Gönen

Gonen near Bandirma in Balikesir.

Gönen is a district of Balıkesir Province and is famous for its hot springs and leather production. There is also quite a lot of rice production. If you drive around the outskirts of Gönen you will see plenty of tanneries and leather workshops.

The town is around 40 minutes drive or 42km from Bandirma. In ancient Greek this town would have been known as Asepsus after the brook that flows near the city centre. The town later became known as Artemea after the Greek Godess Artemis.

When the town was conquered by the Ottomans the name was changed to Gönen. It is thought that the origin of the name refers to hot springs, which would make sense, but this has not been proven to be accurate. The name could have been taken from the name of a nomadic tribe.

Gönen has been popular as a summer holiday location for a long time due to its hot springs and today’s Gönen attracts visitors to its Hot Spring Thermal Hotels.

In 1953 the town suffered a particularly bad earthquake which killed civilians and resulted in damage to hundreds of buildings.

The town you see today is a very well designed town with everything in walking distance. From the town centre are within easy reach of the shopping, the municipal buildings and the town park. The coach terminal links Gönen to other major cities in Turkey and of course Bandirma with its ferries is fairly close by.

The town is very clean and well maintained. There are numerous shops and restaurants and plenty of places to stay.

There has been a settlement as Gönen for centuries which has seen the Trojans, Ions, Lydians, Persians, Hellens, Pergamum and the Roman and Byzantine all settle here before finally coming under Ottoman rule in 1334.

 

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