Set in a narrow gorge in the Yeşilırmak River, Amasya dates from 6500 BC. During the Ottoman period, the city became an important cultural centre where many scientists and sultans' sons were raised. Accordingly, it was adorned with many buildings by the Ottoman sultans. It is still possible though for visitors to observe the Amasya heritage of earlier civilizations there. The beauty of the natural surroundings and the splendid architectural legacy combine to endow the city with the accolade of being one of the most beautiful cities in Turkey. Amasya surprises visitors with traditional Turkish wooden mansions on the north bank of the Yeşilırmak River in the Hatuniye quarter (Yalıboyu), some of which have been restored and turned into guesthouses. Cafes, restaurants, tea gardens and parks line the riverside and provide tranquil spots where visitors can enjoy the city's romantic atmosphere.