surroundings are settlement place since Prehistoric Age BC. 3200. Pelasg's nation that coming from the Balkans are formed colonies at the years of BC. 2000. Balıkesir lived at the periods of Frig, Lydia, Persian, Macedonian, Bergama Kingdom, Rome and Byzantine.
After the Malazgirt battle (1071) Karesi Bey who was son of a Seljukian governor Kalem Şah Bey, conquered and formed Karesi Governmental and make Balıkesir capitol but he accepted Ottoman Dominance. Balıkesir proclaimed the status of province in 1923. Province old name Karesi changed to Balıkesir in 1926 .
Kuvayı Milliye Museum
It is in the old town hole. Balıkesir is a frontier province for development of Kuvayı Milliye, written decisions of 41 vanguard representatives, 5 main decision of congress, private items of these heroes, their photographs, and some photographs of Atatürk which taken when he arrived in to Balıkesir province. The archeological findings and ethnographic creations are exhibited on the second floor.
Kuvayı Milliye Museum
Kuş Cenneti National Park
¨ Location: Kuş Cenneti (Bird Paradise) is 20km southwest of Bandırma, and around 50km north of Balıkesir, adjacent to Kuş lake.
Transportation: The park can be reached via the Balıkesir – Bandırma highway.
Kuşcenneti National Park
Highlights: At the end of the winter the level water in Kuş Lake rises, which cover the small willow grove and reed beds at the northwest of the lake. By spring, migrating birds fly from the southern regions to the national park and nest, so their young are hatching and growing in the area. At the end of summer, they return to the warmer south.
This tiny area (64 hectares) is a popular migrating spot for birds from Europe and Asia, who fly here for the nourishment of the lake water, willow tree groves and reeds, making it a world-famous bird-watching location. There are 239 different species inhabiting the area during these months, with a total of three million birds.
Kuşcenneti National Park
¨ An unique characteristic of the Kuş Cenneti National Park is its award of the Class A European Diploma from the European Council four times since 1976, because of its effective and successful protection for bird life.
¨ The best months for bird watching are between March and July, and September and October. There is a watchtower that gives a wide range of viewing facility in the area.
¨ Facilities: Detailed information about the birds, and the park in general, is provided in the museum and the administrative building inside the park. Scientific research here requires permission from the park directorate. There are no facilities for food or accommodation, but the nearest place is in the village of Sığırcı atik, or else further in Bandırma.
Kazdagi National Park
Location: The park is in the district of Edremit, in Balıkesir province.
Transportation: The park can be reached via the 230 highway from Balıkesir (92km), and the 24 highway from Bursa.
Kazdağı National Park
¨ Highlights: Kaz Dağı, originally called Ida in ancient times, separates the Aegean and Marmara regions and is the highest in the Biga peninsula at 1774m. Places to visit include the valleys with their rich variety of flora and fauna; the mythological Ida Mountain which was said to be the venue of the first beauty contest; and the area of Sarıkız, in which the Sarıkız myth took place.
Facilities: In specially designated areas, is it possible to stay in tents or caravans.
¨ Location: The Ayvalık Islands are just off the coast of Ayvalık, 100km west of Balıkesir and 50km northwest of Bergama.
¨ Transportation: The islands are accessible by road and boat. The largest, Alibey Island, is accessible by two causeways which link it to the mainland and to the tiny Lale Island, and there are public buses which take both these routes. In the summer, there are boats leaving from the centre of Ayvalık.
Facilities: There are several places to stay in Alibey Island, and many seafood restaurants along the waterfront. There are plans for a water-sports centre in the area of Şeytan Sofrası, where it will be possible to dive.
¨ Highlights: Alibey Island is the best known for its ruins of Greek churches and old stone houses, inhabited by Greeks before 1922, and has a pleasant village atmosphere when walking around the quiet backstreets. Halfway up the hill from the harbour is the Church of the Taksiarhis, now abandoned. The structure of the islands means there is little plant life.
Balıkesir Watch Tower
¨ It is in the city center, on the Anafartalar avenue adjacent to old Town hall. It was built by Governer of Silistre, Giridizade Mehmet Pasha, resembling to Galata Tower 1827. Destroyed in 1897 earthquake and restored by Mutasarrıf Ömer Ali bey, and take today's formation .
Zağnos Paşa Mosque
It was built as a külliye by Zağnos Pasha, who was the vizier and commander of Fatih Sultan Mehmet period 1461. Only the mosque and public bath has reached today which are in the city center towards Hasanbaba Bazaar.
¨ Nature Tracking
Alaçam Mountains: It is at the east of province. Lie towards east to west. The highest hill is Tilki Hill with 1625 meters.
Madra Mountains: It split the Aegean and Marmara seas from each other. This mountain is at the south west of province and lie towards north east. Highest hill is 1338 meter height.
Kaz Mountains: It is at the west of provinces borders and north of the Edremit Bay. Mountains name mentioned as İda in mythology and lie towards to west, height reach's to 1767 meter.
Çatal Mountain: The mountains has two big slangs that lies on the east side, towards to the district of Susurluk. It is belong to Orhaneli mountain group with 1336 meters of heigth.
Kapidag: It is a peninsula take places in between the gulf of Bandırma and Erdek. The height is up to 200 meters. It takes place from very steepy slopes, covered on by maquis that reaches until to the sea.
Diving sport : Especially small bays at Ayvalık shore are suitable for diving in Balıkesir province.