Aizanoi Ancient City

Aizanoi Ancient City

Aizanoi, an ancient city in Western Anatolia, is situated 48 kilometers southwest of Kütahya Province and belongs to the Çavdarhisar district. Although little is known about the city in the pre-Roman era, archaeological evidence suggests that people have lived in the region since prehistoric times, with layers dating back to the 3rd millennium BC found during excavations around the Zeus Temple.

In the Hellenistic period, Aizanoi gained political significance during the conflict between Bithynia and Pergamon, with the city alternating between being under the influence of both powers. Roman control was established by 133 BC, and by the first century BC, Aizanoi had become a metropolis. However, it was during the early imperial period that the city saw the construction of significant monumental public buildings and urban infrastructure.

Aizanoi Ancient City

As a result, Aizanoi not only became one of the most important cities in the Phrygia region during the Roman period but also served as a vital hub in the commercial road network. The city prospered during this time, thanks to its production of cereals, wine, and sheep's wool.

During the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD, intensive construction activities in Aizanoi led to the rise of local stone workshops. As the city's religious and political power grew, it developed close ties with Roman communities.

In the Byzantine period, Aizanoi was the seat of a bishopric, but its importance declined after the 7th century. The hill on which the Temple of Zeus stands became a crucial fortress for various Seljuk dynasties in medieval times, leading to the area being renamed Çavdarhisar.

The Temple of Zeus, located on a hill, is one of the best-preserved temples in existence. It served as the city's main sanctuary and features many structures beneath it disguised to look like vaults. The building's design is unusual, with the space between columns being double that of the inner rooms' walls, resulting in a pseudodipteros plan with wider outside pillars.

The round building known as the Macellum, which dates back to the middle of the second century, likely served as a food market. It contains inscriptions that display the prices of all goods sold in Imperial markets, as mandated by an edict from Diocletian issued in 301 AD to combat inflation.

The remains of Aizanoi are predominantly from the Roman Empire and encompass several areas, including a temple to Zeus, the Complex of Stadium-Theatre, the Macellum, Portico Street, Bridges and Dam with an odeon (a small theatre), and baths.

In 2012, Aizanoi Ancient city was added to UNESCO's Tentative List.