Kütahya (Latin: Cotyaeum), is the central city of the province of Kütahya in Central Western Anatolia. According to ancient writings, coins, and inscriptions, the name of Kütahya in ancient times was “Kotiaeion” (Cotiaeion) . Famous Ancient Period geographer Strabon states that this name means “The City of Kotys.” Kotys were among the Odrysians that lived in Thrace and were named after a commander sent to Anatolia by the Romans in 38 A.D. On a coin found at the Kütahya Museum, this name is found as “Koti.” The name Kütahya was given by the Turks to resemble the ancient name . According to 2013 data, the population of the city is 249,558. The population increased respectively from 17,000 in 1927, 131,000 in 1990, 167,000 in 2000, and 213,000 in 2008 and decreased to 228,000 in 2014. The main places of the city that should be visited include the Kütahya Castle, Cumhuriyet Avenue (the new name is Sevgi Street), the large, renovated Vase in the city center made of ceramics, which has become a symbol of the city, and Germinyan Street, the Clock Tower, Zafertepe Monument, Historical Government House (currently used as the Courthouse) and the Phrygian Valleys.
Kütahya has a 5,000 year history. The civilizations that lived in Kütahya previously are:
Eastern Roman Empire
Anatolian Seljuk Empire
Dumlupınar University, which is located in Kütahya, is one of the leading universities in Turkey in terms of its physical structure and size.
Kütahya is established on the northern outskirts of the Yellice Mountain (former name is Acemdağı), in the south of the Kütahya Plain. The Qatar Water which comes from Bah passes through the middle of the plain and is around 3 km from the city center. It joins the Porsuk Creek, which is a large bayou of the Sakarya River. The city is situated in a place starting from the plain and rising towards the south. The altitude which is around 935 meters at the Alayunt, Balıkesir railway station rises to 970 meters in the market area. Around Hisar Hill, which contains the citadel ruins, the altitude surpasses 1,000 meters. The city is located along a river valley between this hill and Hıdırlık Hill. The old core of the city is in front of Hisar Hill and the important historical monuments are located in this area. While the houses become older towards the slopes of thehills, the new districts spread to the plains. The streets and avenues are wide and straight, while they are narrow, hilly and with stone sidewalks. Kütahya is connected in the west over Tavşanlı to Bursa (Marmara Region) and Balıkesir (Aegean coats), in the southwest over Çavdarhisar and Gediz to the Aegean Region, in the southeast over Afyon to Konya and the Mediterranean coast, and in the northeast to Eskişehir and Bilecik.
This location of the city led to it being chosen as a lively place of accommodation and an important administrative center in the Ottoman period. In the end of the 19th century, while the Anatolian railways were being constructed, Kütahya was not directly added to the route and was connected to the main railway with a short connection. The railway extending to Balıkesir during the republic period increased the vitality of the city. In addition to the existing brick and tile stove and flour factories present in the city, a sugar factory (1954) and a nitrogen plant (1961, extended in 1966) was added during the republic period and tile-making was also revived.
The main architectural works of the Germiyanids can be found in Kütahya. The mosques of this period are in the form of classical Ottoman mosques, with a single dome and portico, and three part narthex.
- Kurşunlu Mosque was commissioned in 1377 by Ahi Sheikh Mehmed. Its square space is covered by a dome with Turkish triangles. A cavetto vault can be found in the middle of the narthex, while small domes are found on the side.
- İshakfakih Mosque (1433) has ashlar brick walls and a spectacular façade. The Narthex is formed of three sections. One section is a shrine. Its spectacular façade and its well-ordered architecture draws attention. At the narthex, the ashlars are surrounded by red bricks. The column headings are Turkish triangles. The surrounding of the stone altar consists of two colored tiles that are common to the 15th century and also plant decorated tiles.
- Ulu Cami (Grand Mosque) was rebuilt (1889-1891) in the place of the mosque Yıldırım Bayezid started and Musa Çelebi finished in 1410. It is one of the important structures of the late period Ottoman architecture and a rare structure in the classic style. Here two consecutive domes are surrounded by six half-domes and there are one dome on each corner. The altar is in the form of a five-sided projection. It is covered by a half dome. The four cavetto vaults and the five part narthex is assumed to be left from the old structure. This mosque is viewed to be a very successful structure completed in the most complicated period of the Ottoman Empire.
- The shrine of Yakup Bey II of the Germiyanids (1390-1428) consists of the madrasas, mosque and imaret. The exact construction date of the shrine, which is used as a library today, is not known, but it is considered one of the most important religious buildings of the Germiyanids. The central parts contains a large dome, a fountain, an indoor courtyard open on three sides, with three arches facing outward and two-domes on both sides of three-domes entrances. Apart from the iwans being covered by domes, they resemble T-shaped or square Ottoman structures. The shrine of Yakup Bey is separated from the side porch by railings. Part of the sarcophagus is covered by tiles party from the 15th century and partly from its last repair. The domed structure on the left is the mosque of the social complex. A large number of inscriptions can be found in the three-part entrance porch. The Vacidiye Madrasah, considered to be one of the early examples of Germiyanid architecture, follows the Anatolian Seljuk tradition of closed madrassas.
- As can be understood from the inscriptions on the door of the mosque and the minaret, the Balıklı Mosque, located in the Balıklı neighborhood of Kütahya, was commissioned in 1237 by Hezar Dinari, known as the “Conqueror of Kütahya”, during the period of the Seljuk Sultan Gıyaseddin Keyhüsrev II (1237-1246). It was later repaired in 1381-1382 by Uzbek Subaşı during the period of Suleiman Shah of the Germiyanids (1361-1387). According to another inscription, a person named Salih Mehmet commissioned the minaret and had a pulpit placed inside.
The surrounding area of Kütahya Castle is around 3,500 m2. It contains seventy bastions. The castle is formed of three parts. The inner fortress was constructed after the upper and lower castles. One enters the inner fortress by passing between two doors. There are two doors on the east of the upper castle (also referred to as the main castle).
The inner castle is inside and on the west section of the upper castle. While this area is currently in ruins, is consisted of a surrounding area of 800 m2 and contained a mosque, two storerooms, cisterns and military barracks. Evliya Çelebi wrote that the castle was used as a jail.
Click for picture of Kütahya