Balıkesir is a city in the Marmara region of Turkey and has a population of 649,623 inhabitants. Its main exports are olive-based products. It is a popular destination for both domestic and foreign tourists, who use it as a base to explore the nearly countryside which is renowned for its beauty, especially the nearby Mount Ida (Kaz Dağı).

At or near Balıkesir was the Roman town of Hadrianutherae, founded, as its name commemorates, by the emperor Hadrian. During Byzantine ownership the city was known as Palaeokastron (Greek: Palaeologus castle).

Sites of interest

Kuş Cenneti (Bird Sanctuary) National Park, Erdek, Bandırma, Edremit Bays and Ayvalık Coastal Beach and Şeytan Sofrası (Table of Devil), Marmara Islands, Alibey (Cunda) Island, Erdek and Gönen Open-Air Museum, Kyzikus Ruins, Balikesir Yıldırım Mosque (eski cami), Zaganos Pasha Mosque Complex, Clocked Church-Mosque at Ayvalik, Alibey Mosque (Çınarlı Camii).

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