Join Date: Dec 2004
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Originally Posted by space_invader
hey - illuminating snapshots.
what's the story with this town - it looks like it could be in any number of European countries: It reminds me a little of Liege, Belgium or some of the urban quality found in Polish cities.
that dam is damn impresssive too!
Actually Ozcan has edited my thread in Turkey forums. There was also this explanation about the city
Eskisehir is one of the oldest settlements (3500 BC) in this region of Anatolia. It was founded in the 1st millennium BC by the Phrygians. The Porsuk River and its banks have been a proper foundation place. The city is of interest with its museums; the Archaeological Museum which houses the Phrygian objects and sculptures; the Ottoman House Museum which is a very fine example of the 19th century domestic architecture and has the local ethnographical items.
There are three significant tombs around Eskisehir. These are Sheik Edibali Tomb, The Kumbet Baba Tomb, and The Cupola of Alemsah. Phrygian Valley, The Falcon Fortress, The Unfinished Monument, and the Gerdek Rock are other historical sites to visit. In Eskisehir you will frequently see items made of meerschaum stone since this is the place where it originates. You will see the best meerschaum stone works at the Meerschaum Museum; it is a very light white stone and mostly used to make smoking pipes. The Rug and Seyitgazi Museums have many samples of different kinds of kilims and hand-knit socks and stockings.
In Eskisehir there is opportunity to have good time at Sakaryabasi where there is a spring lake and fresh fish restaurants in which you can also find traditional Turkish meals.
Outside Eskisehir is Sivrihisar (Justinianopolis) full of typical Ottoman houses and famous for its kilims. Seyit Battal Gazi (Nakoleia) is 45 km south of Eskisehir. The mosque complex on the hill was built to pay homage to the hero Seyit Battal.
The Yunus Emre Village is the burial place of the world famous great poet of the 13th century, Yunus Emre. There is a commemorative tomb built for him as well as a museum, and celebrations are held here every May.
"Birth Festivities" which are dedicated to Nasreddin Hoca, a humor master and public philosopher, is organized in Eskisehir every year in the last week of June.
Eskisehir is divided into a commercial and industrial section, situated on low ground, and a residential quarter that occupies higher ground. One of the largest industrial centers in Turkey, it produces sugar, textiles, bricks, cement, chemicals, processed meerschaum, and railway and agricultural equipment. It also has aircraft workshops and is a center for cotton research. It is a rail junction on the Istanbul-Ankara and Istanbul-Baghdad lines. Eskisehir is the seat of the University of Anatolia
One of the most important settlement centers of the Phrygians, between the 8th and 6th centuries BC, was Midas, situated 66 kms south of Eskisehir. At this place of distant past, stands the ancient city with an acropolis overlooking the lower land. On its northwestern side are two open-air cult temples, carved into the rock, and the most interesting sight in the area.
There are rock tombs and Phrygian inscriptions nearby, and a recently discovered underground tunnel which links the site to the valley extending below. The Midas Monument which was built in dedication to Cybele lies to the northwest of the ancient city. Three tombs in the environs of Midas which are found at Kucuk Yazilikaya, Sutunlu Kale and Doganli Kale are especially remarkable. Kumbet and Deveboynu are other towns close to Midas, and visitors can enjoy the Phrygian monuments spread over these neighboring lands.
The name Midas is inextricably associated with Gordion. A number of Phrygian kings bore this name, and over the centuries a kind of composite mythical figure has emerged around whom a number of legends have grown up. The best known of these is that of Midas and the golden touch.
King Midas of Phrygia, a kingdom in Asia Minor, was a good and gracious man, though overly fond of luxury and wealth. Supposedly he founded the ancient city of Ancyra, the modern Ankara, capital of Turkey. Now it happend that the wine god Dionysus with his entourage passed through the realm of Midas on his way to India where he hoped to establish his worship and the use of wine. Sileinus, one of the god's attendants, wandering off drunk from the grand procession was captured by peasants who brought him before the king. Midas ordered his release and wined and dined him royally. Dionysus, grateful for the kindness done his companion, offered Midas the grant of any one wish, and Midas asked for the gift of the golden touch.
(Statue of Midas: Anatolian civilizations museum)
Dionysus in his divine widsom saw where this would inevitably lead, but depsite his plea the Midas reconsider, his request, the king persisted and the god was bound to honor his promise. Soon enough Midas learned that even his food would turn to gold. He begged Dionysus to take back the gift, which he could not do, but he told Midas instead to bathe in the River Pactolus. He did, and the power granted the king was somehow transferred to the river. And so the Pactolus in historical times was far famed for the grains of gold that could be washed from its sands.
Another tale tells of how Midas was called upon to judge a musical contest between Apollo and the satyr Pan (Marsyas).Now Midas himself chiefly worshipped the god Pan, who played beautiful music on his pipes, and Pan had challenged Apollo to a music contest with King Midas as judge. The King Midas awarded the prize to Apollo's lyre-playing rather than Pan for the music of his pipes. Midas made no secret of his opinion that Pan was the better musician. In anger, Apollo changed the king's ears to those of an ass, and the humiliated Midas took to wearing the Phrygian hat - a kind of stocking cap - pulled down over his ears. Only his barber knew the truth, and he had been sworn to secrecy. But the knowledge got to be more than the gossipy old barber could contain. So he went out into the country, dug a hole in a solitary place, whispered the secret into the hole, and then covered it up much relieved. But the following spring reeds and grases grew on the spot where the barber had planted his secret, and the wind whispering through them told the sibilant secret over and over again:
Midas has ass's ears,
Midas has ass's ears,
Midas has ass's ears.
These legends are thought to relate to the successor of Gordios, about whom another story that may have some basis in reality exists. It tells how, during the reign of Gordios, an oracle foretold that a poor man who would enter Gordion by ox cart would one day rule over the Phrygians.As the king and nobles were discussing this prediction, a farmer named Midas arrived at the city in his cart Gordios, who had no heirs, saw this as the fulfillment of the prophecy and named Midas his successor. Subsequently Midas had his cart placed in the temple of Cybele on the Gordion acropolis, where it was to stand for half a millennium, Somehow the belief arose that whoever untied the knot that fixed the cart to its yoke would become master of Asia. During his stay in the city Alexander the Great took it upon himself to undo the knot, severing it with his sword.The final king of the Phrygian Empire was also called Midas, and some concrete information about his reign survives. He is referred to in Assyrian records as Mitas of Mushki, who paid tribute to the Assyrians after being defeated in battle by them. He is thought to have reigned from 725 BC to 696 BC and the Greek historian Herodotus describes how he dedicated his throne at the Delphic shrine of Apollo and married the daughter of one of the Ionian kings.
Lületasi (Meerschaum stone)
The major local art in Eskisehir is Meerschaum, called as "white gold" or "aktas" or "patal" by locals. Working with meerschaum is a handicraft and special to this province. Meerschaum may have white, yellowish, gray or reddish and mat colors. Its hardness degree is between 2-2.5, and it is lightly adhesive and porous. It is extracted from 20-60-130 meters depth of the ground as big and small rounds. Small rounds are collected by digging deep wells and tunnels connected to these wells.
Some wells are watery, some wells are dry. Stones of watery wells are much better. Meerschaum is produced in different places like Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Mexico, Madrid, and Nairobi; however, they are unimportant in quantity and low in quality. Meerschaum with the highest quality is found in Eskisehir. The property that while drying it keeps the remains of moisture and gases in its body, makes Meerschaum a suitable material for making tobacco pipes as well as a good filling material for absorbent, filter or isolation in industry. It became an indispensable material in industry for years. It is used in making cigarette-holder, tobacco pipe and decorative goods and in automobile paint industry. It is added to porcelain paste, insecticides, powder and stain removing medicines.
There are three geological periods in its formation:
First Order : It is an ore in sandy-clay soil at 10-14 meters depth.
Second Order : It forms between 40-60 meters depth. It is an ore existing in clay.
Third Order : Meerschaum with the highest quality forms in Conglomerate series and it exists in 80-130 meters depth fitting with the topography. Other kinds of meerschaum are: cotton-piece, granular cast, unit unity and puny.
The places where Meerschaum extracted from are: Sarisu, Yenisehir, Türkmentokat, Gökçeoglu, Karaçay, Sögütçük, Sepetçi, Margi, Nemli, Kümbet, Yeniköy, Kepertepe, Karahöyük and Basören. In addition to tobacco pipes, products like chess sets, bracelets, necklaces and earrings have an important ratio in export. Foreign customers are USA, Austria, Holland, Belgium and Germany. Nowadays, the amount of export is at least USD 1-1.5 million a year. Furthermore, some value is added to Turkish economy by selling handworks made by Meerschaum to tourists visiting Turkey.
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