Gordion, located 70 kilometers southwest of Ankara in the Central Anatolia region, has a rich history dating back to the Early Bronze Age. The site, situated on a mound near the Sakarya river and Yassıhöyük village, is primarily associated with the Phrygians, an early culture that settled in the region after the fall of the Hittites.

Throughout much of its history, Gordion was a significant center of Phrygian culture. However, in 333 BC, Alexander the Great conquered the region and put an end to the Phrygian presence. The city is most famous for its connection to King Midas and the legend of the Gordian Knot, which was supposedly unraveled by Alexander the Great during his conquest of the city.


Various ancient historians, including Arrian, Justin, and Aelian, recount the story of the Gordian Knot and its association with Gordion. Despite the city's long and fascinating history, it eventually fell into decline and was abandoned during the Medieval period. Today, Gordion remains an important archaeological site and a testament to the enduring legacy of the Phrygians and their culture.

During the 8th century, the Phrygians reconstructed their citadel at a higher elevation, where it is believed that King Midas, who exerted significant influence over the Phrygians, resided. It was also during this time that they built a fortified Lower Town, located two kilometers away from the main settlement mound and surrounded by fortresses on both sides.

The Phrygian citadel continued to operate until the arrival of Alexander the Great in 333 BCE, after which Gordion came under the control of Lydia to the west, and later, Cyrus II of Persia during his invasion of Asia Minor. Although the remains visible today only represent a small fraction of the vast construction that dates back over 2000 years, they are a testament to the city's rich history.

In the vicinity of Gordion, there are approximately 150 burial mounds that date back to the 9th century BC to the 3rd century BC. Most of these mounds were built no later than the 6th century BC and were often prominently situated, blending seamlessly into the stark beauty of their surroundings. These tumuli are a welcome sight for travelers due to their distinctive size and location in the stark plains landscape.

The tumuli near Gordion vary in height, with some ranging from 3 to 12 meters, while others are significantly larger. The Midas Mound Tumulus, the tallest of the group, stands at 53 meters and was built around 740 BCE. This ancient structure is not only one of the oldest standing wooden structures in the world but also holds great cultural significance.

The majority of the tumuli are situated within 3 kilometers of the Main Settlement Mound. These burial mounds, as well as others farther away, were strategically placed to maintain visual contact with Phrygian power from the administrative center.

Due to its historical and cultural significance, Gordion was added to the Tentative List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2012. This acknowledgement underscores the city's importance in the region and its potential to be recognized as a site of global significance.