TRAVEL 22 June 2021 The place where history meets nature in Tunceli: Rabat Valley Posted By: administrator 0 Comment Standing out with its green nature in Tunceli, the protected Rabat Valley awaits its visitors with its historical structures, waterfalls and wildlife. Rabat Valley, which was registered as a first degree archaeological site in 2013 by the Erzurum Regional Board for the Protection of Cultural Heritage, is of great importance for Tunceli tourism. Offering a refreshing environment to its visitors with its streams, waterfalls and ponds in hot weather, the valley is located in the Örtülü hamlet of Çemçeli village, 20 kilometers from the city center. Reaching the village where the valley is located by their vehicles, local residents and visitors from different cities on tours first visit the Rabat Bridge on their journeys on foot. Visitors climbing the stone bridge, which is approximately 5 meters high from the water level to the keystone, and strolling around it, picnic in nature and take photos. Some visitors, overwhelmed by the heat, also cool off by swimming in the ponds formed by the waterfalls under the historical bridge. The visitors, who turn their route to the mountain called Rabat Castle, climb up through the stepped tunnel carved into the mountain and reach the highest point of the valley. Visitors watching some historical ruins and the view of the valley have the opportunity to view animals such as wild goats, lynx, butterflies and brown bears in their natural habitats. Provincial Culture and Tourism Director İsmet Hakan Ulaşoğlu said that Tunceli’s most well-known aspect is its nature. Stating that the city stands out with its historical sites as well as its natural beauties, Ulaşoğlu said, “We have found traces of civilizations from many different periods of history in our studies and we have our findings and historical assets from these periods. Our bridge in the historical and registered Rabat Valley and mountain ranges from the Urartu period. “We have a carved pen. The Urartians built their castles by carving the mountains, and there is such a castle here,” he said. Ulaşoğlu stated that with the melting of the snow in the spring, the valley started to welcome local and foreign tourists, and said, “This area is frequently visited by tourists. The valley is a place that attracts people with its natural beauties as well as having a historical feature.” Explaining that the valley attracts attention in terms of its nature, cultural riches and historical experiences, Tunceli Museum Director Kenan Öncel said that they carried out historical studies in the region in the past years. Priorl shared the following information: “There is a rock-cut tunnel in the valley, which is considered to have been built during the Urartu period. This place was also used during the Roman and other civilizations after the Urartians, an arched bridge belonging to the Anatolian Turkish Principalities is still standing, and a water mill that we can say from the Middle Ages. We can say that this place has a beautiful cultural texture. Duzce University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Department of Archeology Faculty Member Yasemin Yılmaz also stated that the valley is one of the rare areas where history and nature are integrated and the wild landscape is preserved. Noting that the historical stone arched bridge in the valley needs restoration, Yılmaz said, “The nature of Tunceli is already one of the areas that has been little intervened in Turkey and we hope it can be preserved in this way. This place offers unique beauties with its waterfall, bridge and walking paths. Here, nature and History has created a very harmonious unity,” he said.