Why Visit Uşak: Turkey’s Aegean Region

Last Updated on September 20, 2019

Uşak, ancient Temenouthyrae, has never been considered a tourist draw. But it can serve as the base to visit some interesting sites to the south. Uşak’s Archaeology Museum houses more than 350 objects of the “Lydian Hoard” that once were displayed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Some scholars think Paul traveled to Ephesus along an “interior” road (Acts 19:1) that passed through this region from Apamea (Dinar). (I think Paul traveled the faster and easier route through Laodicea.) Eumenea (Işıklı) features third-century Christian epitaphs concluding with the so-called “Eumenean Formula”: anyone who disturbs the tomb “will have to reckon with God.” At Sebaste (Selçikler) are the ruins of a large basilica church. Inscriptions from Acmonia (Ahat) mention the presence of a synagogue and large Jewish population in the first century AD. West of the scenic bridge at Cilindras spanning the Banaz River are the remains of a monastery at Pepouza (south Karayakuplu). It was once the center of the Montanists considered heretical by some. On the way west to see the well-preserved ruins at Blaundos, make sure to stop at Ulubey Canyon, Turkey’s version of the Grand Canyon. A glass floor provides a spectacular view of the canyon below. These sites are off the beaten track and draw few foreign tourists. Nevertheless, all are worth a look in a picturesque rural setting that became Christianized by the third century.

––– Dr. Mark Wilson

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