Kütahya is, like Iznik, famous for its coloured tiles and pottery. While İznik specializes in luxurious hand-made ceramics, Kütahya has focused more on industrial production and is Turkey's leading tile-producing centre. The city has about 250,000 inhabitants and is the capital of the like-named province.
History of Kütahya
Kütahya's earliest known inhabitants were the Phrygians. The city was in antiquity known Kotyaion, Latinized as Cotyaeum, and underwent the usual Anatolian succession of conquerors and rulers including Alexander the Great, Rome, and Byzantium. After the Battle of Manzikert in 1071, the town was occupied by the Seljuks, subsequently taken by the Crusaders and reconquered by the Seljuks who made it the capital of the Turkmen principality (beylik) of Germiyan. In 1427, the last of the Germiyan sultans, Yakup II, bequeathed his beylik to the Ottoman Empire.
The golden age of Kütahya as a tile-making centre began when Sultan Selim I took Tabriz in 1514 and brought all of its ceramic artisans to Iznik and Kütahya. For more than two hundred years, the two cities rivalled on the quality of their work until the end of the 17th century when the Iznik industry came to an end.
Sights and Photos of Kütahya
Many of Kütahya's public buildings, like the bus station, are entirely covered with tiles and there are shops selling ceramics on almost every street. The city centre with its lively bazaar area is dominated by the Ottoman fortress. The 15th-century Great Mosque or Ulu Cami is also located in the bazaar area. It was built between 1381 and 1410 under Yıldırım Sultan Bayezid I. The region around Kütahya has plenty of water and on almost every street corner there is a fountain lavishly decorated with ceramic tiles. The archaeology museum is housed in the Vacidiye Medresi, a historical Islamic school, which was commissioned in 1314 by the Germiyan ruler Umur bin Savcı. Its main attraction is the Roman sarcophagus from Aizanoi, carved with scenes of fighting Amazons.
Here are the photos of Kütahya, click on the thumbnails to see greater pictures.
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Travel Information & Travel Tips
The main reason for us to visit Kütahya was the nearby archaeological site of Aizanoi at 57 km southwest of Kütahya. It is about 1-hour drive by taxi.