Meeting Mustafa and the Aizonoi ruins

Cavdarhisar Travel Blog

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Temple of Zeus

People i met here who contributed to, and improved my trip: Mustafa (Turkey)

Having eaten a hearty portion of Gozleme with salad and ayran (2.5YTL/$1.55), i wandered down to Kutahya bus terminal to catch the 13.00 bus to Cavdarhisar. I managed to find the correct dolmush, which had a friendly young driver called Mustafa, who immediately struck up a conversation with me. During the hour long journey (5YTL) we talked about his village and the ruins and he volunteered to guide me around all of the important sites.

Arriving into Cavdarhisar, we had a quick drink of tea and then walked to the nearby Temple of Zeus. Aizonoi was a Roman settlement, which was the third largest in Turkey, only surpassed in population by Ephesus and Pergamum.

Medusa head in front of the Temple of Zeus
In the 2ndCentury AD, Emperor Hadrian - who is famous in the UK for building Hadrian's Wall, which divided England and Scotland �" ordered the City to build a Temple dedicated to Zeus. Its original construction consisted of 46 pillars, but many of these have collapsed over time, but it is nevertheless an impressive sight and one well worth a visit.

Walking to the site we crossed one of three ancient Roman bridges that the town still boasts and plenty of crumbling, yet character filled houses. Mustafa's Dad was in the ticket booth (3YTL) when we arrived and he gave us the keys to enter the sacrificial room, which is located directly under the Temple and now contains fragments of the Temple, which are stored there for safe keeping. There are also other nice stone carvings outside the Temple, which included the head of Medusa and several Roman tombstones.
Carving of a lion capturing a cow at the theatre
Even on a gloomy day it made an impression on me, so on a clear summers day, it must be a real feast for the eyes.

After the Temple we visited the nearby Stadium and Theatre, which was the first complex built with a dual purpose in mind. Situated on the road leading up to the Stadium was a Roman baths complex, and i wondered if they were scrubbed down with guys in orange gloves, like i was the other day! Little remained of the stadium, although you could vaguely make out its outline. What really impressed me though was the Olympic Medals which were on display, carved into a large stone. The theatre was more intact and enjoyable to wander around for ten minutes and there was a wonderful carving of a lion catching a cow.

The last place to visit was a colonnaded street and circular market building.
Me and Mustafa
We reached the area by crossing another of the Roman bridges and passing many rustic homes. The market was unique because it had writing on the walls, which listed the prices of slaves, horses and other goods. The street on the other hand had some nice marble columns, but i had seen plenty of these in Turkey already!

There was a dolmush heading back to Kutahya at 16.00, but i decided to stay an extra hour or so to hang out with Mustafa. He introduced me to many of the villagers, before we went and drank some tea and played Tavla. I managed to win 4-1, which was quite a surprise, but i think i had the luck of the dice on this occasion. I caught the 17.15 bus home, really happy with how the day had materialised, I'm sure that i wouldn't have had such a great time had it not been for meeting Mustafa.

Deats says:
Haha, thanks mate. Stick a pin in a map and come back in a few months more and see if you hit the jackpot ;)
Posted on: Mar 04, 2009
showbiz101 says:
Dude, this whole thing is mind blowing. I ignore your blog for a few months at a time and every time I come back you're halfway across the other side of the world!
Posted on: Mar 04, 2009
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Temple of Zeus
Temple of Zeus
Medusa head in front of the Temple…
Medusa head in front of the Templ…
Carving of a lion capturing a cow …
Carving of a lion capturing a cow…
Me and Mustafa
Me and Mustafa
Gozleme, Salad and ayran - only 2.…
Gozleme, Salad and ayran - only 2…
Roman bridge
Roman bridge
Carvings and Roman tombstones at t…
Carvings and Roman tombstones at …
Medusa head at the Temple of Zeus
Medusa head at the Temple of Zeus
Sacrificial room at the Temple of …
Sacrificial room at the Temple of…
Pieces of the Temple in the sacrif…
Pieces of the Temple in the sacri…
Temple of Zeus
Temple of Zeus
Hadrians edict to build the Templ…
Hadrian's edict to build the Temp…
Temple of Zeus
Temple of Zeus
Temple of Zeus
Temple of Zeus
Temple of Zeus
Temple of Zeus
Temple of Zeus
Temple of Zeus
Temple of Zeus
Temple of Zeus
Roman Baths
Roman Baths
Stadium and Theatre
Stadium and Theatre
Theatre at Aizonoi
Theatre at Aizonoi
Lion carving at the Theatre at Aiz…
Lion carving at the Theatre at Ai…
Theatre at Aizonoi
Theatre at Aizonoi
Theatre at Aizonoi
Theatre at Aizonoi
Theatre at Aizonoi
Theatre at Aizonoi
Theatre at Aizonoi
Theatre at Aizonoi
Theatre at Aizonoi
Theatre at Aizonoi
Looking through a window of the Th…
Looking through a window of the T…
Stadium at Aizonoi
Stadium at Aizonoi
Stadium at Aizonoi
Stadium at Aizonoi
Stadium at Aizonoi
Stadium at Aizonoi
Olympic medals at the Stadium at A…
Olympic medals at the Stadium at …
Olympic medals at the Stadium at A…
Olympic medals at the Stadium at …
Rustic houses
Rustic houses
Rustic houses
Rustic houses
Roman Bridge
Roman Bridge
Borsa
Borsa
Market place
Market place
Cost of slaves and horses at the m…
Cost of slaves and horses at the …
Mustafa at the colonnaded street
Mustafa at the colonnaded street
Colonnaded street
Colonnaded street
Colonnaded street
Colonnaded street
Cavdarhisar
photo by: Deats