Eskişehir, 324 km (201 miles) southeast of Istanbul, and 233 km (145 miles) west of Ankara (map), is an important industrial
and transport center in western
Turkey, but its claim to fame
The soft white stone which mineralogists
call sepiolite (hydrous magnesium
silicate, called lületasi in Turkish)
is mined in nearby villages and carved
into beads, necklaces, earrings and
especially tobacco pipes.
Though its name means "Old
City," what you'll see of
present-day Eskişehir (ess-KEE-sheh-heer,
alt. 730 meters/2400 feet, pop. 800,000)
is mostly modern, though the Roman
city of Dorylaeum was located
here or nearby.
carver making pipes
the soft white mineral.
Assuming that you're not interested
in visiting factories making cement,
locomotives and sugar, and are not
allowed into the big Turkish Air Force
base on the outskirts, you'll spend
your time seeing its several museums: Archeology,
Ethnography, Ottoman House and Lületaşı
(Meerschaum) Museum. The local
produce markets are fun. More...
In other words, without a keen interest
in meerschaum, There's not much
to hold you in Eskişehir.
South of the city 42 km (26 miles)
at Seyitgazi is the tomb complex of Seyit
Battal Gazi, an Umayyad military
commander who led his Arab army against
the Byzantines in 717-740 AD.
South of Seyitgazi was ancient Phrygia,
ruled by King Midas around 725
BC. The most impressive remaining monument
is at Midas
Şehri (Yazılıkaya). More...
Bus and train service
to Eskisehir is frequent. The trains
on the main Istanbul-Ankara,
come through here. More...
Distances & Travel Times
km (118 miles) N, 3 hours
km (144 miles) E, 3.75 hours
km (92 miles) W, 2.25 hours
km (205 miles) NW, 4.75 hours
km (256 miles) NE, 6 hours
km (207 miles) SE, 5 hours
km (49 miles) SW, 1.5 hours
—by Tom Brosnahan