Yalova was a district of Istanbul until 1995 when the Government made it a province of itself. As of 2016 it has over 233.000 inhabitants. It is a beautiful city in the Marmara region of Anatolia with green plateaus, agricultural areas and spas. Yalova hot springs and thermal hotels are located to the south of the Sea of Marmara, 11 kilometers (7 miles) southwest of the town of Yalova in a wonderfully green setting. There is a good State road connection between Istanbul - Yalova and Bursa - Yalova, also a new highway with a suspension bridge over the sea made the distances shorter. Car and passenger fast ferries have a regular schedule from Yenikapi and Pendik piers in Istanbul to Yalova city center, ranging between 45-75 minutes depending from the point of departure. Also a regular (slower) car ferry connection runs between Darica - Eskihisar in order to ease drivers from/to Istanbul.
The Yalova thermal springs have a natural water outlet, having a composition of sodium chloride, calcium sulfate and fluoride. With a temperature of 57 to 60 degrees Celcius (around 135 Fahrenheit) at the source, 7.3 to 7.6 PH rate, and 1,435 mg/lt total mineral content, the waters are suitable for both bathing and drinking. Yalova hot springs are known for their therapeutic qualities, especially for rheumatic diseases, digestive maladies, neurological and urological disorders and metabolic problems.
Yalova spas incorporate open and covered pools, Turkish baths, offering massage, underwater massage and drinking cures. The spas include a couple of good hotels, first-class restaurants with typical Turkish meals, cafeteria, a very attractive park and forest. Therefore these spa area is a popular destination for local Turkish people or foreigners who seek for thermal cures or spend pleasant time.
One of the most interesting sights to visit in Yalova is the "Moving Mansion" (Yürüyen Köşk in Turkish). It was built in 1929 by the wish of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk next to a monumental plain tree. Next year, when Ataturk visited the mansion, the workers expressed him that the tree was damaging the mansion's walls and roof therefore one of its huge branches had to be cut. Ataturk refused it and ordered to "move" the mansion instead of cutting the tree. Engineers started to work on a plan to use the tram lines to be placed under the basement in order to move the house, and finally they managed to take the mansion 5 meters (16 feet) to the east, away from the tree. This saved the huge plain tree, and the mansion too. The "Mooving Mansion" was restored in 2006 and opened as a museum.
On 17th August 1999, at 03:02 AM, a devastating earthquake (7.4 Richter scale) hit the city when people were asleep, killing thousands of citizens and leaving more than 50.000 homeless. Izmit, Adapazari, Bursa, Bolu and Istanbul were amongst other provinces damaged by this quake.