Spilling out from the foothills of the Manisa Dağı range, the sprawling city of MANISA lies 38km east of Menemen along the E87/550 highway, and is easily reached from there or from İzmir, also 38km away. While most of its historic centre was torched by the Greek army during its 1922 retreat, a few fine Selçuk and Ottoman monuments survive, and it’s now home to more than over 280,000 people.

Brief history

The area was settled early in the first millennium BC, by veterans of the Trojan War according to legend, and the ancient town of Magnesia ad Sipylus was an important Roman centre. For a short time during the thirteenth century, after the Fourth Crusade sacked Constantinople, Manisa was capital of the Byzantine Empire. In 1313 it was captured by Selçuk chieftain Saruhan Bey, responsible for the earliest of the surviving local monuments. Later, the Ottomans sent heirs to the throne here to serve an apprenticeship as local governors, to prepare them for the rigours of İstanbul palace life.

 

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Turkey features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

19 places to get utterly lost

19 places to get utterly lost

One of the great joys of travelling is stumbling across unexpected places, wandering without a single destination in mind and embracing the journey. These place…

12 Sep 2017 • Keith Drew camera_alt Gallery
Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

1. Thailand There’s a reason why Thailand remains so popular with backpackers – it’s got idyllic islands, a rich culture, beach-huts aplenty, tantalising…

21 Aug 2015 • Emma Gibbs camera_alt Gallery
The film that will inspire your next trip to Turkey

The film that will inspire your next trip to Turkey

The allure of Istanbul is hard to beat. This thrilling city bridges two continents with a history spanning more than 2000 years. And with Istanbul’s Atatürk …

05 Aug 2015 • Eleanor Aldridge videocam Video
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month