Kutahya Tourist Attractions
Western Anatolian MountainsSituation and ImportanceThe provincial town of Kütahya occupies a position on the plain at the foot of the Yellice Dagi where the River Porsuk Çayi flows.
The town is overlooked by a magnificent, medieval castle with many towers. It is also famous as a pottery manufacturing center, supplying the home market with beautifully decorated plates painted in traditional patterns. In contrast to the tile production of the 16th century examples of which can be found in Turkey's many sacred buildings, the emphasis here has been and remains onthe production by hand of ornamental plates and pottery.HistoryThe history of Kütahya goes back to Phrygian times. Alexander the Great stopped in the town while marching to Gordion and it was here that the Byzantine emperor Romanus Diogenes had his eyes gouged out. In 1071 the town was captured by the Seljuks before falling to the Crusaders. It was won back in 1096. Members of the Germiyanoglu family, a Kurdish/Turkish dynasty, later built the fortress as it now appears, before the Ottomans took control under Mehmet II. The Mongol Timur used Kütahya as a headquarters. After Selim I conquered Persia in 1514, the forced resettlement of Azerbaijani artisans to Kütahya and Iznik resulted in the creation of the now famous glazed earthenware industry in which the workers followed Persian designs.
Today's potters produce bright colorful pieces which are distinct from the really valuable, more soberly painted works of the older artisans. Replicas of the latter are available but can be quite expensive. The town is an important carpet-weaving center and many of the factories are run as co-operatives.
Ishak Fatih Külliyesi
The Ishak Fatih Camii in Kütahya dates from 1434 and the adjoining Ishak Fatih Medresesi is a famous theological college from 1440.
The Orthodox church in Kütahya was built by Polish and Hungarian refugees who lived here in the middle of the 19th century
Within the handsome 14th century fortress in Kütahya stands the Kale-i Bala Camii (1375) and also an old medrese.
In the lower town of Kütahya stands the restored Grand Mosque. Dating from 1411 it was started by Bayazit I before 1400 and then finished by Mehmet II. The Ottoman architect probably replaced the original oak supports for the roof with 57 marble pillars from Aezani. Next door stands the old library (Kütüphane).
Umur Bey Bin Savat founded this theological college, observatory and institute of natural science and mathematics in Kütahya ca. 1314. It now serves as a Museum of Handicrafts with exhibits of glazed earthenware, embroidery and weaving.