Ankara is the capital of the Turkish Republic, and the second largest city of Turkey. The history of Ankara which is a modern city today stretches back 2000 years before Christ when the Hittites settled there. In the 8th century B.C., the Phrygians founded the city of Ancyra and 5 centuries later, it became the capital of the Galatians. In 183 B.C., it became part of the kingdom of Pergamon and later fell under the sovereignty of Rome. During the Roman and Galatian period, it lived through a splendid period. After this, Ankara was not much heard of until World War I when it was born again on 13 October 1923 upon becoming the capital of the Turkish Republic.
The fortress was the symbol of Ankara for long years, and the traces of the past can be seen in the vicinity of the fortress immediately next to the modern city of Ankara that has grown around Anıtkabir mausoleum built for Atatürk, the leader and the founder of Republic of Turkey. The Augustus Temple, which is important because the will of the Roman Emperor Augustus was inscribed on its walls, was constructed in memory of his taking Ancyra from Galatians. This temple and the architectural remains from the Byzantine period and the monuments; the Seljuk works of art, the Alaeddin and Ahi Şerafettin Mosques, the Ottoman works of art, the Hacı Bayram, Ahi Evran, and Arslanhane Mosques are the famous works in this old quarter of Ankara.
Additionally today, there is the Anatolian Civilizations Museum in the old Mahmut Paşa Bazaar in which the works of many civilizations which have lived on Anatolian soil since prehistorical times as well as those of the Hattis, Hittites, Phrygians and Urartians are displayed. The Ethnographic Museum displays the choice works of Turkey’s cultural heritage which remain from the Seljuk and Ottoman periods. There is also the State Art and Sculpture Museum close to the Ethnographic Museum, in which a rich collection of Turkish art from the late 19th century to the present day is displayed. Today, the city is also the “capital” of the theater, opera, ballet, and the Turkish Presidential Symphony Orchestra.