SPYLIOUS MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK

   Spylious Mountain, which has a geological and morphogical special structure in the Aegean Region of our country, and endemic species of plants in respect of flora and  archaeological and myhthological remains and great importance in respect of the scientific researches as well as of teh recreational possibilities, has been announced as the National Park by the Ministerial Approval on April 22, 1968 in accordance with Article 25 of Law No. 6831 on Forestry and is in the positon of a provincial unit of the Department of the National Parks of the General Directorate of Forestry of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Affairs.

   This National Park has a general area of 5.505 hectares with an average length of 9,5 km and width of 8,7 km, extending in the east-west direction and with 10 to 15 cooling characteristics and with a height of 1.500 m in the Gediz valley within the borders of the Manisa province and is at a distance of 24 km to the Manisa province and 41 km to Izmir province in the Aegean Region.

Park Access

   Access is possible to the National Park and the recreational facilities of Atalani of the Manisa province by a total road of 24 km from Manisa, 20 km of which is asphalt and 4 km stabilized, in all seasons and by all means.

   Furthermore, it is also possible to reach the recreational camping facilities of Atalani by a total road of 17 km on the Bespinar village, 12 km of which is stabilized and 5 km of which is forest road and from the intersection of the Sutculer village of the Izmir-Ankara state highway. This road is connected to the Ankara-Izmir asphalt road.

   It is possible to reach Karadag within one hour by taking a trip in the nature on the foot-path constructed in Atalani. The Yarikkaya region, where Suluklu lake in the east or the historical mytological remains are located in karadag. One can go to the Ayvacik village, which is the only settlement point in the National park, by going o the east by another unstabilized road from Atalani, then to the Pasaini region ahead and by leaving this road to the south, one can go to Uzuncinar village, outside the National Park.

   In addition, the Usak railroad line which ties the Central Anatolia to the Aegean Region and the Balikesir line which ties the Marmara Region get connected in Manisa.

   The Isparta, Burdur, Denizli, Aydin, railroad line which ties the western part of the Mediterranean Region to the Aegean Region comes to Manisa after Izmir.

   The visitors coming to Izmir by air lines reach Manisa by road and railroad.

The Resources Of The Park

   Spylious Mountain National Park is one of the extraordinarily beautiful national parks of our country with its canyon vallies, dolin lakes, lapias and caves. It starts within 60 m of the Gediz plain and suddenly rises up like a wall in the south Manisa. This height reaches 1.517 m at Karadag in as short a distance as 3 km. The creek bedsextend in deep vallies all around the mountain. The creek waters have locally created canyon vallies with steep walls by melting and cutting the craters for centuries. The largest one of the canyons is seen when one climbs the Caybasi creek upwards.

   Suluklu Lake, at an elevation of 600 m in the east of park, full of leeches, has been formed as a result of dissolving the calcerous materials. This lake is a dolin lake with a depth of one to two meters and a diameter of 100 m. Also, many caves have been formed as a result of dissolving the underneath of the calcerous material series by water. The largest one of these caves is Pasaini. At the east end of the National Park, there is ilica (hot spring) where temperature increase at least to 21°C.  

   Spylious Mountain is very rich in respect to the flora. Red pine prevails up to an elevation of 600 m, but the prevailing tree species at the upper elevation is black pine. Turkey oak is found in mixture. In the creek beds sycamores,and in the lower flora, oak species, juniper, sprduce, shrubs, bay-three, myrtle, berberies, tragacanth shrub, grains, grasses, fern, milwort, deatnettle, peonies in the form of roses (red, pink in color) prevail. It is claimed that the tulip which had given its name to a period of the Ottoman Empire was first seen in Spylious Mountain because during the period of the Ottoman Empire. Manisa was acity where princes lived. Tulips grow naturally in groups in the small forest openings and creek floor plains. In addition, there are hyacinth, crocus, cyclamen, wild carnation, gladiolas, violet, daisy, poppy and about 70 healing plans.

   The National Park is also relatively rich in respect of wild life and animals. According to the studies carried out, rabbits, foxes, pigs, polecats, grey squirrel and partridges in small numbers are encountered. Of the birds of prey, falcons, sparrow-hawks, eagles, vultures and many varieties of singing birds are present. There are a few deers in the area where deer is protected and bred. In addition, the ringed pheasants grown in partridge breeding station in Muradiye are set free to the protected areas of the park.

The History Of Spylious Mountain

   According to mytology, Spylioys Mountain gets its name from the name of old mother goddess of Anatolia, Kybele (Spilene). Spilene is the mother of all the gods and goddesses as well as the blessing goddess of plants, wild animals and human beings on the earth. There is a relief of her on stone in the Akpinar Region.

   According to another source, the naming of Spylious Mountain as Spilos was during the period of Magnesia.

   It was named as Spilos because Sibel, the daughter of Menos, the king of Magnesia, was left on this mountain and she was grown up by the wild animals.

   Later, Tantalas, the king of Magnesia had the Tantalas Castle built here. However, when celebrating the completion of the castle, the king sacrificed his son in the feast offered by him to the gods, and the gods punished him by tying him in water up to his jaws so that he could not make use of the favors of the world.

   The place known as the weeping rock belongs to Niobe who weeps after her 14 beautiful children who were, according to mytology, killed by Leto, the mothers of Apollo and Artemis as aresult of jealousy.

   The caves in the Dulkadin region of the National Park were formerly the houses  for human beings. The hand axes prsent today in the Manisa Museum reflect the pre-historical life of this mountain. The Kybele relief in the park was made by the Magnesians in order to indicate that the gods and goddesses were the mothers of all the plants and human beings on the earth.         

   According to the information obtained from mytology, the Tantalas Castle, also in the park, was found as a result of the excavations carried out by Karl HUMMAN in 1880 A.D.

   The Manisa city was first established by the name of Spylious Magnes by the Magnete who were defeated in the Trojan war and came to Girne.

   Hittites prevailed in the area between B.C. 1450 and 1200. Then came Ions and Magnesians and constructed the Tantalas Castle.

Accomodation Facilties

    The guests may stay in the recreational houses in the Atalani settlement area during all the seasons of the year provided that they make reservations by applying to the Directorate of Forest Management of Manisa. They can meet their hot and cold drink needs during the summer from the Atalanmi and Campinar Kir Gazinos. They may buy fresh eggs, milk, chesee, and butter in the park and the Ayvacik and Bespinar villages at a distance of 5 km. There is a public camping implementation with table d’hote in the periods of one week between July 1 and September 1.

   Endeavor is made to improve the serving level of this beautiful National Park by maintenance, repair and investment activities every year.

Source : Brochure of Spylious Mountain National Park
Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Rural Affairs  
General Directorate of Forestry
Department of the National Parks
Collected by: Berkin AYDOGMUS, TA3J
(Turgutalp Village/Spylious Mountain, September 8, 2002)