Located on the east of Izmir, Kiraz is surrounded by the province of Manisa in the north, Beydağ, and district of Nazilli in the south
Its economy mainly depends on agriculture and stockbreeding and the district is famous for its vineyards and orchards. Cherry production, as well as sheep and goat farming take place in its villages.
Places to see in Kiraz
Although its history goes back to ancient times, unfortunately, the number of historical buildings in Kiraz that managed to survived until this day is very small. You can still visit Suludere Village Historical Ruins, though. Out of the historical structures (mosque, madrasa, fountain, and Turkish bath) in Suludere dating back to the Anatolian Seljukian Empire, only the mosque and the fountain have survived until today.
When it comes to the buildings who have managed to survive, you can start with İsa Bey Mosque (Kiraz Ulu Mosque). While the exact construction date is uncertain, İsa Bey Mosque was built by Aydınoğlu Squire, İsa Bey. İsa Bey had reigned as the Aydınoğlu Squire between 1360-1390. The mosque in Cumhuriyet Quarter is one of the three mosques built by İsa Bey. The other two are located in Tire and Selçuk districts.
While it is not known whom the Vakıflar Mausoleum was built for, the structure located in the Vakıflar Quarter is a place to see for history enthusiasts
Natural beauties and recreation areas
There are many waterfalls around Kiraz, mainly Çatak Waterhall, surrounded by recreation areas. The recreation areas around Küçük Menderes River flowing down from Bozdağ, which is covered with snow during winter and spring months, offer ice cold fresh waters while the areas on the hills of Çavuş village offer spectacular natural beauties. Çavuş Mountain, Dokuzlar, Ovacık, Emenler, Altınoluk, Cevizli, Tekke, Ozan, Karakoyun lowlands are recreation and picnic areas that must be seen.
Things to do in Kiraz
Along with cherries - what the district is named after - walnuts, chestnuts, olives, and grapes are among famous produces of the district. So, be sure that you taste them.
Handicrafts such as knitting (saddlebag, felt, socks, gloves, etc.), weaving and embroidery are some of the crafts that have existed since ancient times in villages of Kiraz. Hand-made rugs woven and painted by madder which are an inseparable part of young women’s dowry are also unique to the district. If you’re interested in handicrafts, you can buy them in Kiraz.
Where to Visit
There are many places and structures in Kiraz, the historical texture of which have survived to the present day. The well-preserved castles include Hisar Castle and Yağlar Castle, which are from the Roman period and are located around Hisar Village. The archeology enthusiast will also love visiting Baretta Ancient City in the Elbi neighborhood of Çayağzı village, Kaleköy Ancient City which was built during the Roman period using the half-curved vault construction technique, and rock cemeteries in Erenler village, which are also from the ancient period. The other places to see in the district include Haliller Fountain, which is a monumental structure, Aydınoğlu Mosque, Suludere Mosque and Bath, and İsa Bey Mosque which was built during Aydınids dynasty.
What to Do
There are many recreation spots around the waterfalls of the district, especially Çatal Waterfall, where you can take peaceful walks and have a picnic.
What to Eat?
Kiraz means cherry in Turkey. So it’s not a surprise that the first thing you have to taste in Kiraz is cherries. You should also try the pastries made with different kinds of herbs that grow in the area, black-eyed bean salad, broad bean with artichoke, and labada salad.
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