Phrygia, which includes the ancient city of Midas and the Yazılıkaya Monument, is a valley spread over a very large area. If we think about today’s borders, this Phrygian Valley, which is located on the borders of Kütahya, Afyon and Eskişehir, with beautiful artifacts and landscapes, is not yet a well-known place.
The city of Midas (Yazılıkaya), one of the two important centers of the Phrygians along with Gordion (Yassıhöyük), is one of the cult centers where the Phrygians worshipped Cybele, the mother goddess. Yazılıkaya Open Air Sanctuary or the Ancient City of Midas is an important sightseeing point in the Phrygian valley called Mountainous Phrygia. While Gordion was used as the capital of the Phrygian kingdom, the city of Midas was used as a religious center.
Who is King Midas?
King Midas, known to the Assyrians as Mita of Mushkili, was a Phrygian king who lived in Gordion between 738 BC and 696 BC. He was a king who was mythologized many times during his lifetime, famous for turning everything he touched into gold, as well as for his donkey ears. After the death of the previous king Gordion, it was Midas’ luck that the first person to enter the Phrygian Valley was elected king and he took over.
Built around 500 BC, this artifact has survived to the present day intact except for some cracks on it. The opening in the center of the inscription is thought to be a statue of Cybele. Because this monument is an open-air temple dedicated to the Mother Goddess Cybele.
The structure just after Yazılıkaya, which resembles the ii Castle in Cappadocia, is the Kırkgöz Rocks. The rooms were built by carving the easily chiseled rock and the passage between the rooms was provided by carving the rocks into stairs.
On the continuation of the road, we come across a structure that was started to be built as a size smaller than Yazılıkaya, but since it was not finished, it is also referred to as the Unfinished Monument.
There are many cisterns in Midas. The cisterns are carved into the rocks and can be descended by steps. It is dark down there, there is a bit of garbage, flies are haunting the garbage, many flies are flying in the cisterns. The inhabitants of the city of Midas used to drink water from these cisterns. If you want to see the bottom of the cisterns, don’t try to reach down from the edge, just climb down. Because trying to see from high up can be dangerous.
While visiting the ancient city of Midas, we often come across many rock tombs, rock reliefs, monuments made of rock, cisterns and altars along with Yazılıkaya.
There is not only the Midas Monument in the Ancient City of Midas, this is an ancient city with cisterns, necropolis and agora. It is enough to visit the walking area of about 1.3 km. Look at the map at the entrance and decide whether you want to walk around the hill completely or not. You need to spend about 1 hour to visit as much as we did. If you are in sunny weather, bring water with you as there is not much shade from the sun. And to get to the top of the hill, you need to climb the wooden stairs for a few minutes, there is no other difficulty.
Where is the ancient city of Midas and how to get there?
The ancient city of Midas, which contains works of historical importance such as Yazılıkaya, is located in Yazılıkaya village in Han district, 80 km from Eskişehir. If you have a private car, you can easily visit many buildings in the Phrygian Valley together with the ancient city of Midas. Entrance to the Ancient City of Midas is free.