The Phrygians are one of those Anatolian peoples
nobody knows much about.
Actually, we only think we
know nothing. We've all heard about King
Midas (he of the Golden
The details on the Golden Touch business
are a bit vague (let's say legendary),
but there's nothing vague about Midas
Şehri (MEE-dahss shehh-ree),
the "City of [King] Midas, 72
km (45 miles) north of Afyon,
32 km (20 miles) south of Seyitgazi,
and 107 km (66 miles) south of Eskişehir in
the village of Yazılıkaya ("Inscribed
The Temple to Mita (Kybele
or Cybele) is a striking 17-meter-high
(56-foot-high) rock wall carved in
the 6th century BC with a niche for
a statue at the base. It was dedicated
to the perdurable Anatolian
fertility goddess whose name
and attributes change over the centuries,
but not her function as the female
focus. Atop the rock from which the
temple is carved are ruins of altars and city
There's a much later rock-cut monastery next
to the temple, and a small museum nearby.
A few minutes' stroll to the west
is Küçük Yazılıkaya,
or Little Inscribed Stone, a smaller,
unfinished 6th-century BC temple.
The best way to visit Midas Sehri
is by car (private, rental or taxi)
so you can tour the other Phrygian
ruins in the region as well.
There's another temple near Midas
Şehri at Arezastis and,
in the village of Kümbet (Tomb),
a 12th-century Seljuk
Turkish mausoleum (kümbet)
near some older possibly Phrygian ruins.
Göynüş Vadisi has
a number of Phrygian rock-cut reliefs,
as do Kapıkayalar and Arslankaya.
At Ayazinkoyü are
cave dwellings similar (but not so
elaborate or grand) as those in Cappadocia.
All of these Phrygian sites are in
the region north of Afyon.
Plan to spend at least half
a day wandering around seeing
the sights of Phrygia. Bring
a picnic as there are no
services in the villages. The unpaved
labyrinth of village roads is not
well marked, so you may need to ask
directions if you're driving
—by Tom Brosnahan