Kütahya, 182 km (113 miles) southeast of Bursa and 78 km (49 miles) southwest of Eskişehir (map), is known for its beautiful colored tiles and pottery, but it has an interesting history as well.
Kütahya (kur-TAHH-yah, from the Latin Cotyaeum; pop. 250,000) rests beneath a ruined hilltop fortress in Aegean Turkey just about equidistant (around 330 km/205 miles, 5 hours) from Ankara, Istanbul, İzmir,Konya and Pamukkale.
Faience (Colored Tiles) & More
Everybody here seems to be in the business of making or selling faience (colored tiles), called çini (CHEE-nee) in Turkish, but the town also has an Ulu Cami (Great Mosque) dating from 1410, a 16th-century market building, and a former medrese (theological seminary) dating from 1440.
The interesting museum is in another medrese, the Vacidiye, dating from 1314, right next to the Ulu Cami.
Hungarian revolutionary hero Lajos Kossuth (1802-1851) fled to Turkey when his revolt (1849) against the Hapsburgs was crushed by Russian troops. He lived here from 1850 to 1851. His Kütahya house is now a museum.
While you’re here, visit the Roman ruins at Aizanoi with their well-preserved Temple of Zeus, next to village of Çavdarhisar 60 km (37 miles) south of Kütahya on the way to Uşak.
The scant remains of ancient Phrygia (1200-600 BC) are scattered through the hills east of Kütahya, south of Eskisehir and north of Afyon.
You can get to Kütahya by bus, car or train, although the train connections are not particularly good. Coming from Istanbul, cross the Sea of Marmara on a ferryboat to Yalova and catch a bus from there or from Bursa to Kütahya.
The nearest airport is at Afyon, but you might as well just go by road and ferry to Istanbul.
Distances & Travel Times
Afyon: 97 km (60 miles) S, 1.75 hours
Ankara: 310 km (193 miles) E, 5 hours
Bursa: 178 km (111 miles) N, 2.75 hours
Çavdarhisar (Aizanoi): 60 km (37 miles) S, 1 hour
Eğirdir: 268 km (167 miles) S, 4 hours
Eskişehir: 78 km (49 miles) NE, 1.5 hours
Isparta: 242 km (150 miles) S, 3.75 hours
Istanbul: 360 km (224 miles) N, 6 hours by road; or 233 km (145 miles) N, 3.75 hours to Yalova, plus 1 hour via ferry
İzmir: 334 km (208 miles) W, 5 hours
Konya: 320 km ( 200 miles) SE, 5 hours
Pamukkale: 314 km (195 miles) S, 5 hours
Uşak: 144 km (90 miles) SW, 2.5 hours
Yalova: 233 km (145 miles) N, 3.75 hours
—by Tom Brosnahan
|Hotels in Kütahya
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