ODUNPAZARI DISTRICT, THE CENTER OF TOURISM IN ESKISEHIR
Odunpazarı, whose name is mentioned with great praise in Evliya Çelebi's travel book, continues to protect 5 of the streets mentioned in the travel book with the same name. Odunpazarı, which fascinates people with its unique historical houses and its mystery, invites you to a visual and cultural feast. Between their white walls some of the houses, lined on both sides of the narrow streets, appear as if they sprung from an oil painting with brown frames. Historical Odunpazarı Houses, Contemporary Glass Art Museum, Yılmaz Buyukersen Wax Sculpture Museum, Odunpazarı Modern Museum (OMM), Tayfun Talipoğlu Daktilo Müzesi (Tayfun Talipoğlu Typewriter Museum), Lületaşı Müzesi (Meerschaum Museum), Gallery of Wood Works which is located in the Historical Kursunlu Complex, Porsuk River, Selale Park, Kent Park, Sazova Bilim Sanat ve Kültür Parkı (Sazova Science, Art and Culture Park), Firig Vadisi (Firig Valley) are some of the places you should visit in Eskisehir. Eskisehir is at the top list of must-visit cities in Turkey. Specifically in Odunpazarı district, museums, parks and historical textures have become popular with local and foreign tourists.
HISTORICAL ODUNPAZARI HOUSES
The basis of Eskişehir's urban development is placed in the Odunpazarı district, which was founded on the South hill of the city. Previously, the villagers sold the wood they brought from the mountains in the square of the present Sebahattin Günday Park. Therefore this area is called “Odunpazarı” which means “Wood Bazaar”. The district is one of the rare places that has survived to the present with its Ottoman civil architectural structures and wooden houses located at the protected area. The unique historical texture of Odunpazarı has created a bridge between the past and the present. Many civil and religious architecture coexists in the region. Historical Odunpazarı Houses are located according to the location of the street and the land in accordance with the topographical structure of the region.
The houses reflect the traditional texture of the Anatolian-Turkish city. Along the narrow streets, the adjacent 1,2 and 3 story houses mostly open to the street. While the lower floors of the houses were used as pantry, storage, woodshed, warehouse, the facades were either left plain or enliven with small windows. When we look at the upper floors, the facades are integrated with the projections in order to provide connection with the street and these places were used as living spaces. Projections were shaped according to the structure of the street and the shape of the land, to create a large living space on the upper floors, to emphasize the head room on the exterior, and to enable the house to communicate with the street and the outside world.
We can categorize the entrance of the houses as Entrance Doors and Garden Gates. Single-wing and double-wing wooden doors are decorated with the inlay technique and geometric motifs. The purpose of building double-wing door is usually for the carriage entering. Generally, it is seen that owner of the houses with double-wing doors have high income levels. Windows in Odunpazari houses are usually made as guillotine window or double-wing. The square and rectangular windows occupy a large space on the upper floors, on the projections and in-between the projections. Specifically, the most valuable parts of the house, which we call empty rooms or mansion room, are located on the facade. For this reason, windows were important.
MUSEUMS AND PLACES TO VISIT IN ODUNPAZARI:
1- WOODWORK GALLERY: The gallery is located inside the Odunpazarı Kursunlu Complex. It exhibits the works of international artists. These art pieces you will see in the museum are produced at the festivals of Odunpazarı.
2- MEERSCHAUM GALLERY: There are around 400 art pieces belonging to 60 artists in the section called Kurşunlu Complex Hanikah, since 2008. The world's best meerschaum is mined in Eskisehir. Therefore, it has become a symbol of Eskişehir. Meerschaum is also called “Eskisehir Stone”.
3- YEŞİL EFENDİ MANSION, A DAY WITH ATATURK GALLERY: Yeşil Efendi Mansion was built in 1890 by Halil İbrahim Efendi, nicknamed Yeşil Efendi. He was one of the few richest people in Odunpazarı and was one of the first Representatives of the Republic. An important feature of this mansion is that it hosted Mustafa Kemal Atatürk during his visit to Eskişehir during the War of Independence. In this gallery. You can have a chance to meet with Atatürk and Yeşil Efendi by the “augmented reality” technic which was applied in a museum for the first time in Turkey.
4- TAYFUN TALİPOĞLU TYPEWRITER GALLERY: Turkey's first typewriter gallery was opened by Eskisehir Odunpazarı Municipality. The gallery consist of Journalists Tayfun Talipoğlu’s typewriter collection. It also has a typewriter of Turkey's former Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit.
5- OSMAN YAŞAR TANAÇAN PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERY: The Gallery located within the Odunpazarı Kurşunlu Complex, consists of 4 main halls and 1 exhibition area. One of the halls is reserved as an archive and library room and the other one is completely reserved for photography. In the other 2 halls old cameras are exhibited. Photography exhibitions are organized in the exhibition area at regular intervals.
6- CONTEMPORARY ART GALLERY AND WEDDING HALL: Odunpazarı Municipality, which transformed the playground behind Atatürk Blvd, Hasan Polatkan Cultural Center into an art gallery with renovation, hosts important exhibitions here.
7- GLASS ART CENTER: It is the center where the citizens who want to learn all the subtleties of glass art gather together. The center displays and sells great examples of glass art.
8- KURTULUS MUSEUM: The Mestanoğlu Halil Mansion, which was restored by the Metropolitan Municipality, serves as Kurtulus Museum. Information about settlement history of the Turkish Republic is offered in the Museum which blends modern technology with information and documents.
9- YILMAZ BUYUKERSEN WAX SCULPTURES MUSEUM: Eskişehir Wax Museum or Yılmaz Büyükerşen Wax Sculptures Museum is one of the most interesting museums in Eskişehir. In the museum, there are statues of many important names from the foreign world. If you have had a chance to travel abroad, it is similar to Madame Tussauds Museum. Eskişehir Wax Museum is located in Odunpazarı district where the most historical and touristic places are. The museum, which was established as a result of the personal works of the city’s Mayor Yılmaz Büyükerşen and his students, exhibits approximately 200 sculptures in all various categories, particularly wax sculptures belonging to different periods of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
10- MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY GLASS ART: The Museum of Contemporary Glass Arts is located in Historical Odunpazarı Houses. It is a first opened museum in glass art category in Turkey. Local and foreign artists, who make their piece of art in their own workshops, donated their unique creations to the museum. The opening of the museum in this beautiful city of Anatolia, where glasswork is born, have special importance for the people of Eskisehir.
11- REPUBLICAN HISTORY MUSEUM: The Republican History Museum, which was established by Anadolu University in 1994 in Odunpazarı district of Eskişehir, opened its doors to the visitors as a result of the restoration of the Numune School building built in 1916. The museum, which aims to explain the history of the Republic and exhibit important works of this history, starts with the works of the War of Independence. There are pieces and elements about the life of Mustafa Kemal and about the epic War of Independence among the works exhibited in the Museum.
12- ODUNPAZARI MODERN MUSEUM (OMM): Odunpazari Modern Museum is a constantly renewing platform that is inspired by Ottoman and traditional Japanese architecture and Odunpazari civil architecture elements. The museum includes modern and contemporary works of artists from Turkey and the world. The very unique pieces are exhibited with a global perspective, which promotes intercultural dialogue. OMM, which has an area of approximately 4,500 m2, has exhibition areas, various event venues, workshops, cafes and museum shop.
13- ETO INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE MUSEUM: The museum, opened by Eskişehir Chamber of Commerce, takes its visitors on an economic history journey through more than 600 works.
14- MUSEUM OF CARTOON ART:The building that is home to the Museum of Cartoon Art was built in early 1900s and used for dwelling purposes. The two-floor building has a total area of 265 square meter and it is located in the first settlement area of the town. The Museum is launched by the Research Center for Cartoon Art, which is a first in Turkey.
The Museum consists galleries for the permanent exhibition, temporary exhibitions, a room for portraits, a room for the works of Turkish cartoonists, a room for the works of local cartoonists and a library. It also has areas where cartoonists can work.
The Museum displays the works which are in its archive and the works of Turkish and foreign cartoon artists’ periodically. It also serves research purposes with its library. Visitors may buy books, postal cards, posters and souvenirs.
15- MUSEUM OF KAZAN TATARS CULTURE: In this museum, there are works that reflect the historical past of Kazan Tatars, who contributed significantly to Eskişehir culture.
16- KURSUNLU MOSQUE AND COMPLEX: The historical Kursunlu complex and the historical houses next to the Odunpazarı Houses complement each other and take you on a new journey. Kurşunlu Complex is a building complex of 16th century Ottoman Period. It was built in 1517 by Shepherd Mustafa Pasha, one of the viziers of the Ottoman Empire. The architect of the Kurşunlu Complex is probably Acem Ali, who was an architect before Architect Sinan. Acem Ali (also known as Acem Alisi or Esir Ali), whose real name was Alaeddin Ali, was the first known architect in classical Ottoman architecture (1519-1537). The complex consists of mosque, fountain, zaviye (small lodge), drill field, harem, almshouse, the tomb of the Mevlevi sheikhs and two caravanserais. Since the dome of the mosque was covered with lead, it was named “Kurşunlu”(which means “with lead” in English) Mosque. There is a Hot Glass Blowing Workshop and Glass Arts Center in the caravanserai which is located in the complex. This part hosts the International Odunpazarı Glass Art Festival and many other events. The school section of the complex has been used as a library since 2010. In the madrasah section (also called hanikâh and Mevlevi Asitane), there is the first Meerschaum Museum in the world. In addition, the rooms, which used for accommodation by those studying in the Ottoman period, were converted into workshops today.
17- BEY MANSIONS: The buildings had been built by the first feudal lords of Eskişehir, were renovated and opened with the name of BEY KONAKLARI (BEY MANSIONS)
18- KAYMAKAM MANSION: It is the mansion of kaimakam which was built in 1733 when the city was managed as a district before the city became a province.
19- SIVRIOGLU MANSION: It was built by Sivrioğlu Kadı Ali Bey in 1880.
20- AKCACILAR MANSION: It was built in 1970 by the craftsman who migrated from Crimea to reflect the architectural features of the place where they lived. Akcacılar family led to this project.
21- HAFIZ AHMET EFENDI MANSION: It was built in 1717 by Hafız Ahmet Efendi. He was a meerschaum master. A meerschaum scepter he made was presented to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. This scepter is on display at Anıtkabir today. Another identical scepter was presented to Iran Shah Reza Pahlavi.
22- YAĞCIZADE MANSION: It was built in 1754 by a wealthy oil merchant. Rumor has it that the oil trader lost his beloved wife from a relentless illness and thought his daughter might have the same disease. Hence, forbid her daughter to go out. In order to prevent his daughter from being bored, he built the observation terrace called “cihannüma” for the mansion.
23- KAYIKCILAR MANSION: It was built by a family of Odunpazarı locals known as Kayıkçılar.
24- MUSTAFA ABDÜLCEMİL KIRIMOĞLU CRIMEAN TATAR GALLERY: It is a rare cultural center where the Crimean Turks, who play an important role in the ethnic identity of Eskişehir, will carry out their culture, art and social activities in Eskişehir, and maintain their customary traditions.
25- BALKAN CULTURE HOUSE: This structure, which carries architectural traces from the 19th century, makes important contributions to the cultural diversity of Eskişehir by providing information from the Balkan culture.
26- NORTH CAUCASIAN CULTURE HOUSE: It is a structure that makes a significant contribution to the cultural richness of Eskişehir by keeping Balkar-Karacay customs and traditions alive.
27- CAUCASION CULTURE HOUSE (AYVAZLAR MANSION): It is also known as Master Ayvaz Mansion. It was built in 1790 by Master Ayvaz.
28- ASSOSIATION OF MIHALICIK PEOPLE: Mihallıcik is a district of Eskişehir and the association founded by Mihallıçık people. The assosiation’s building is in the historical Odunpazarı district.
29- ATLIHAN HANDICRAFT BAZAAR: It was built in 1850s by Takattin Bey, who was one of the great landowners of Eskisehir. It is an inn that was designed for the accommodation of marketers, travelers and peasants from the surrounding villages, towns and cities, for both themselves and their animals. Today, the Inn, which is organized in accordance with its original architecture, has become a bazaar in which the meerschaum, silver, earth and glass traditional art products are exhibited and sold.
30- KIRK AMBAR BAZAAR: The Kırk Ambar Bazaar, which is a favorite of local and foreign guests with its authentic atmosphere, has workshops and small souvenir shops. The most important feature of the bazaar is that it is run by women entrepreneurs.
31- ARASTA HANDCRAFT BAZAAR: It is a two-storey handicraft bazaar with modern architecture, in which glass, tile and ceramic works are exhibited and sold.
32- ATATÜRK HIGH SCHOOL: One of the most important characteristics of the school, which was founded long before the War of Independence, is that Atatürk decided to use this building as a high school during his visit to Eskişehir on January 16, 1933. Atatürk High School building is included in the Odunpazarı Urban Site conservation plan and registered as a monumental structure.
33- FOUNTAINS: The neighborhood fountains, located in the district of Odunpazarı, attracts visitors with their aesthetic appearance. They were built by the high income level inhabitants who lived in old times.
34- SHRINES: In Odunpazari district, there are tombs which belongs to the members of the Mevlevi sect, and tombs that belongs to the prominent sheikhs and important figures of the Islamic religion.
Kursunlu Mosque and Complex: Further information is provided above on Article 16.
- Hasan Dede Shrine: Located in a small garden just behind the Kurşunlu Complex. Hasan Dede was one of the most important sheikhs of the Mevlevi Dervish lodge, who activated the Eskişehir Mevlevi Lodge (Mevlevihane) in the mid-19th century. Besides the tombs of Hasan Dede and his son's, there are also tombs that belongs to the important people from this sect.
- Ahu Mahmud Dede Shrine: The shrine, which is located at the back of Kurşunlu Complex, is located in a house property.
- Mehmet Sadık Efendi Shrine: Mehmet Sadık Efendi, who lived in Eskişehir and served in the municipal duties of the time, was a sheikh of the Halveti sect.
- Şeyh Edebali Shrine: Sheikh Edebali is the father-in-law of Osman Bey, the founder of the Ottoman Empire. The tomb is in the Odunpazari cemetery. The tomb was restored by Abdulhamid II.
Apart from Odunpazarı district, other Eskişehir districts and villages also have very important shrines that attract the interest of tourists. To mention these tombs;
- Yunus Emre Shrine and Complex: The shrine is located in the village of Yunus Emre (Sarikoy), which is in the Mihaliccik district, 115 km east of Eskisehir. In the XIII century, the tomb of Yunus Emre in Eskişehir was demolished during the Greek occupation and a new grave was built behind a fountain in 1949. This tomb was built in the style of 13.th century Seljuk architecture. The grave sarcophagus decorated with rumi and palmette was connected to each other with arches and placed in the middle of the eight-columned open-air monumental tomb. In 1982, a cultural house, mosque and fountain were added to this monumental tomb.A statue of Yunus Emre was also placed here. In the museum which was established in the Culture House, books introducing Yunus Emre and plates containing the quatrains of Yunus Emre is exhibited. There are also architectural remains and some ethnographic artifacts left from the first grave of Yunus Emre. Yunus Emre was a humanist who invited all people to love, unity and solidarity. Yunus Emre's life philosophy is summarized on the front of the tombstone saying “Come, Let us all be friends for once, Let us make life easy on us, Let us be lovers and loved ones, The earth shall be left to no one”
- Seyyid Battalgazi Complex: It is located in Seyitgazi district, which is about 40 km away from the city center of Eskisehir. Islam was not yet spread in Anatolia in 700 BC, when Anatolia was under the reign of the Byzantine Empire. The Umayyads who accepted Islam wanted to seize Anatolia and spread Islam by invading Anatolia. The legendary folk hero known as Seyit Battalgazi in one of the raids, which became more frequent in 720-740, was martyred in 740 in the area known as the Messiah Castle where the present Seyitgazi district (ancient name Nakolea) is located. A tomb and mosque was built In 1207-1208 by Ümmühan Hatun, the Anatolian Seljuk Sultan and the mother of Alaattin Keykubat I, on behalf of Seyit Battalgazi, who showed great heroism against Byzantium and contributed greatly to the spread of Islam in Anatolia. Later, a 2-storey shrine was added for Ümmühan Hatun. During the establishment and development of the Ottoman Empire, this place became a complex with repairs and additions. It was used as a madrasah and lodge where religious education, ceremonies and meetings were held until the Republican Era.
- Himmet Baba Shrine: Himmet Baba was a close friend of Seyyit Battal Gazi. It is in the Kümbet Village which is located in the Seyitgazi district of Eskişehir. Plan, technical and material features are dated to the 13th century. It has octagonal body on the outside, and circle body on the inside. Marble architectural pieces belonging to Byzantine Period were used in the entrance gate. The figure riding on the horse at the entrance of Himmet Baba Tomb reminds the Burial Ritual of the Turks thousands of years ago.
35 -MOSQUES: The mosques from the Seljuk and Ottoman periods are among the buildings to be visited in Odunpazarı district. Alaaddin Mosque (1268), Haci Hasan Mosque (13.yy), Sivrioğlu Mosque (13. yy), Kurşunlu Mosque (1525), Tiryakizade Süleyman Ağa Mosque (1778), Akoğlan Mosque (1890), Karacaşehir Mosque are the most famous mosques in Odunpazari district. Some of the old mosques which are quite dated and important in terms of architecture in other Eskişehir districts, are as follows: Sivrihisar district- Ulu Mosque (1274), Sivrihisar district- Kurşunlu Mosque (1520), Han district- Hacı Hüsrev Paşa Mosque, (17th century).
PARKS OF ODUNPAZARI DISTRICT
CUMHURİYET PARK (THE REPUBLIC PARK) (2018)
The Republic Park, which was brought to Eskişehir by Odunpazarı Municipality on the 95th anniversary of the Republic, has an area of 16 thousand square meters. The Republic Monument, musical and animated show pool, amphitheater, playgrounds, exercise area and joging path offers its guests a peaceful and pleasant time in the Park.
ÇEVRE PARK (ENVIRONMENTAL PARK) (2018)
The Park, located in the Vadişehir neighborhood, provides different experiences for children and adults. In this Park; children's playgrounds, flowerpots, ornamental pool, sculptures and shades are made of recycling materials. Electrical energy obtained from solar and wind energy is used for park lighting. In the Park, where there are information signs in order to draw attention to environmental pollution, there is a bike, which converts kinetic energy into electrical energy by pedaling.
KANLI KAVAK PARK (RECLAMATION; 2016)
Kanlıkavak Park, which is very popular for Eskişehir residents especially in summer and spring months, is located in Kırmızıtoprak district. Kanlikavak Park, which has an area of 10 thousand square meters, is one of the most beautiful parks in Eskisehir. There are 2 children playgrounds in the park, one is for disabled children. There is also a fitness area for visitors who likes doing exercise in nature. Ornamental pool, seating units and walkways have been renovated by Odunpazari Municipality. Renewed park, became Eskişehir's favorite.
RAİF ÖZGÜR PARK (RECLAMATION; 2016)
When Eskişehir is mentioned as green, one of the places that come to mind is Raif Özgür Park which is located in Osmangazi District with 14000 square meters area. The Municipality of Odunpazarı carried out maintenance and rehabilitation works in Raif Özgür Park, which is located at the opposite of Kanlıkavak Park, in 2016. There are 2 children playgrounds, seating units and walking paths in the Park and there is also a cafeteria where visitors can have traditional Turkish tea and relax.
BASIN PARK (PRESS PARK)
The Municipality of Odunpazarı, which defends freedom of expression and information, did not forget the press martyrs. By doing landscaping work in the Press Park in Osmangazi Neighborhood, the park has a new and modern appearance. At the entrance of the Press Park, where you can see a sign with the Constitution article 28. Saying “The press is free, cannot be censored”, there is Press Martyrs' Memorial. The park includes outdoor libraries for children and adults and it also features an ornamental pool, interactive playgrounds, chess area, amphitheater.
UĞUR MUMCU PARK (2015)
Uğur Mumcu was one of the pioneers of investigative journalism, who was attacked by a bomb. This park was built by the municipality of Odunpazari in memory of Uğur Mumcu. Uğur Mumcu's smashed car is protected in a huge glass dohm in the Park. Uğur Mumcu Monument, which consists of newspaper clippings and marbles from 16 different cities, located at the park. There are walking paths, children playground and open-air library for children and young people. There is also a cafe in the park.
BOTANIC PARK (2014)
If you are one of those who likes to walk among trees and colorful flowers, this park is for you. Located in Orhangazi Neighborhood’s Regulator Picnic Area, Botanic Park can provide you and your family a nice time in nature. In the park where there are different garden types such as Turkish garden, Japanese garden, flower garden, there are also ivy tunnel, plant labyrinth for children, gardening education area for children, ornamental pools, tropical greenhouse.
DEDE KORKUT PARK (2014)
The park, which includes a walking path, children's playgrounds, sports equipment for adults and cafes, offers a pleasant atmosphere for those who want to feel the nature in the city. This park is named after a famous story teller who lived in ancient times. There is also a wall monument in memory of Dede Korkut.
ŞELALE PARK (WATERFALL PARK) (2009)
You can see the panoramic view of Eskisehir in Selale (Waterfall) Park which is located at the hills of Çankaya district. There is an artificial waterfall, named after the park. There are also children playground, sports paths, observation terrace, wooden windmill, mini amphitheater and seating areas, Don Quixote and Sancho Poncho Statues in the park. The restaurant and the cafeteria in the Park is for all people who loves to enjoy beatiful view and food.