With its major coal production center, amazing beaches and crucial role in Greek mythology, Zonguldak is one of the most interesting cities in Turkey! It is also a famous port city in the Black Sea. The city's history dates back to 550 BCE. Around 560 BCE, a Greek colony was established in the town, and the city was named Herakleia Pontika- based on Heracles (Hercules), the legendary hero of Greek mythology! Romans later occupied the city in the 1st century BCE. Zonguldak had great strategic importance during World War I with its plentiful coal beds and harbor- that's why it was bombed heavily. Today, Zonguldak stands proudly and attracts many tourists with its amazing beaches and ancient caves! So, if you want to explore Zonguldak, here is your guide!
As I mentioned before, Zonguldak has plenty of beautiful beaches, such as Kapuz and Uzunkum. The most popular one is Kapuz beach, where you can enjoy the sea plus the gorgeous tea gardens, where you can soak in the breathtaking scenery. In here, you can also take brilliant nature photos, since you will be surrounded by it! After swimming, you can take a relaxing walk by the Black Sea with a beautiful sight of the boats and clear turquoise water!
Let's get back to Hercules! Greek hero Hercules fabled Cehennemağzı Mağaraları (aka Hell's Mouth Caves in English) in his journey to the underworld. The place became a great attraction point since it opened its doors in 2001 for tourists. Used as a secret sanctuary in Roman times and playing a significant role in Greek mythology, the Hell's Mouth Caves attracts thousands of tourists each year.
Back to mythology! Once upon a time, Hercules- the symbol of man's invincible endurance and force against nature- arrived here with his sailors, who were on a quest for a legendary golden post assigned by Argolis King Eurystheus. Our hero, Hercules, was assigned to go to the "Land of the Dead" through the Hell's Mouth Cave to abduct the god of the underworld, Hades' three-headed and snake tailed hound, Cerberus. With the help of the Olympian gods, Hermes and Athena, Hercules completed the task of defeating Cerbeus.
The caves' museum also attracts many people. It showcases approximately 5,000 ancient coins, 1,012 stamps and stamp prints, and 1,540 archeological and 722 ethnographic works, adding up to a total of 8,283 historical artifacts dating back to 2400 BCE!
Cover Picture © istock/Mehmet Kalkan
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