The Karahisar Castle (Karahisar Kalesi) which is located in a protected area within the city centre, is the place identified with the city for its closely associated with the formation of the name of Afyonkarahisar.
The history of the castle built on a volcanic mountain dates back to 1350 BCE. The Karahisar Castle was used for storing the state treasury during the Ottoman times. The castle is 226 meters high with a gorgeous view.
At the summit of the castle, traces of the Phrygians have been encountered, and there are many worship places dedicated to the Mother Goddess Kybele and 4 large cisterns. During the period of Seljuk Sultan Alaaddin Keykubat, the walls were repaired, and a small mosque and a palace were built next to the castle. Also a must-see is the Maiden Tower, located somewhat higher next to the castle.
The Karahisar Castle has become a wishing place for those who want to marry, have children etc. Those who want to get married shout down from the Maiden Tower, saying "O my faith, my faith, O my golden throne, it is my time to get married". Sometimes "It is time to have a child " wishes rise from the castle. There is a rumour among the locals that those who go to the Karahisar Castle will stay in Afyonkarahisar for seven years.
War of Independence and Martyr’s Cemeteries/Monuments
Afyonkarahisar is a city that has played a very important role from the beginning to the end of the War of Independence. Afyonkarahisar is one of the symbolic cities of our War of Independence, where the Great Offensive started and was led and directed by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Republic was established as a result of the Great Offensive launched in this city and the Pitched Battles. In Afyonkarahisar, there are martyr’s cemeteries (şehitlik) and monuments of Mustafa Kemal, heroic soldiers, in order to keep the memories of the Mehmetçik (heroic soldiers of the Turkish Army), who were martyred in the Great Offensive.
Martyr’s Cemetery of The Great Offensive, Air Force Martyr’s Cemetery, Anıtkaya Martyr’s Cemetery, Giresunlular Martyr’s Cemetery, Suvermez Martyr’s Cemetery, Yüzbaşı Agah Efendi Martyr’s Cemetery, Yıldırım Kemal Martyr’s Cemetery, Martyr’s Cemetery of the Şuhut War of Independence, Kocatepe Monument and Utku Monument are among the martyr’s cemeteries and monuments that should be visited.
Grand Mosque (Ulu Cami), one of the oldest mosques in Afyonkarahisar, was built by Afyonkarahisar Sanjak-Bey Nusreddin Hasan during the Anatolian Seljuk Period between 1272 and 1277. Grand Mosque, also known as the “40 Direkli Mosque”, ie. the mosque with 40 columns, is one of the most beautiful examples of 13th century Seljuk period woodworking, as it was built on 40 wooden columns and capitals in five rows. Currently the mosque, which was repaired to preserve its old structure, is one of the unique woods and brick architecture examples from the Seljuk period.
Grand Mosque is among the Türkiye's UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List.
During the downfall of the Hittites around 1200 BCE, a tribe called the Phrygians started to migrate to Anatolia from the west. Their political superiority began in 750 BCE.
The Phrygian Valleys are an enormous region unparalleled in the world, with rock fragments, historical and ancient ruins bearing the traces of the Phrygian Civilization. This area of natural beauty, stone monuments, rock settlements, open-air temples, fairy chimneys and 3,000 years of history is located among Türkiye's 10 most beautiful valleys.
The Phrygians established a long inherent culture in the crossroad of Afyonkarahisar-Eskisehir - Kütahya provinces. They created the most interesting and valuable works of cultic tombs and monuments in the world, like the temple facades of the Mother Goddess Kybele Cult cut in large rock blocks, as well as the embossed lion reliefs related to the Mother Goddess Kybele Cult.
Among the most important of these unique Phrygian rock-cut monuments are the Aslantaş, Yılantaş, Maltaş, Kapıkaya I and Kapıkaya II monuments, located in the north of Afyonkarahisar, in the İhsaniye District, Göynüş Valley, and the town, Döğer. The most important must-see monuments located in the Phrygian Valley are the Aslankaya, Kapıkaya 1-2, and Maltaş open-air temples (Maltaş açık hava tapınağı), the Ayazini ruins (Ayazini kalıntıları), the Aslantaş and Yılantaş rock-cut tombs, the Yedikapılar and Memeç rock settlements, and the Bayramaliler, Avdalaz and Asar Castles (Asar Kalesi). Other valuable historical places to see within the Phrygian Valley, are the Kırkinler, Seyildi fairy chimneys, the Ağın Rock Settlement, the Ornaş Rock Settlement, the Selimiye Rock Tombs, and the Antique Marble Quarry.
It is known that the Ayazini Village (Ayazini köyü) was as settlement place since Phrygian Period. The family and single-person rock-cut tomb chambers from the Roman and Byzantine periods, the churches and rock-cut settlements from the Byzantine Period are carved works, as the land was suitable for such a settlement. There are masterpieces of art such as the grave chamber with standing lion figures, the grave chamber with columns, and a church carved into the rock with exterior and interior architecture work. In addition, there is the Avdalaz Castle (Avdalaz Kalesi), where the rock mass was carved and turned into a settlement, with a cistern inside. Phrygian tourism festivals are held every year in the Ayazini tourism centre. The village, which is considered Phrygia’s heart, will soon become a major tourist attraction titled, “Ayazini Village Tourist Reception Centre”.
Ayazini Rock Houses: The area around the entrance of the Ayazini District and on the left side to the town was formed of Tuff. The first settlements were carved into the formation already in the Early Byzantine Period. Some houses have single rooms, some are carved side by side and one on top of the other, adjacent to each other or separately. Some can be reached by steps, while others are reached through tunnel-like passages inside.
Ayazini Rock Tombs: The rock-cut tombs for family or single-person rock tombs belong to the Roman and Byzantine periods. Some of them are carved as double floors. The fact that the cemetery of Ayazini Town is in the same place, gives the important information that people preferred the same areas for cemeteries. The entrances to the grave chambers have facades with engraved Medusa heads, and triangular shaped pediment, which is followed by an ante-space, opening to the arched chamber with an arched door, which contain cist graves. Some of them are decorated with lion reliefs, and one with reliefs of the husband and wife.
Ayazini Church (Ayazini Kilisesi): It is a church carved into the rock in a steep tuff that you can see when entering the Ayazini Town. The characteristic of the church structure is that it has an apse and a dome carved into the rock surface as an exterior facade. It is a monastery structure built in the 1000s with the rock chambers adjacent to it.
Afyonkarahisar Archaeology Museum
The Afyonkarahisar Archaeology Museum (Afyonkarahisar Arkeoloji Müzesi), which is a single-storey structure, exhibits the archaeological artefacts found in Afyonkarahisar and its surroundings, which range from the Chalcolithic period to the Byzantine period, in chronological order within 9 exhibition halls. The tools and equipment from the Hittite, Phrygian, Lydian, Roman and Byzantine periods, give us important information about the life, belief, production and trade of the local people from 3000 BCE to the present day. These works make it one of the most distinguished museums of the region.
In the garden of the museum, Roman and Byzantine grave steles, sarcophagi, pithoi, sculptures, and tombstones belonging to the Seljuk, Principalities and Ottoman periods are displayed.
The Victory Museum (Zafer Müzesi) is located in the city centre opposite the Victory Monument and the Afyonkarahisar Castle. It is a two-storey building, built by Saitoğlu Mehmet Sait Efendi in 1915-1920, before the founding of Republic, and has neo-classical features in general. It is also significant, as it was the place where the “Battle of Dumlupınar”, or known as the “Field Battle of the Commander-in-Chief (Başkomutanlık Meydan Muharebesi) was planned and ordered.
The museum provides information about the “Field Battle of the Commander-in-Chief”, and exhibits rooms in memory of Commander-in-Chief Mustafa Kemal Pasha, Western Front Commander İsmet İnönü Pasha, Chief of General Staff Fevzi Çakmak Pasha, and Western Front Operations Branch Director Tevfik Bıyıkoğlu.
As the number of works collected through the special interest and efforts by Muharrem Bayar during his time as principle of the Bolvadin Lise increased more and more, it became necessary to establish a museum. In 1987, through the efforts of the then-mayor, Etem Kelekçi, the "Municipal Cinema", which was a property of the municipality, was re-designed to serve as “the Bolvadin Museum” (Bolvadin Müzesi). With the restoration of Yanık Barracks in 2008, the Bolvadin Museum was moved to the Yanık Kışla building and continued to serve as the City Museum.
In addition to the works originating from the Old Bronze Age, and Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk, Ottoman and Republican periods, which were collected from the center and the villages of Bolvadin; it has a total of 988 archaeological and ethnographical works, coins and archive documents. Especially, local features, such as Bolvadin cream making, wickerwork and handicraft are exhibited. The Bolvadin-style living room, bridal room, conference hall and exhibition hall are on the ground floor; while the exhibition hall and a library are in the upper floor.
Afyonkarahisar İsmail Kumartaşlı Egg and Arts Centre
Türkiye's first Egg-Arts-Centre displays eggs from different species of animals, as well as egg-art works. The "Afyonkarahisar İsmail Kumartaşlı Eggs and Arts Centre" has its showrooms in the "Afyonkarahisar Hattat Ahmet Karahisari Center for Culture and Arts", and is the world's 6th and Türkiye's first egg art museum.
The Centre is designed as a museum and as a sectoral promotion centre. Within the frame of eggs and egg art, the centre displays eggs from 240 different species produced by 37 producers in 22 cities of Türkiye. You will also find around 100 artistically processed real egg samples of many wild animals, including sharks, loggerhead sea turtle, snakes, and locusts. Additionally, records and documents obtained from the Turkish Poultry and Egg Production Sector.
All the eggs exhibited here were taken from dead embryos and not from the living.
Sultan Divani Mevlevihanesi
The establishment of the Sultan Divani Mevlevihanesi, one of the most important Mevlevi lodges in Anatolia after the Konya Mevlevihanesi, dates back to the 13th century. The mentioned Mevlevihane was built by Sultan Divani, one of the grandchildren in 7th generation of the famous Mevlana, in the 16th century, and became a very important centre among the Mevlevi orders.
The Sultan Divani Mevlevi Lodge has been the centre of many activities related to Mawlawiyya, since its foundation. The meditation cells, where the dervishes used to seclude themselves for 1001 days, as well as their tombs are among the most important sections that visitors should see.
Another aspect that makes Sultan Divani Mevlevihane important is that it is the only Mevlevihane where the Ashura tradition with 40 recitations of the whole Qur’an (hatim) was held; and this tradition continues until today. Every year, on the 10th day of the month of Muharram, Ashura mourning ceremonies were performed, 40 cauldrons of Ashura desserts accompanied by the Qur’an recitations are prepared. The ritual is completed by distributing the Ashura dessert to the people.
Amorium Ancient City
Amorium, which means fortress, is an area and an ancient city that has been inhabited continuously since the 2000sBCE, from the Phrygian, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman periods on. The ancient city, 70 km north-east from Afyonkarahisar and 13 km east from the Emirdağ District is split as upper and lower city.
During the Classical and Hellenistic periods, Amorium played an important role in the history of Central Anatolia. The fact that Amorium was among the first cities to be allowed to issue its own money by the Roman Senate shows that it occupied an important position in Eastern Phrygia in the early 1st century BCE. Amorium was an important commercial city that attracted many people from the surrounding towns with its regular festivals and fairs in Late Antiquity.
It is known that many important personalities in history were remembered in connection with the Amorium Ancient City. The pioneers of genre of fables in literature, like Aesop according to many ancient records, is thought to have lived in Amorium. The great Companion Salman the Persian, who is of great importance in the history of Islam, also passed through Amorium in his religious searches for the truth. Salman the Persian was educated in the church for 7 years next to Amorioum and then moved to Medina, to the Prophet of Islam Mohammed (pbuh). After embracing Islam, he even earned the title "He is a member of my family" by the Prophet Muhammad for his valuable services to Islam and humanity. It is known that Battal Gazi, who contributed greatly to the Islamization of Anatolia, was martyred in a war near Afyonkarahisar. Probably the siege of Amorium. Battal Gazi's final resting place is the Seyitgazi Tomb (Seyitgazi türbesi), which is about 100 km away from Amorium.