The ancient city of Laodicea Ad Lycum is located
close to the village of Goncali, 6 kms/
3.8 miles from Denizli, a city known for
its textile industry (towels and bathrobes).
The Hellenistic city was established on the site
of a former settlement (according to Pliny the
younger originally called Diospolis and afterwards
Rhoas) under the Seleucid
dynasty in the mid 3rd century BC by Antiochos
II in honor of his wife, Laodice. In order to
distinguish Laodicea from several other cities
bearing the same name and because it was located
in the Lycos* (Çuruksu) river valley,
"Ad Lycum" was added to its name. In
188 BC, the city passed to the Kingdom
of Pergamon and subsequently fell under Roman
control in 133 BC.
Laodicea was reputed for its sheeps whose wool
was black and soft, and was a weaving center famous
for both its wool and cotton fabrics. Due to the
fertility of the region, its favorable climate,
its flourishing trade and its privilegiate location
on a trade route, Laodicea became one of the most
important and prosperous cities in Asia Minor.
During the Roman period, circa 60 AD, after the
devastating earthquake that destroyed all the
cities of the region, the wealthy Laodiceans promptly
rebuilt their city and, thanks to their donations,
kept embellishing it with various monuments. Laodicea,
that minted its own coins, even called itself
the Metropolis of Asia.
Unlike nearby Hierapolis
and Colossae, Laodicea's major weakness was its
lack of spring water and thus was dependent on
external water supplies. Water was brought through
a great system of aqueducts built from large,
tightly cemented rectangular stones through which
a circular central channel had been bored.
The fact that an
important Jewish community lived in Laodicea contributed
to the early christianization of the city
which later became
an episcopal seat.
However, the spread of Christianity in Laodicea
proved not to be so easy because of the wealth
accumulated with textiles and trade.
Laodicean Church was probably founded by Epaphras
of Colossae (see below). It
appears from the Epistle to the Colossians that
Paul of Tarsus
never visited Laodicea, but hearing from Epaphras
of certain doctrines spread in that city, he wrote
to the Colossians, desiring that his epistle to
that church should also be read in Laodicea.
one of the Seven
Churches of Revelation. In
the 4th century, a council condemning the worship
of angels alluded to by St Paul, was held in Laodicea.
The year is not known however it is believed to
have preceded the council of Constantinople (381).
suffered from an earthquake in the year 494 after
which it never quite recovered. Finally the city
was deserted after the conquest of the region
by the Seljuk Turks who
preferred to settle in the vicinity where there
was a vast amount of water, in the present location
of Kaleiçi in Denizli. The new settlement
of Laodicea took the name "Ladik"
but with the passing centuries was also referred
to as Donguzlu, "Tonguzluk"
and Dengizli. Subsequently the name was changed
into Denizli which, in modern Turkish,
means " a place with a large body of water".
During the Ottoman period, Denizli regained the
position of Laodicea as a leading textile manufacturing
center. Today, Denizli is the Aegean Region's
largest manufacturing and tourism sector after
Izmir. Mount Honaz National Park (2,571 m/ 8,435
ft) located southeast of Denizli, is the highest
mountain in Western Anatolia.
consist of a Hellenistic theatre, a smaller Roman
theatre, a rectangular council building, a water
tower, a stadium, a gymnasium and baths, a nympheaum,
a church, a necropolis.
The Lycos river, named Çuruksu in Turkish,
is a tributary of the Maeander
(Büyük Menderes) River.
Colossae is located 25 kms/ 15.5 miles east of Denizli,
close to the town of Honaz, on the foothills of
Mount Honaz (Mount Cadmos - 2,571 m/ 8,435 ft)
by the Aksu river. Colossae was recorded as one
of the most prosperous cities of Phrygia
and was particularly famous for its wool which
was dyed a purple colour called colossinus. However
Colossae was gradually supplanted by Laodicea
and finally lost its economical importance. Furthermore,
the city suffered from the devastating earthquake
circa 60 AD. Colossae was the seat of an early
Christian church which seems to have been founded
by Epaphras, a pupil and follower of Paul. The
city's biblical significance lies in the fact
that an epistle was adressed to the church here.
The Epistle to the Colossians was purportedly
written by Paul
between 61-63 AD, during his first imprisonment
in Rome, against the rise of a new heresy, namely
religious syncretism and gnosticism.
In the 7th century, Colossae was completely deserted
with the establishment of Chonae (or Chonas, present
Honaz) where a church, dedicated to St
Michael, was built thus reintroducing the worship
of angels (cf Laodicea). Khonae was the birthplace
of the Byzantine historian, Nicetas Choniates
who gave an account of the sack
of Constantinople (1204) and his brother Michael
Choniates who became Archbishop of Athens.
site of Colossae has not been excavated. Little
remains to be seen.
The town of Buldan, located 40 kms/ 25 miles
north of Denizli, is also well known for its natural
fabric woven on hand looms. The traditional "Buldan
fabric", made of pure cotton, is widely used
in household linen and in traditional and modern
city of Afyonkarahisar, more commonly called Afyon,
part of the Kütahya-Eskisehir-Afyon
triangle within which the Phrygians
once lived in the 8C-7C BC.
Afyon, whose name means opium, is located in
a region where poppy
is largely grown under strict state control.
The city lies at the foot of a dark volcanic rock
which was fortified for the first time by the
Hittites who named
place witnessed various periods of occupation
by the Phrygians, Lydians, Persians, Galatians,
Pergamenes, Romans and Byzantines. The city, variously
known as Acroenos, Acronion and even Nicopolis,
was taken over in the 13th century by the Seljuks
who rebuilt the citadel and renamed it Karahisar,
the "black fortress". In the course
of time, the Turkish word "afyon" was
added as a reflection of the region's chief product,
hence the city's name Afyonkarahisar, the "black
fortress of opium". The city was incorporated
into the Ottoman Empire
by Sultan Beyazid I in 1392 but was lost in 1402
after the brief invasion of Tamerlane (Timur Lenk)
who gave the region to the Germiyanogullari. In
1429, upon the death of Yakup II (1387-1429),
the Germiyanogullari's last ruler who had bequeathed
his realm to the Sultan Murat II, the city became
again an Ottoman possession.
Afyon played a crucial role in the Turkish War
of Independence. From the heights of Kocatepe
overlooking the Plain of Afyon, on August 26,
1922 Atatürk launched
his Great Offensive which lead to the decisive
defeat of the Greek army at the Battle of Dumlupinar
on August 30, 1922, celebrated as "Victory
Day" a national holiday in Turkey. Dumlupinar
is located 59 km north-west of Afyonkarahisar.
The Victory Monument and memorials erected at
Zafertepe-Çalköy as well as Dumlupinar
cemetery and Atatürk's House and Headquarter
Museum are located withinin the Baskomutan (Chief
Commander Mustafa Kemal) Historical National Park,
a protected area delimited by the cities of Afyon,
Kütahya and Usak where the West Anatolian
Fronts were set up.
major places of interest in the city of
Afyon are: the Archaeoligical Museum; the
War of IndependenceMemorial; the
Ulu Mosque built in 1272 and nearby the
Imaret Mosque with its elegant fluted minaret,
built in 1472; the citadel offering a
spectacular view over the city. The old quarter of the town known as Kalealti
has many well preserved examples of old traditional
of Afyonkarahisar are the "sucuk"
(a garlic beef sausage), the lokum
(Turkish delight) and the kaymak
(thick clotted cream) eaten with most Turkish
sweets and particularly with the local bread pudding
"ekmek kadayifi". The culinary
use of poppy
seeds, called hashash, is most commonly
encountered in the making of breads, pastries
and other sweets giving them a distinctive, nutty
Hashash "Ezme" (paste) are other specialities
of the region.
the surroundings of Afyon there are numerous,
well equipped thermal springs such as Gazi,
Gecek, Ömerli, Hudai. Mud
baths can also be found at Sandikli. The
historical hammam in Afyon is also supplied
by a thermal spring.
The production of opium for pharmaceutical purposes
is the most important economic activity of the
the north of Afyon, the area called the Phrygian
Valley offers great historical, cultural and
natural wealth. This part of Phrygia boasts the
most striking monuments of the Phrygian world.
The natural formations house cave dwellings, temples,
churches, tunnels, passages, cisterns... Huge
rocks have been transformed into imposing, engraved
The Phrygian Valley and its surroundings are registered
as Protected Natural Area and Protected Archeological
At Aslankaya and Aslantas magnificent
lions reliefs are engraved into monumental cult
The town of Ihsaniye, 35 kms/ 22 miles
from Afyon, has rock formations resembling, on
a small scale, that of Cappadocia. Early Christian
communities took refuge here, carving out homes
in the soft tufa rock. The cave dwellings, rock
tombs and churches of Ayazini are the most
The ancient city of Aizanoi is located
57 kms/ 35 miles from Kütahya
in the small town of Cavdarhisar.
Once part of the former land of Phrygia,
during the Hellenistic
period the entire region alterned
between the hegemonies of Pergamon
and Bythinia before being included
in the Roman
Province of Asia. The Roman ruins
are an evidence of a glorious period
during the 2C and 3C AD. The masterpiece
is the well preserved Temple of
Zeus, erected under the reign
of Hadrian who declared Aizanoi the
official centre of the cult of Zeus.
temple was erected in a style incorporating
many features of the Graeco-Anatolian
architecture with artistic Roman neo-classical
shapes that characterize the decoration:
ovums, composite capitals, acanthus
of the beautiful woman-busted acroterium
which crowned the summit of the west
pediment. The acroterium now stands
on the ground in front of the temple.
A huge statue of Zeus, of which no
trace has been found, once stood in
Copies of the letters sent by Hadrian
to settle a dispute related to the
construction of the temple are engraved
on the walls of the pronaos.
They show how much the emperor cared
It is not known what was the use of
the surprising, impressive barrel
vaulted basement of the temple.
It was long believed to have been
used for the cult of Cybele, the Anatolian
Great Earth Mother Goddess whorshipped
in Aizanoi as "Meter Steunene".
the basement may more probably have
served as an
(Steunene) of the mother goddess, who was believed to have dwelled in rock formations, was located 2 kms (1,3 miles) to the
south-west of the settlement in a
cave with rock carvings where excavations
revealed terracotta figurines.
The vestiges of the ancient city are
scattered in and around the picturesque
town of Cavdarhisar:
- The combined theatre and
stadium, separated by
a marble wall, is a unique structure
found in no other ancient city.
- The baths are decorated with
a beautiful mosaic floor displaying
a Satyr and a Maenad in the center.
statue of Hygieia, the daughter of
Asclepios and goddess of health, was
found during the excavations of the
Her name is the source of the word
"hygiene". The statue is
exhibited in the Brigade Museum in
Kütahya (see below).
- The 450 m/ 1500 ft long colonnaded
street was part of the sacred
road leading to the Steunene. Lining
the street are the remains of the
stoas and columns with Ionic capitals
that once belonged to the Temple of
Artemis which had to be demolished
and whose columns were reused in the
construction of the colonnaded street.
The remains of the monumental arch
stand at the southwest end.
- Two Roman bridges (there
was five of them) which are still
in use today.
- The Macellum was a market
place with a circular edifice where
a copy of an edict by Docletian dating
from 301 AD and fixing salaries and
regulating consumer prices to combat
inflation, is engraved. The list mentions
different products running from the
price of foodstuffs to the price of
slaves: for example we learn that
a strong slave was equal to two donkeys...
- The necropolis that contains
numerous sarcophagi and tombstones.
Aizanoi was an episcopal seat during
the Byzantine period
and the temple was used for Christian
the 13th century the temple area was
fortified against the Tatar invasion.
After the Seljuk conquest, the Tatar
tribe of the Cavdars settled in the
fortress, hence the name Cavdarhisar,
"hisar" meaning "fortress"
The imposing akroterium, a statue of a female figure,
once ornemented the west pediment of the temple.
The composite capitals combine the Ionic and Corinthian styles
Inscription wall of the Stadium
The Round Buiding (Macellum)
One of the two Roman bridges that span
the Koca Çay (ancient Penkalas river)
The town of Kütahya is part of the Kütahya-Eskisehir-Afyon
triangle within which the Phrygians
once lived. Kütahya was also marked
by the presence of the Romans, who
named it Cotyaeum, and the Byzantines.
Between the mid 13th and the early
15th centuries, it was the capital
of the powerful Germiyanogullari
Beylik (Selçuk emirate). In
1429, upon the death of Yakup II
(1387-1429), the Germiyanogullari's
last ruler who had bequeathed his
realm to the Sultan Murat II, the
city was incorporated into the Ottoman
Empire and played an important
role during this era.
Kütahya has been renowned for the
art of ceramics
ever since the 15th century. It
was the rival of Iznik
for the production of glazed
tiles (Çini in Turkish) and
evensupplanted Iznik as
the center for the production of
ceramic vessels and glazed
tiles in the Ottoman Empire.
Nowadays many workshops perpetuate
the tradition: among other things,
tiles produced with designs from
the 16th and 17th century are famous
for their cobalt blue on a milky
white background. Kütahya was also
famous for its wood engraving, silver
work (silver is molten here), embroideries
and palace cuisine. Ottoman imperial
dresses used to be sewn in Kütahya
and sent to the palace.
kütahya lies along the Porsuk River,
at the foot of a hill crowned by
a medieval fortress. The town has
18th century typical wood and stucco
houses such as the beautiful houses
on the Germyan Street.
In addition to the Yakup Çelebi
Complex that includes the Great
Ulu Cami mosque (1410), the
Vacidiye Medresesi housing
the Archaeological Museum
and the Gök Sadirvan
housing the Tiles and Ceramics
(Çini) Museum; the hammams,
the bazaar (bedesten) and the the
Kossuth Museum, also known
as the Hungarian House because Hungary's
national hero Lajos Kossuth stayed
here between 1849-1851, are some
of the important, historical places
of interest in the town.
An old restored aircraft hangar
in the Kütahya Air Forces Draftee
Training Centre Headquarters has
been restored and turned into theBrigade Museum (Tugay Müzesi).
Here numerous stone works that were
stored in the Archaeological Museum,
are displayed, as well as china
works, paintings and works of the
local artists, and the invaluable
works of art donated by Rifat Çini,
the owner of "Azim Çini"
factory, the oldest ceramic factory
Kütahya has the richest geothermal
resources in Turkey with the six
thermal centers of Yoncali,
Ilica-Harlek, Simav-Eynal, Gediz-Ilicasu,
Murat Dagi (Mount Murat ) and Kaynarca.
The thermal springs of this region
have the richest mineral thermal
water in the country.
The Kütahya Ceramic Festival is
held every year in July.
Typical o ld fountain
Archaeological Museum inside
the Vacidiye Medrese
The former soup kitchen (imaret) was part of the complex built by Yakup II Germiyanogullari.
Today it houses the Tiles (Çini) Museum.
The "Brigade" Museum
The statue of Hygieia, the daughter of Asclepios and goddess of health, was found during the
excavations of the Roman baths in Aizanoi. Her name is the source of the word
"hygiene". The statue is exhibited in the Brigade Museum.