28-km before Afyon we turn to left at the Ayazin junction sign and proceed to the eastern direction for 4 kms. Ayazin is a large village spread over both sides of a stream’s bed.
It is a turf land and the first settlement in the area goes as far back as to the Hittites.
As the quality of the base rock is easy to dig and cultivate, same as in Cappadocia, numerous cultures and civilizations chose Ayazin to settle down.
It has developed as a religious centre in the Roman and Byzantine times.
During the period when Christianity was forbidden, the rock houses made secure homes for the first Christians. The interior of the multi storey houses is also arranged for multi-use. The Avdalaz Castle is a typical specimen for such a multi-use settlement. There are Roman time rock tombs all around Ayazin. The grave rooms with medusa heads and lion reliefs make also typical specimens.
The Oyma Kilise (The Carved Church) on a location in Ayazin called as Tepecik is named by the peasants as “Gavur Hamamı” is in fact a work from the Byzantines.

This monument of a lion’s head carved out of a gigantic piece of rock is 7 km from Ihsaniye. Phrygians made this7-m wide and 11-m high monument. The 2.37- meter high statue of Mother Goddess Kybele and the Phrygian inscriptions are worth to see.

Afyon City Centre
Afyon, reknown with its clotted cream, lokum (Turkish delight) and opium poppy has been an important rest-break junction point on the caravan routes. The Hittites, Phrygian, Lydian and the Persians left behind traces of their cultures and art. The most important of the historical structures is the Castle of Afyon. It stands on a 226-meter high steep rocky hill in the middle of the city. It was first built by the Hittites in 1350 BC in the name of King Mursil II. The Seljuk Sultan Alaaddin Keykubat kept his state treasures in this castle. They name the inner section of this castle as Kiz Kulesi. In this section are the ruins of masjids palaces, grain cellars, arsenals and water cisterns Alaaddin Keykubat caused to be built.
You can also visit in Afyon the Archaeology and Ethnography Museums. One other interesting building of Afyon is the Ulu Cami. It is built in 1272 and stands on 40 timber columns and it is all wooden made. The houses around it are made of wood too.

Başkomutanlık Milli Parkı
This park, 7-km on the Afyon-lzmir highway, must be visited. The order to begin the attack was issued by Atatürk at Afyon Kocatepe on 26 August 1922, which carried the independence war to victory. The traces of these battles, that have taken their place in Turkey’s history as the 30 August Victory Day, can be seen in this Başkomutanlık National Park. Atatürk’s climb up to Kocatepe is resembled at the entrance of the National Park with a gigantic statue. The Kocatepe and Dumlupinar battlefields, the graveyards of the fallen soldiers and the monuments are the places to be seen. There is a two storeys, 19-room museum building in the field where the memorial things of the Başkomutanlık Meydan Muharebesi (The Chief Commandership Field Battle) are displayed.

Around Afyon
There are several other ancient sites around Afyon even if they are not so important as Ayazin. Synnada (Phrygian capital during Roman and Byzantine times) in Şuhut district, Apameia (in Dinar and the stadium and theatre ruins can be partly see today), Amorium (in Hisarköy village of Emirdağ dating back to Bronze Age) and Prymnessus (with its ruins at Sülün Village near Afyon) are places worth to visit. Yedi Kapı (Seven Gates) is on the Bolvadin-Emirdağ highway, 3-km to the north of Kemerkaya town and 1 km in the fields from the road. It is a rocky settlement site carved in the turf base and used in the late Roman and early Byzantine ages similar to that in Ayazin. Some excavation works started in 1997; an underground complex carved in the rocks was brought up that consisted of some military, administration and housing structures. Works continue.

Eber and Akşehir Lakes
They both are watery lands housing very rich in variety flora and birds species. Crested pelicans, multi-coloured herons and purple herons live here in colonies. They fish in both lakes. They both are declared as natural reservation areas.

Thermal City Afyon
Afyon is one of the oldest thermal centres of Turkey. Numerous modern hotels are added to the city during recent years. The Hüdai Thermal springs, 7-km away from Sandıklı, have been in use since ancient history.

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