Museum of Kahramanmaraş
The first museum in the city was established in the Taş Medrese. It was moved to Kahramanmaraş Castle in 1961, and to its current location in 1975.
Among the museum’s most valuable pieces are the bones of two elephants discovered in the Gâvur Lake Marsh and dated to around BCE 1400. In addition, the museum features life-like animations of the Direkli Cave and the Excavation Site. Finds unearthed in the Domuztepe Tumulus and Excavation Site are also exhibited in the museum.
Other items exhibited in the museum are the Maraş Lion, sculptures of various gods, stelae depicting feasts, and stelae and sculptures from the Kingdom of Gurgum.
A particularly striking exhibit is the museum’s Roman era mosaic floor. It was unearthed in the Ancient City of Germanicia, discovered in 2000.
Germanicia Mosaic Field Archaeological Site
In BCE 64, Kahramanmaraş was conquered by the Romans and renamed Kaiseria Germanicia, after Roman emperor Gaius Caesar Augustus Germanicus. Mosaics found in Germanicia are understood to belong to the Late Roman and Early Byzantine periods. These mosaics reflect the political, social, cultural, and economic values of the city during the period. Excavations begun in 2009 revealed a mosaic slab of 300 square metres. In 2018, the excavation was opened for tourism as an archaeological site.
Elbistan City Museum
The Government House, constructed and opened for service towards the end of 1930, was the first public building erected in Elbistan in the Republican Period. This structure is a significant work reflecting the historical texture of Elbistan. Now the City Museum of Elbistan (Elbistan Şehir Müzesi), its collections reveal the rich cultural heritage of Elbistan and the surrounding area, featuring antiquities, and exhibits on the area’s economy and industry, its culinary traditions and its prominent citizens, including poets and artists.
Eshab-ı Kehf Külliyesi (Külliye: Islamic-Ottoman Social Complex)
Külliye is 7 km northeast of the Afşin district. The structure was constructed near the Eshab-ı Kehf, a cave considered sacred by both Byzantine-era Christians and by Muslims, after the Seljuk conquest. Külliye was a scientific and cultural centre of the region, as well as an important pilgrimage site throughout history.
Ethnography Museum – Mahmut Arif Paşa Konağı (Mahmut Arif Paşa Mansion)
The Mahmut Arif-i Paşa Konağı, also known as the Mutasarrıf Konağı, was built in 1904 and used as the governor’s mansion in the Republican Period. Architecturally, the mansion features the typical characteristics of a Turkish house with a symmetrical “central sofa plan”. As commonly seen in the traditional domestic architecture of Kahramanmaraş, the ground floor was constructed with a stone wall and bonding timbers, while the upper floors were lath and plaster.
The mansion was restored, and today serves as the Maraş Culture House and Ethnography Museum (Maraş Kültür Evi ve Etnografya Müzesi).
Seven Beautiful Men Literature Museum
Set in the Gazipaşa Quarter of the Dulkadiroğlu District, the historic high school of Maraş was built in the 1850s and housed various educational establishments for nearly 80 years. The ‘Seven Beautiful Men’ name is taken from Maraş author Cahit Zarifoğlu's second book of poems, “Yedi Güzel Adam (Seven Beautiful Men)” and the works of various Turkish poets and philosophers, some of whose paths had crossed in the school in the 1950s are displayed. Along with their writings, their memories are cherished in this museum, opened in 2019.
Museum of Ice Cream
The Katip Han, a historic inn next to the Grand Mosque, now serves as the Museum of Ice cream. Each floor of the museum is designed as a separate presentation area; the preparation stages for the famous Maraş ice cream are also featured.
Liberation Museum of Kahramanmaraş
Set in the Culturepark (Kültürpark), the museum depicts the city’s role in the national struggle.
Historical Bazaars of Maraş
With numerous bazaars – including the Kapalı Çarşı, Saraçhane, Bakırcılar, Semerciler, Mazmanlar, Kazzazla and Demirciler bazaars – Kahramanmaraş is a among the centres of Türkiye where visitors can see traditional handicrafts. The bazaars feature many shops featuring traditional handicrafts such as brocade, copper and brass, handcrafted shoes, felt items, pots and pans, knives, carved wood, saddles and other riding accessories, and jewellery. In the bazaars, visitors can also see the workshops where these crafts are made. The foundation of these historic bazaars dates from the time of Beylik of Dulkadir and they retain their economic vitality.
The Castle of Kahramanmaraş
In the city centre, the castle is erected on a hill. This hill has a steep slope on the south side and a gentle slope on its north side. Excavation works in in the castle revealed many historical artifacts from the Late Hittite Period. Among these is the Maraş Lion, which stood at the gate entrance of the castle in the 17th century, according to the writer Evliya Çelebi. The castle itself was built in the Late Hittite Period, with various repairs and additions under the succeeding dominions of the Assyrians, Medes, Persians and the Kingdom of Cappadocia, the Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks of Anatolia, the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic. The castle survives to the present day. The outer walls of the square bastion are large-cut stones, 1.7 metres deep, and the inner walls are rubble stone. The castle is built in a rectangular design.
The Covered Bazaar (Kapalı Çarşı) in the centre is believed to date from the 16th century. The Grand Bazaar (Kapalı Çarşı) is between the Covered bazaar and the coppersmiths in the north-south direction. It has eight entrances, one of which belongs to the Covered Bazaar. It is one of the earliest examples of Ottoman-era covered bazaars and attracts attention with its prayer dome in the middle. Today, there are 116 shops in the bazaar.
Built around 1650, Taşhan is east of the Grand Bazaar. The two-storey structure has a quadrangle in the middle. It was originally an inn; the ground floor was used as a stable, and the storage area and rooms on the second floor as accommodation. It was structurally integrated with the bazaar complex, providing incoming caravans with a place to unload their goods and stay in the city. Today, the rooms on both floors are used as shops and storage.
Saraçlar Bazaar (Saraçlar Çarşısı) is next to the Kapalı Çarşı. Using tools such as an awl, a hammer, callipers, needles, scissors, and pliers, the saddle-makers produce all manner of riding and equine accessories, including horse collars, yokes and saddles, numdah (belleme), by-pass (aşırtma), tumpline (kolon), and saddle belts and bags. As well, the beads used in harnesses are produced here, as are leather aprons and mats, rush mat embroidery, and the sarka – a type of short velvet brocaded dress. Other items such as handbags, belts and wallets are also made here.
According to its foundation inscription, Grand Mosque (Ulu Cami) was built between 1442-1454. The wooden-roofed mosque, which has witnessed milestones in history, is characteristic of the architectural style of the Anatolian beyliks (small principalities) and the Early Anatolian Seljuk period.
Built in the late 15th century, the medrese today serves as a mescit (small mosque) and storage area. Next to to Grand Mosque, Taş Medrese was originally designed as a külliye (consisting of a madrasah, a mescit and a türbe (mausoleum)). While the medrese has undergone various repairs, it preserves its original texture. It functioned as a madrasah until the 1920s and was restored in 1991 and 1992.
Believed to have been built in the 15th century, it is also known as the Ceyhan Bridge. It is 157-metre-long, with six lancet arches. The bridge’s piers feature three fender piles on the downstream side, two of which are solid. Although repaired and restored over the centuries, Taş Bridge (Taş Köprü) maintains original form.
The mansion is an example of the civil architecture style constituting the urban texture of Kahramanmaraş. Despite the lack of any inscription indicating its date of construction, the mansion’s architectural features, building materials and construction techniques suggest that it was built in the early 1900s. This three-storey mansion reflects the typical characteristics of traditional Ottoman domestic architecture, with an “external sofa plan” and an iwan.
One of the largest mosques in Türkiye, it has a capacity of 10,000 worshippers. Situated on Mercimek Hill, the mosque’s construction was completed in 2011 and it was opened for worship. It can be seen from almost every location in the city.
Malik Ejder Tomb
Set 6 km south of the city centre on a hill overlooking Kumaşır Lake, the structure is believed to have been built in 1201. It consists of a central plaza, a small mosque and part of the tomb. The inclusive small mosque and tomb (türbe), were renovated, as was the landscaping, and it was opened for visitors.