Eskişehir gets its name from the words eski “old” and şehir “city”. Eskişehir is 233 km from Ankara and 340 km from Istanbul. Despite its name the city has a very young population and it is a vibrant modern city split in two by the Porsuk Creek, a branch of the Sakarya river. This capital city of the Eskişehir Province was founded by the Phrygians around 1000 BC although there is evidence of earlier settlements.
This bustling and dynamic city has a rich history and is known for its meerschaum mines. Meerschaum is a mineral called Hydrous Magnesium Silcate. It is only found below the ground near the city of Eskişehir where is is carved out by skilled craftsmen to make meershaum pipes and artifacts.
The first locally made Turkish automobile was produced here in 1961. Called the Devrim, it never entered into mass production.The first Turkish built steam powered locomotive was also produced here and for a time Eskişehir was the NATO first Tactical Air Force headquarters.
Today the city of Eskişehir has a thriving industry and produces trucks, white goods, railway carriages, fighter jet engines, agricultural equipment, textiles, building materials, chemicals, processed meerschaum and refined sugar. Eti which is a famous Turkish food brand is also based in the city.
Eskişehir bridges, Venetian gondolas, interesting statues, and a modern tram system, all add to the flavour of this unique Anatolian city. The city is very clean and has beautiful tree lined avenues with a blend of modern and old architecture. Around Odunpazari you can shop for Turkish souvenirs and admire the restored Ottoman houses. The sidestreets with their open air cafes, souvenir shops and restaurants is a wonderful place to explore. Up on the hill near Odunpazari is the Selale ( Waterfall ) Park with some spectacular views of the city below.
The Fairy Tale Castle in Sazova Park is a good place to stop and take a walk. There is a lot going on at the park which includes a Pirate Ship, Japanese Gardens, a Zoo, and an Underwater world. It can get very busy at weekends and is a very popular destinations for families with young children.
There are a number of museums in Eskişehir. The Museum of World Museums with its 300 reproductions of original exhibits from around the world features 12 ancient civilisations. The Eti Archaeology Museum, Aviation Museum and the Meerschaum museum should be high on your list of places to visit. In addition there also the Museum of Independence, a modern glass art museum, a wax museum featuring famous Turks and a typewriter museum.
After the Turkish War of Independence the city was modernised and almost totally rebuilt. A number of historic buildings remain such as the Kurşunlu Mosque and the archaeological site of the ancient Phrygian city nearby. There are also some ancient tombs. The Gerdek Rock and The Unfinished Monument are other places that you can visit when in and around Eskişehir.
The city has its own airport and high speed railway connection to the capital Ankara. This student city proudly boasts three universities, the Anadolu, Eskişehir Osmangazi and Eskişehir Technical University.
Famous in Eskişehir is the Çibörek which was brought to this area by the Tatars from the Crimea. This thin pastry delicacy consists of a crisp lightly fried casing which envelopes a tasty mixture of minced meat inside.
One day in a city like this does not do it justice. Eskişehir is a unique city and one of Turkey’s finest. Its relaxed, European mix and attention to detail in its street architecture sets Eskişehir aside from your normal Turkish town or city. We think you will like Eskişehir a lot. Allow at least two days to see it properly.