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Aizanoi pictures - in the Çavdarhisar village

Bütün Türkiye resimleri için buraya basınız --- veya --- Diğer antik kentler
Click here for my page with very many Turkish cities ---OR--- Other antique cities

When in June 2008 I finally made it to Aizanoi in the Çavdarhisar village I did not know what to expect. Well, I knew about a temple dedicated to Zeus, but that was all. I had passed the spot often, either coming from Kütahya going south or vice versa, but always had been in a hurry. This time around I decided to spend a whole Sunday to see the temple and what else might be there. I found that I needed the better part of a day to see all the sights, and even then I missed out on some. I also found the connection to Çavdarhisar by public transport is excellent, and getting away even easier (any bus passing seems to make a stop here to pick up travelers).

Some people will think I show too many similar pictures and a bit too many anyhow, but for others that is precisely what they like, viewing things from many angles, a thing I try myself all the time. In my captions I quote or paraphrase heavily the fine guide that was handed to me for free describing the town. The belediye (council) seems to do a lot to advertise the place well, and so do its proud inhabitants. I was told there is still a lot of digging to do, because there is a lot still in the ground. One inhabitant told me he and others on one hand hoped the number of visitors would increase and that the town would become as important as, say, Ephesos. On the other hand they feared what that might do to the local economy and, importantly, the mentality of the people: would they become as greedy as their brethren in more touristy spots? I hope not.

Azan, a mythical hero, son of King Arkas and the nymph Erato, was supposedly the forefather of the Phrygians. Thus the main town for the Phrygian people of the Aizanitis was Aizanoi. Recent digs on the plateau on which the Zeus temple sits have revealed 3rd millennium BC settlements. During the Hellenistic era the town was now in the hands of rulers of Pergamon, then Bithynian, and in 133 BC became Roman. That is to say, from as late as the last third of the first century BC indications of there being a town proper are revealed. In the early Byzantine age it had a bishops seat, but in the 7th century the town lost its importance. The temple was turned into a fortress in the Middel Ages and served as a stronghold for the Seljuk tribe of the Çavdar-Tartars. Hence its present name, “Çavdarburg”. In 1824 European explorers discovered the site. 1926 saw the start of excavations by the German Archaeological Institute that with a break still continue.
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