The region defined as Phrygia Epiktetus, a mountainous terrain within the triangle of Kütahya, Afyonkarahisar and Eskişehir, is today called the Phrygian Valley (Frig Vadisi). The Phrygian plateaus are covered with tuff, porous volcanic rock from the Turkmen Mountain, an old volcano in the east of Kütahya. These plateaus were inhabited by the Phrygians between BCE 900-600. From that period, open-air temples, altars, and rock tombs dedicated to the Mother Goddess Cybele and many other structures, for defence and shelter, have survived. In the region, where Romans and Byzantines later settled, the traces of madder-dyed crosses, escriptures and frescoes can still be seen. Deliktaş Castle and Penteser Castle are rock-cut structures carved by Phrygians and Byzantines. The region is attractive, pristine, and worth visiting, featuring pine forests and natural rock structures resembling Cappadocia.
The Phrygian Way is a 500-kilometre-long trekking and cycling path marked with international standards. It was created on the basis of the roads used by the Phrygians in the Phrygian Valleys between the Ankara, Afyonkarahisar, Kütahya and Eskişehir provinces. To facilitate access, the entire path is marked with red and white colours. On the Phrygian Way, there are Phrygian Houses as well as village rooms and boarding houses. Offering three main routes, the journey in the Kütahya lands begins from Yenice Farm of Ahmetoğlu village, located at the 15th km of the Kütahya- Eskişehir highway. It is approximately 150 km from Eskisehir Yazılıkaya.
Aizanoi Ancient City
Aizanoi Ancient City (Aizanoi Antik Kenti) is one of the most important ancient cities. It is in the Çavdarhisar district, approximately 47 km from Kütahya. It is believed that the city of Aizanoi emerged when the mythological hero Azan, son of the legendary king Arcas and the Dryad Erato was born. Azan is mentioned in ancient sources as the leader of Phrygians who were living around the sacred cave of Goddess Meter Steunene in the upper part of Penkalas (Kocaçay) Creek.
Aizanoi was rediscovered and examined by European travellers in 1824. Since 1970, excavation works have been carried out regularly every year. Among the ruins are the Temple of Zeus, the best preserved of its kind in Anatolia, the world’s first Commodity Exchange Building, a theatre-stadium complex, built in an adjacent order and unique in the world, two Turkish baths, a peristyle street, and five bridges spanning the Kocaçay River, two of which have survived, along with two agoras, a gymnasium, the sacred area of Meter Steunene, a necropolis, an ancient dam, waterways and gates. Aizanoi Ancient City was a contemporary of such cities as Ephesus, Bergama, and Side.
Temple of Zeus
The Temple is on a podium in the middle of an area surrounded by colonnaded galleries, 200 meters from the west side of the Penkalas (Kocaçay) River.
There is a stairway to the underground cella (a sacred chamber in the temple), which is dedicated to the Phrygian Goddess Meter Steunene, and reaches the roof. Especially the acroters of the structure, which is one of the best- preserved Ionic temples in Anatolia, are interesting. The western pediment has a bust of the Goddess Cybele atop the middle acroteric acant, with carvings of branches and leaves. The east pediment features a bust of Zeus. There are inscriptions praising the Emperor Hadrian and Apuleis, who was important for Aizanoi, on the front gallery walls. The Temple, with its four-column courtyard and agora, was built between BC 117 and 138.
Inhabited since antiquity and thus one of the greatest witnesses of the past, present and future, Kütahya Castle (Kütahya Kalesi) was reinforced with repairs and additions by the Seljuks, Germiyanids and Ottomans; its walls were strengthened by the Byzantines in the 5th century. The castle consists of three parts: upper, inner, and lower. According to Evliya Çelebi, Kütahya Castle has 72 bastions and is the third-largest castle of Türkiye due to this feature.
Also known as the Yıldırım Beyazıt Mosque, it is the largest and most beautiful mosque in Kütahya. While it lacks a courtyard, the rectangular plan mosque, restored by Mimar Sinan during the Rhodes expedition of Suleiman the Magnificent, was later largely repaired and took its final form with a dome. Large columns inside the mosque were brought from Aizanoi Ancient City. In the inner section, there is a small fountain, and, on top of the fountain, there is a four-column muezzin gallery. The main venue of the mosque is covered with two domes, side by side, and half domes on the sides supported with six columns. It is worth visiting just to see the tile panel depicting the Kaaba on the right of the mihrab, which is covered by a half dome.
The mosque was built by painter and ney (a type of flute) player Ahmet Yakupoğlu in 1973. The structure reflects an example of Central Asian Turkish architecture with its style and ornamentation. The inner side of the octagonal structure with two storeys and one dome is decorated with hand-drawn designs and the outer side with specially produced blue Kütahya tiles. It is an original example with its Turkish motifs and architecture.
Mevlevi Lodge - Dönenler Mosque
Built as the whirling house of the Mevlevi Lodge (Mevlevihane) in the 14th century, it is an original example of early period Anatolian Turkish architecture. This first Mevlevi Lodge of Kütahya underwent two repairs and the whirling house and dervish cells are still intact. The structure has a rectangular plan almost like a square and an octagonal pulley. The whirling house was converted into a mosque with subsequent repairs and by adding a mihrab. Locally, it is known as the Dönenler Mosque. On the entrance door of the mosque, there is a tile inscription from 19th century. The masjid adjacent to the structure was built by Imadüttin Hezar Dinari, known as the Conqueror of the Seljuk Period of Kütahya, and became the mausoleum of the Mevlevi Lodge upon the burial of Ergun Çelebi, the grandson of Rumi.
Dumlupınar Martyrs’ Memorial
The Dumlupınar Martyrs’ Memorial (Dumlupınar Şehitliği) was built to commemorate the soldiers who were martyred on all fronts during the War of Independence. It was opened to visitors with a grand ceremony on August 30, 1992, the anniversary of The Battle of Dumlupınar. The Martyrs’ Memorial consists of the Three Commanders’ Monument, the Militia Monument, a 500-person symbolic martyrs’ cemetery and epigraphs, The Martyr Father-Son Monument, the Mehmetçik Monument, the Namazgâh and the Fountain.
The Tile museum (Çini Müzesi) showcases ceramic architectural elements produced in Kütahya and İznik; tile inscriptions, tile vases, plates, panels and household items made of tiles are exhibited in chronological order. The entrance of the museum features the world’s second largest stone inscription, written in Ottoman Turkish.
Also known as the Vacidiye Madrasa (Vacidiye Medresesi). Among the exhibits are pieces belonging to the Palaeolithic since the Late Miocene period, and the Chalcolithic, Old Bronze, Hittite, Phrygian, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk, and Ottoman periods. One the few intact Amazon Sarcophagi in the world is exhibited in the museum.
Evliya Çelebi Culture and Art House
The house where Evliya Çelebi, the renowned traveller, scientist, historian, author and folklorist from Kütahya, was born. The Mausoleum of Kara Ahmed Bey, the grandfather of Evliya Çelebi, is located in the garden of the house. The old building next to the mansion has been turned into a centre for traditional handicrafts.
Zafertepe Çalköy Triumphal Arch
The Arch is in Zafertepe Çalköy, on the hill where the Field Battle of the Commander-in-Chief took place. August 30 ceremonies are held here. The distant view of stacked weapons and the Triumphal Arch (Zafer Anıtı) evoking a flaming torch symbolize the Turkish War of Independence. The Arch inspires future generations to achieve victory by uniting sooner or later against enemies both inside and outside the Turkish nation.
Dumlupınar War of Indipendence Museum
The museum is built on the battlefield where the War of Independence took place, and was established to commemorate the war. Exhibits feature various weapons, swords, photographs, documents and tools, and other items.
Mızık Çamı (Pine)
The baby cradle of Osman Gazi, the founder of the Ottoman Empire, was hung upon this larch-type pine. While the tree was damaged in 1980 as a result of natural factors, it had been recorded as 11 meters tall, 4.70 meters in circumference, and about 740 years old. It was registered as a monument tree.
Historical Kütahya Houses
Numbered among the examples of 19th century civil architecture and the wooden architectural characteristics of Anatolia, the Kütahya houses (Kütahya evleri) preserve their original forms. These picturesque two and three-storey houses carry the best examples of the old mansion architecture to the present, with wooden buttress corbels, window arrangements and wide eaves. The typical Kütahya house is generally large. The exterior surface is painted in white, mustard yellow, indigo-blue or ochre, and plastered with clay soil. The houses are particularly notable on Germiyan and Ahierbasan Streets.