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Eskişehir, an Anatolian city full of treasures – Part II

on 08/08/2015
Traditional Ottoman House in Odunpazarı

Traditional Ottoman House in Odunpazarı

 

In the previous article, we started our journey through Eskişehir with the Porsuk River and the multiple green spaces in its surroundings.

Today, we will discover Odunpazarı, one of the most attractive districts of the city with a vast amount of magnificent traditional Ottoman houses.

300 houses within 30 streets, 3 mosques, 1 complex, 2 caravanserais and 15 fountains have been renovated with the utmost care in an attempt to become part of the UNESCO World Heritage List, unfortunately unsuccessfully. However, in 2013 Eskişehir was chosen as the “Culture and Arts Capital of the Turkic World”.

The superb houses are mostly painted yellow, blue, rust, green, burgundy or white, colours that are in perfect harmony with the wooden windows, doors and corbelled arches.

Many of them are restaurants and cafes, often with pretty yards and inner gardens, handicraft shops and even museums, such as the Wax Museum (balmumu heykeller müzesi) and the Caricature Museum.

Kursunlu Mosque and its impressive complex are also situated in the Odunpazarı district. Built between 1517 and 1525 by Acem Ali, chief imperial architect and predecessor of the famous Mimar Sinan, this place has about 20 rooms, notably an old semahane where the whirling dervishes practised their rituals, a library, a medrese (koranic school) and 2 caravanserais.

Kurşunlu Mosque

Kurşunlu Mosque

Today, part of these rooms welcome craftsmen and part of them have been turned into the Meerschaum Museum where you can admire dozens of artworks created with this local soft white mineral.

Amidst the complex you will also find an important glassblowing workshop.

What better way to end your visit than by sitting in the shade of one of the impressive trees in the yard and admiring the reflection of the sunlight on the beautiful houses of Odunpazarı, that will undoubtedly stay in your memory for a long time.


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