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22.09.2019 | 23:31:29
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  Ankara - Cappadocia - Aizonai
 
Upon crossing the Roman bridge stretching over the Koca Brook, one enters a vast area surrounded by barbed wire. This is the Aizona Antique City where one of the best-preserved Roman temples in Anatolia, the Zeus Temple, is located. The gigantic podiums and the high columns invoke the splendor of this city that used to serve kings once upon a time. While the name and the story of the Zeus Temple is known widely, few are aware that this temple is in the Aizona Antique City. This ancient city built three thousand years ago has for ages attracted the attention of a myriad of civilizations. It is thought that the name of the city of Aizonai, the city being in the Cavdarhisar district center, which is 57 km to Kütahya, was derived from the mythological hero, Azan. According to the myth, Azan is the son of Zeus' daughter, Water Fairy Erato and the Arcadian King Arkas. Like many other hills in the south where the pioneer Phyrgians had settled, Aizonai is one of the main settlements of the Phyrgians. Around the Zeus Temple, which is on the high plateau of the city, archeological excavations have uncovered settlement layers belonging to 3000 B.C. One of the settlement hills spotted at several sections of the plateau recently was in the main sacred area during the early periods of Anatolia. During the Hellenistic period this area was variably under the rule of Pergamos and Bithyni; in 133 B.C it was placed under Roman rule. It is known that the first coins of the Aizonai date back to the first half of the Second Century B.C. Aizonai, enriched due to its cereal agriculture, wine and wool production during the Roman Empire period had fame that transcended the boundaries of the region but the findings on proper urbanization belong to the end of the first century. Aizonai’s privileged status as the center of episcopacy in the Early Byzantine Period waned from the VIIth Century on. The base of the temple was transformed into a fort in the Medieval Period. It was used by the Cavdar Tartars as their base during the Seljuki Period in the 13th century. For this reason, the area is called Cavdarhisar. This area was re-discovered by European travellers in 1824; was examined and described in 1830-1840's. Led by M. Schede and D. Krencher, the excavations of the German Archeology Institute took start in 1926. The work has been going on since 1970. It has been estimated that the antique city had approximately 120,000 habitants in old times. Among the ruins are the Zeus Temple, a theatre with a capacity of 20,000 people and adjacent to it a stadium of 13,500 people, two hammams (Turkish baths), the first stock-exchange building of the world, a street with columns, five bridges across Kocacay of which the two are intact, the sacred area of Meter Steunene, necropolises, an ancient dam on the Koca Brook, water channels and monumental gate structures. The city of Aizonai was contemporary with the cities of Ephesus, Pergamos and Side. Although the history of Aizonai goes back as far as 3,000 B.C., all of the buildings in this city are from the 1st and 2nd centuries of the Roman period. The Zeus Temple identified with this city was also built during this period. It is thought that the Temple was dedicated to both mother goddess Kybele and Zeus. The theater and the adjacent stadium, the 450-meter long columned street, the gymnasium, the hammam and the monumental tomb are some of the other ruins, which can be seen in Aizonai. Objects unearthed from the excavations in the city.
     
 
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Hello Ezop Just back to home. Very tired a long way flight and air traffic. About services, The guides were very knowledgable and friendly and picked us up promptly. The only problem was we forget your bottled Cappadocia Wines at hotel in Kusadasi. Other than that we had a fabulous time. The hotels that you choosed in Cappadocia and Bodrum were very nice and the little cruise was perfect. Home sweet home. Michael / Robbie CURRY