Eskisehir is famous for the meerschaum (luletasi in Turkish)
We visited Atlihan because it houses many stores that sell local crafts, wooden ones, glass ones but mainly from meerschaum. Atlihan was once an Ottoman Inn (back in the middle of 19th century) with the typical inner yard (pic 1). There are stores at the ground floor but also on the upper level.
There is also a small café if you want to relax for a while while some other members of your family want to check every single item on sale :)
Meerschaum (Luletasi in Turkish, I know it as sepiolithos) is a soft white stone that is taken from specific regions in Turkey (near Black Sea, but there some in Greece too) and can be easily carved into many forms, that’s why you can see it here in so different shapes, from jewelry (earring, necklaces etc) but the most popular things the tobacco pipes made by meerschaum (pic 2). It’s very soft at the beginning but gets harder under heat. The cream white color also gets darker slowly through the years so the darkest you see the oldest it is.
In most of the stores I checked also the workshop where you can see them working the meerschaum (pics 3-4)
This small river that divides the city in 2 is so cute and picturesque, I believe this is the main reason the city looks so nice to me!
We spent a lot of time walking around the river, the locals do the same anyway walking around and fill the dozens of cafes near the river.
There are also boats to do small tours along the river and believe it or not we saw 2 gondollas! :)
The river flows for about 450 kilometres and is damned by Porsuk I Dam and Porsuk II dam. There are numerous bridges (about 20) where you will have great photo opportunities under/next some nice sculptures showing people or animals.
Pic 5 shows my favorite bridge, it’s the 11th Porsuk bridge painted in blue color
The second thing we noticed in Eskisehir after seeing the river was that the city is full of sculptures and statues! So many of them, it was a great surprise and I had many photo opportunities as we walked through out the city center checking the numerous figures, animals etc And if we weren’t in a hurry to see some museums I’d spend more time checking for statues!
Some of them are part of small fountains which make them look even better, some others are located on the bridges along Porsuk river while some other just stand alone. During the night on our way back to sleep we noticed some sculptures of jazz men (pic 5)…
If you loved fountains and sculptures you will love Eskisehir too!
One of the main roads in Eskisehir is Porsuk Bulvari. It runs along Porsuk river and its always busy with people because it houses numerous stores and a lot of cafes. We passed by many times but the most interesting thing was that in every corner there is a sculpture!
It was lovely to see all these stone animals (check pics 1-2-3-4), usually there was someone selling simit next to the sculpture so we had a good excuse to stop :)
One of my favorite sculpture doesn’t show an animal though, check pic 5, a man praying for good fishing maybe? I wonder what the Turkish inscription is talking about, it reads “Allah rizasi Için / Porsuk Çayini Kirletmeyin ” which is “For God’s shake, don't pollute the Porsuk River! keep River Porsuk clean!“
The mayor of Eskisehir has made great job in Eskisehir, no surprise the people love him and have only good things to say about him. Even people in Ankara were talking about how beautiful Eskisehir looks because of him. The city is also clean, the prices are low and you have many places to eat, go shopping or enjoy the nightlife.
We also checked the Koprubasi/municipality building that lies on a small islet in the middle of Porsuk river (pic 2). At the back side there are some stores with local souvenirs(pic 3) and then you can see a green area with some cafes next to the river (pic 4) where there must be very relaxing although we preferred to walk further down into the city.
This was a big mosque that we found at the city center. The big square in front of it was full of people praying on Friday although it was peaceful the other day.
What’s more near the mosque you can see some impressive structures, full compositions of statues (pic 4). Pic 1 was my first alternative to become my main pic on this page but those who read this tip will check it anyway :)
Except the main mosque at the city center we didn’t impressed by other mosques. Most of them were small ones serving the local neighborhoods but with no interest for the visitor (simple mosques like the one at pic 1).
One of my favorites though was the one you see on pic 2, although we didn’t go inside it looks very nice, but don’t judge it how it looks during the day, check pic 3 to see how beautiful it is during the night with these smooth green lights on it! It’s located at Ismet Inonu Cad.
Great place! We spent almost half day at Odunpazari, walking around and checking the architecture but also some nice small museums and we also did a bit of shopping (there are some great stores for souvenirs and local crafts)
After a great renovation project you can walk at this old district of Eskisehir and admire some picturesque old structures, it’s really nice to see these old building that are now turned into museums, boutique hotels, handicrafts (selling items made by Luletasi/Meerschaum, glass, wood etc).
But don’t check only the restored houses and streets, there are real people that still live in some old houses, we walked with no map on hands at some side streets and we loved how the old buildings fell into decadence, you can still see that most of the houses were colorful once(pics 4-5).
By the way odunpazari literally means wooden market in turkish
Cagdas Cam Sanatlari Muzesi is a small but nice Contemporary Glass Art Museum.
It is located at Odunpazari at one of the old wooden buildings (pic 1) that now look so attractive after the restoration. It also has a beautiful central yard (pic 2). The items are nice, there are some great samples of art in glass, obviously some of them are great for decoration.
The exhibits are from locals and international artists and this is the first contemporary glass museum in Turkey which a great idea because the area was always known for people that work on glass.
We were the only visitors of the museum except a (famous?) beautiful lady that was supported by security so when she was inside a room we had to check the next one, when she came at ours we “had” to get out etc :)
What’s more there’s no entrance fee.
It is closed on Mondays.
The museum opened to the public just in 2007.
This is a small museum dedicated to the History of Turkish Republic. It is housed at a restored building at Odunpazari which is actually one of the oldest buildings (from 1916, built by architect Turan) that once belonged to the army but opened as a museum to the public in 1994.
There was no entrance fee so we checked a bit the exhibits. There are a lot of documents but also paintings and pictures, most of them are historical pictures. You can see many photos showing Kemal Ataturk of course (there are about 50 portraits!). Obviously it focuses on the creation of the modern Turkey after the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the major role of Ataturk for making Turkey and independent country. Ataturk’s personal items like clothes, knives, coffee cups may be interesting some people too.
We got bored soon and we left the museum as most of the inscription were written in Turkish.
There’s a library which may be useful for those that study history or make some research.
The museum is open:
What a nice surprise!
Karikatur muzesi is a small museum dedicated to comics! As all the museums of Odunpazari district, it is housed at a restored building from the early 20th century. In the 2 story building that covers 265sq meters you can also see how a typical house of that era really was from inside.
Of course the main reason was to check the exhibits, from what I saw the change the exhibitions every some months but there is a permanent exhibition too as well as a portrait room and a room dedicated to local artists.
The entrance is free, we didnt spent more than 30' but we liked the museum a lot.
While still walking around Odunpazari we had already checked the restored houses, we had seen the museums, we had visited the local stores for hand made crafts. And then? Then we started walking around, enjoying the old streets and houses and we saw many small mosques but also a small church (pic 1)
Opposite the small church is located Müftü Mosque (pic 2, at Camci Sokak) and further down we saw Hasan Pasa mosque (pic 3) that dates back from 1198!
Next to the mosque, I loved seeing the locals socializing or playing tavla(pic 4) while some other prefer to relax with some nargile (pic5)
Recently restored streets and old mansions are attracting people here; also recently opened handicrafts, silver artifacts, and lule stone figurines and artifacts center can be very satisfactory place for visitors to check the pictures then have an opinion.-)
In AtliHan-Odunpazari district- you can find many shops sell pipes, necklaces, earrings, thimbles, magnets even chess items all made of meerschaum(luletasi). Some of those shops have atelier. You can have chat with meerschaum artist and he can tell you how to carve that amazing stone.
Porsuk River offers nice sighseeing route for visitors of Eskisehir. Boats depart from opposite of Migros Market. Tour takes 15 minutes and costs 1,50 TL. During the tour you can see the streets and bridges. No audio guide system or guided tour. Also there are private tours and gondola tours during summer.