attractive Aegean city, Manisa has preserved
several splendid examples of Seljuk and Ottoman
architecture. Endowed by Ayşe Sultana, mother of Süleyman
the Magnificent, the Sultan Mosque was built early in the
16th century. Every year in April, on the grounds of this
mosque, a festival is held celebrating Mesir Macunu, a
sticky imperial elixir that reputedly cured the sultan's
ailing mother. The 16th century Muradiye Mosque was designed
by the great architect Sinan and the adjacent medrese, or
theological college, today houses the Archaeological Museum.
September sees the annual Harvest Festival begin when the
fruit of the vineyards are brought in with great
celebration. The region's numerous vineyards produce grapes,
dried for export. South of the city lies the Sipil Dagı
National Park, home of the famous "crying rock" of
Niobe. If you travel to the northeast you come to Gördes, a
pleasant town particularly known for its fine carpets.
ruins of ancient Sart (Sardis), once the capital of the
Lydian realm of Croesus, lie on the Sart Cayi (Pactole
River). Here the first coins were minted. The Temple of
Artemis and a restored gymnasium testify to the city's past
splendour, as does the important third-century A.D.
synagogue. On the south side of Sardis, Mt. Boz offers
trekking and other mountain sports. On its south slope, in
the village of Birgi, is the Cakir Aga Mansion, a fine
example of traditional Turkish architecture.
Kutahya is a small province in the midst of hill
country, clustering about the walls of an impressive hilltop fortress.
It is the hometown of the world famous Yagolbedir Carpets, and Kütahya
tiles which you can see everywhere in the country. But the best and the
cheapest are in Kutahya, where you may visit the workshops and see
these tiles produced with designs from the 16th- and 17th-centuries.
They are especially famous for their cobalt blue on a milky white
background. The old wood and stucco houses of Kütahya are picturesque.
The Hungarian House (Kossouth Museum) and those on the Germian Street
are the most interesting ones. Kutahya is a thermal springs center with
Harlek-lilca, Muratdagi-Gediz and Eynal-Simav, among the most famous .
the southwest of Kutahya an ancient city awaits you for an eccentric
archaeological excursion, Cavdarhisar (Aizanoi) has one of the best
preserved Roman temples in Anatolia; the Temple of Jupiter. Dating back
to the time of Hadrian, it was built for the worship of Zeus and also
the Anatolian fertility goddess Kybele. A Byzantine fortress, the Seljuk
Hidirilk Mosque and Balikil Bath and the Ottoman Bedesten, Saadettin
Mosque, Sengui Bath are just some of the important historical remains in
At Murat Mountain there are camping facilities
including hot springs in the midst of delightful scenery.
City, western Turkey. It lies along the Porsuk River, at
the foot of a hill crowned by a ruined medieval castle. Kutahya,
known as Cotyaeum in antiquity, lay on the great road from the Marmara
region to the Mesopotamian plains; the town flourished and declined
according to the changing importance of the trade routes. As a medieval
Byzantine town, it was taken by the Seljuk Turks toward the end of the
11th century. It functioned as the capital of the Germiyan Turkmen
principality from 1302 to 1429 before its absorption into the Ottoman
Empire. During the 16th century, Kutahya emerged as a center of
the Ottoman ceramic industry, supplying tiles
and faience for mosques, churches, and other buildings
in Turkey and parts of the Middle East. Its importance was eclipsed by
the growth of neighboring Eskisehir at the end of the 19th
century, but the development of industries at Kutahya in the
mid-20th century restored some of the town's former importance. Its
industries now include sugar refining, tanning, nitrate processing,
pottery and carpet making, and the manufacture of smoking pipes and
other articles from meerschaum (silicate of magnesium), which is
extracted in the vicinity. Kutahya is linked by road and railway
with Eskisehir (40 miles [65 km] northeast) and Afyon Karahisar
(56 miles [90 km] southeast). The city's old neighborhoods have
traditional Ottoman houses made of wood and stucco.