eskişehir Travel Blog

 › entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
Before the discovery of fire, on the region beginning from Sakarya River extending to Porsuk River, there was fruitful and deserted land. After the discovery of fire, human beings had come and settled down on this fruitful land which is rich in mineral resources. Life began first in caves then lasted in towns with houses made of marble.

All this time passed by, man had arranged this region for living by cultivating this watery land and populated. However, those tribes living in unfruitful lands started to immigrate towards the region. Their aim was to share the land extending from Sakarya River to Porsuk River to build a common living there. People living peacefully in the region had met belligerence and war for the first time.

Wars lasted for hundreds and thousands of years....

By the time, the world and the mankind had revolved and wars ended. Peace for the future was obtained. However, immigrants were allowed to use water and land only. In this existence struggle new opportunities created, discoveries exposed. Mine resource enriched, workshops and small factories were built and towns and villages were formed. As first human beings came and settled down that region and benefited from fruitful land and rich resources a very long time ago from now, the region developed to a city in a short time and called ESKISEHIR, which means old city in Turkish.

If you have traveled the wide area around Eskişehir, you would see some marks belong to antiquity period of mankind. Thousand of cultures had survived in Eskişehir region since Stone Age.

Eskişehir was accepted to be most populated region in B.C. 4000’s. In researches done in the region old towns and cities are discovered. In addition, the region became a center to activate trade for merchants form Assure.

Eskişehir was inside the west border of Phrygia. Thus, Phrygian Age has importance in Eskişehir history.

The Richest King of All Ages

Hittites assembled a great government centralized in Eskişehir B.C.14. Century. The king of Phrygians declared his kingdom which lasted for 600 years in B.C.12.

Who is the richest king of all ages?

Midas, the king of Phrygia... Midas was the king of the place today known as the center of Eskisehir.

The first time Midas appeared in history was his sovereignty in Delhi Mabet in B.C. 700’s. Midas was married to the daughter of Agememnon, the Greek king. He was charged for the management of trade in distant regions, thus, he became powerful and rich soon. He caught the spoils of Silenus (Step father of Baküs). Because of that he was punished by that “anything touched by him would turn to gold”. First time, he was happy with punishment but it did not last for so long. He had to face hunger since everything he touched turned to gold. However, the greatest sorrow he lived was the moment he hugged his daughter and she turned to a big golden pile. This event made him more aware of his horrible situation. He begged gods for help in regret. Dionysus, one of the gods who heard his begging let Midas to swim and sunbathe in Pantolus River that belonged to him to get rid of that curse.
From that moment aluvions of Pantolus River turned to gold. However, in which part of the river Midas had bathe is unknown, not yet discovered. But King Midas had his place as the richest king of all ages in history...

There is another tale about Midas widespread through people. According to that tale, Midas was offered to be jury for the music contest in which God Apollo and Satyr Marsyas were contestants. (Silenus). Midas was continuously threatened by Satyr and Apollo. At the end of the contest, Midas gave his decision in a way like a judicious king had to be. As a result, Apollo lost the contest and became very angry and revolved the ears of Midas to donkey’s ears. Midas hid his ears under a hat but his barber saw them at last. He promised to keep the secret on Midas’s request. However, he could not keep the secret, after sometime he shouted out it toward to marshes.

As marshes swigged by the wind, “Midas’s ears are Donkey ears” voices were heard. Thus, everybody learned Midas’s secret. This tragedy had ended by Apollo’s forgiving Midas.

Güngör Dilmen, one of the writers of Modern Turkish play, has dramatized the story and named the play as “Midas’s Ears”. In addition, an operetta named “King Midas Opera” has been composed by Ferit Tuzun. King Midas is very famous in other countries as well as in Eskişehir region and Turkey.

Archeological researches showed that first settlement was populated around Şarhöyük in B.C. 3500’s. In ages of Copper and Calcolitic (B.C. 3500-2500) the most populated areas were predicted to be shores of Porsuk-Seydi Su and Sarısu Streams. Traces found in Demirci Höyük shows that prehistoric settlement and culture around Eskişehir rose up in Early Calcolitic (B.

C.5500) Age. Many legends of Anadolu are evidences showing that Phrygia was center of mining. Further more, other excavations done in Midas city (Yazılıkaya) hundreds of new tumulus were discovered and determined that the region had a widespread culture since antiquities.

Cultural certificates belonging to Hittites Age were found in most of the tumulus discovered in the excavations done in Yazılıkaya. Phrygians who put an end to the sovereignty of Hittites and become spread in a wide area had established a kingdom involving Eskişehir Plain, Sakarya branches and west and east parts of Ankara region. This kingdom whose center was Gordian, near Polatlı, was known to have a powerful political structure. Pessinus (Ballıhisar), Midaeum (Karahöyük), Dorylaeum (Eskişehir), Yazılıkaya (Midas) were cities which were built in that period inside the borders of Eskişehir province nowadays.

The best known kings of Phrygian history were Gordian and Midas. King Midas, had established Phrygian Empire however, it lasted not so long (B.C. 725-675).

Kimmers, coming over Caucasus, put an end to Phrygian sovereignty in the fist half of 7th century. Those cities of Phrygian Age, were demolished and fired by Kimmer’s attacks, then went under sovereignty of Kroizos, king of Lydia, who increased his power. According to historians, Midas killed himself because he could not resist Kimmer’s attacks (B.C. 546-333).

After Great İskender had come to Anatolia and won Gronikos War (B.C.334), Phrygia went under his sovereignty. First, İskender captured Pessinus and Gordion. By way, he bought Hellenism Age and culture to Phrygia at the same time. In addition, Greeks came and settled to Phrygia.

In excavations done in Pessinus, temples dedicated to Phrygian Goddess Kibele, theaters and many architectural structures were found. The religion of Phrygians was bound to Goddess Kibele which is an ancient god.
After the death of İskender the great, Galats made continuous raids on Phrygia. After that it passed to Romans’ control. The most glorious age was the years in which Romans had the control of Phrygia.

If you went to southwest of Eskişehir, you would reach to Midas city or YAZILIKAYA in today’s name. The remnants in that region, would attract your interest and admiration in ancient civilizations.

Midas City: Yazılıkaya

Yazılıkaya is 80 km far from Eskişehir. One can reach the village from Çifteler County on southeast of Eskişehir.

The road departure from here reaches to Yazılıkaya through Mecidiye, Bardakçı, Karağaç and Kayı. Besides, one can go to Yazılıkaya through the way Seyitgazi and Afyonkarahisar or Emirdağ.

The height of Yazılıkaya village is 1315 meters. There is Eskişehir city on the North, Kütahya on the West, Afyonkarahisar on the South, and Seyitgazi on the Northeast. The exact location is on “Phrygian Plateau”. Height can be as high as Turkmen Mountain in some places. Because of that altitude, air is rather clean and it was named as “Phrygia Salutaris” which means “Healthy Phrygia”.

Yazılıkaya Village is located on the foot of Acropol. The great Midas Monument is perceived at the very first look. Midas Monument is extremely important especially for Phrygian history.

However, the monument has not been mentioned much until 19th century. It was discovered by an English officer W.M. Leake passing by the region for the first time. He stated that he had seen monuments which carved on rock and had writings on surface while he was traveling by Eskişehir to Seyitgazi and then to Hüsrev Paşa. Then he returned back to the monument and examined the writings on the surface and when he saw the name “Midas” on inscriptions, he named the monument as “Midas’s Grave”. W. Leake published that trip notes in 1824. Charles Texier, who came after him, copied the surfaces of three rocks and inscriptions and published actual information about the subject. Researches done on archeological monuments in Anatolia had risen in second half of 19th century. Archeologist Radet, who come that region in 1886 and 1893, had discovered Yazılıkaya Village settled down just bottom of Midas monument.

As it can be seen nowadays, there are Midas monument on an erupted rock, city wall surrounding Acropol, underground stairs, graves, altars and unfinished monuments and fountains in Northeast side of ancient city Acropol, just over Yazılıkaya Village.

Midas monument is carved on tufa, covering an area of nearly 400 m2 with a rectangular shape and the surface is decorated with geometric meander motifs have Phrygian art features.

Small Yazılıkaya

There is another monument 210 meter far away from Midas monument on Southwest. Top of the monument is excavated; however bottom side is left without handwork. Small Yazılıkaya Monument has many things in common with Midas Monument.

The frontal of the monument is in good condition. It is decorated by motifs of pine cone and palmet. Its height is shorter than its width. At the bottom of the monument there are two indentations on which there are figures resembling animal heads.

There was a city well-known as “Dorylaeum” or “Dorylaion” in Greek in this region in antiquity. Nowadays, there are three places which are said to be Antique Dorylian in Eskişehir. One of the places is Karacaşehir, other one is Şarhöyük and Yukarımahalle, also known as Hamamlar or Köprübaşı.

The third place that we could call naked Eskişehir before industrialization, is the city located on both sides of Porsuk creek. The region was under the control of Byzantines and was a populated city.

By the researches and investigations done at the end of 19th century, some inscriptions which include information about Dorylian and go back to 3rd century A.D. or i.e. from Augustus Age to Caracalla Age were found. One of the inscriptions has the name “Drylaous from Erythrai” who was the founder of the city written on the sculpture base discovered in 1893 in Hacı Mahmut Bey Han in Eskişehir. Another inscription found in Şarhöyük was dedicated to “Akamantion Dorylaos from Herakles family”.

Akamas was the son of King Theseus in Greek Mythology. He was the founder of many cities in Anatolia especially in Phrygia. He was named as a hero.

According to the researches done in 1893, the most respectfully behaved and votive offered god was Zeus in the region (thundering Zeus).

Foreign gods and goddess were “Jupiter Capitolnus” and documents written in his name were found. That the greatest God Inscription written belongs to Jews or Byzantines is not actually known.

In addition, there were documents found about Bennos, Phrygian religious associations in the region.

The region is an entertainment center with many famous Turkish baths and hot water resources taking away daily stress of people.


Remains of Pessinus, the famous city of Antiquity, is in Ballıhisar region, near Sivrihisar, on the highway Ankara-Eskişehir. The place where the famous template of Kibele “Mother of Gods” was located and known as Kubebe or Kubaba by Hittites belonged to Phrygia state.

The sculpture of Mother God, according to some beliefs, was a black stone which had fallen from sky so it is also called as “Black Stone”.

Pessinus was the greatest trade center of its time. In this age, the priests were also rulers. Although Pessinus stayed alive as a trade center in following years, the priests’ authority declined quite a bit. Through history ages, Pessinus was occupied by Lydia and Pers forces like other Phrygian cities. Galats who occupied the region in Hellenism age made Pessinus their capital.

In Bergama Kingdom period, Pessinus which was an independent princedom ruled by priests, was damaged during Pun wars between Roma and Kartaca.

Pessinus lived its most glorious period during Bergama Kingdom.

Also, temples and artworks reached to our time were done in the period.

Mother God Kibele

Mother God Kibele had taken her name from Kybelon Mountain. There are many legends about Mother God. One of them is as follows:

“Mother Goddess fell in love with Ates or Attis, a young man who was pasturing his sheep. Attis sacrificed his sexual virility on a rock for the sake of Goddess and died. However, he returned to life in spring by tears of Kibele in spring. To keep this revival alive, Gallos, the priests of Pessinus Temple, castrated themselves and arranged a great ceremony. They brought a branch from the pine tree under which Atis sacrificed his sexual virility to the temple in March 22nd. All the coreligionists together with the priests beat their chest in sorrow and wounded themselves with pine cones.

They turned around Galloslar Temple by music accompanying until they lost themselves. Sometimes one of them who became exulted cut his virility by stone knife and became Gallos who united with Mother Goddess. Suddenly, Chief priest “Archigallos” lighted up all lambs in March 25th. Attes had returned to life. All children and young girls wore white dresses. An enthusiastic celebration began.”

Magnificent Gordion

When going down Porsuk Creek toward South, Porsuk and Sakarya Rivers unites and then again depart from each other. The city at that point is “GORDION”.

Gordion was the capital of Phrygia State and is a magnificent station among the ruins on way called “Emperor Road”. This famous city links East and West, Persia and Mesopotamia.

In addition, Gordion was the city where numerous tales about Great Alexander and Gordion King were told.

Due to the archeological excavations, Gordion, discovered at the end of B.C.3000 years, was one of the important cities of its time. Especially it lived its most glorious time during Phrygians were ruling.

During 600 years following Phrygian King, Gordion lived its worst time ever. Invasions and wars became intensive especially at the beginning of B.C. 18th Century. Kimmers, Lydians, and Perses and at last Great Alexander occupied the region respectively.

Great Alexander and his army, passing from Gordion 2300 years ago, conquered Asian way. Also young king, swinging his sword, challenged to Gordion King and wanted him to leave the management of city to him.

After the death of Great Alexander, city of Gordion had witnessed great wars. Location of city is the reason for that. Many commanders who wanted to control Anatolia tried to occupy Gordion city by their armies. Galats, after those Romans captured the region at the end of the year B.C. 189. Especially Romans, restored Gordion city, provide the city old glorious days back. Gordion which survived as a small village for a long time became a magnificent city soon.

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Sponsored Links
photo by: galipucar