HISTORY OF ESKİSEHİR
The city is located on a flat land that Porsuk River passes through. It is thought that the Hittites established a settlement here in the 1460 B.C. Phrygians, who took over the management in 700 BC, founded Dorylaeum. In the following years, the city was under the control of the Romans and Celts. According to the rumor, the first people came here to hang sheep lungs and livers in different places around the Porsuk River in order to choose the appropriate region for them to settle. The aim was to choose the place where the liver lasts the longest time without decay. The first most suitable area for the settlement was Odunpazari area and later Sarhöyük, the city of Dorylaeum. Until the Middle Ages, Eskişehir was known as Dorylaion and Doryllaeum. After the Phrygians, respectively, Lydian, Persians, Macedonians and Romans took Eskisehir under their rule. There are also Seljuks among the ruling states in Eskişehir. Then the city passed into the hands of Seljuks in 1074. The city, which was known as Sultanönü at that time, has developed quite a lot in terms of architecture.
During the Byzantine period, three important settlements appeared in the city. These are the region called Dorylaion, 3 kilometers west of this area, the thermal springs area known today as Hamamyolu (Ilıca) and Karacahisar Castle which is located 11 kilometers north west of the city. Excavations and Byzantine coins found in the castle indicate that the castle was inhabited between the 7th and 11th centuries and settling continued almost uninterruptedly until the late Byzantine period. After settling in Söğüt, Osman Bey fought with Karacahisar’s feudal lord and defeated him and took Karacahisar Castle in 1288. The first settlement in Karacaşehir is thought to be in a period after the conquest of Karacahisar by the Ottomans. It is seen in the Ottoman sources that the names of Karacahisar and Karacaşehir are sometimes used instead of each other. It is stated in various sources that Karacahisar Castle is an important castle where the first silver medallion was minted and Ottoman Empire was founded after reading the first sermon in 1299.
The city took its present name when the Turks settled in the region. Looking at the ruins of the ancient city here, they called the region “the old city” which means “Eskisehir” in Turkish. Contrary to its name, the city is constantly renewing itself and has traces from the Hittite civilization and especially many remains from the Phrygian Kingdom.
After the Ottoman - Russian War of 1877-1878, the city became crowded and developed with the emigrants. The real development period of Eskişehir was after the railway was built in the city.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT ESKİSEHİR
Numbeo's 2020 data shows “the world's 100 most secure cities”. Eskişehir was ranked 8th among 100 cities. In 2019, Eskişehir was the only city from Turkey that placed among "the world's 100 most secure city" list. While the city was ranked 15th in 2019, it’s risen to 8th place in 2020.
Eskişehir also ranked #1 for “human capital and livability "category in Forbes' ideal Cities Survey in 2018. In 2017, Eskisehir ranked #2 in the list of CNBC-e Business and Forbes magazines’ "Turkey's most livable cities"
Another important feature of Eskişehir is that the city is very rich in terms of ground thermal waters. Thermal water has been used widely by many civilizations throughout history in Eskişehir which is very rich in terms of ground waters. It is even reported that the city of Dorlaion was established in sıcak sular (hot waters) district in the center of Eskişehir. Many tourists who come for thermal water and healing enjoy unlimited hot water in traditional Turkish baths. Hamamyolu region, which is within the boundaries of Odunpazarı district, is home to many famous baths that have natural healing water resources.
Meerschaum with a history of three hundred years keeps a historical secret in Eskisehir. Meerschaum was introduced to the Austrians during the Siege of Vienna by the Jannisaries of the Turkish army. Today we hear the word “white gold” because of the meerschaum. Why was meerschaum called the “white gold”? There are many formal answers to this question. However, there is a distinct feature which makes it different from other stones. This stone which resembles chalk is much lighter and softer. This feature makes it easy to work on and shape. The white treasure of Eskişehir is soft and easy to work on when mined, but it hardens as a result of exposure to air. Since it’s been found only in Eskisehir, it is also known as “Eskisehir Stone”.
Eskisehir is a very developed city in culture and art. Anadolu University, Osmangazi University and Eskişehir Technical University are the 3 universities in the city. The city is called as “Student City” and is a very dynamic city.
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With the settlement of Bulgarian immigrants in the city, Eskişehir had a large population increase especially in the period between 1950-1970. In addition, with the immigration from the Caucasus, Crimea, Romania and with the emigrants immigration after the Ottoman-Russian War of 1877-1878, the population of the city started to increase rapidly and the city began to develop. As end of 2018, the population of Eskişehir is 871.187 people, and the population of Odunpazarı district is 404.267.
Pastries and meat dishes are common in Eskişehir cuisine. Eskisehir cuisine has traces from Balkan and Tatar cuisine. The most famous flavor in the city is “çi börek”. Çi word means as “beautiful” in Tatar language. Börek means “pastry”, Hence, “çi-börek” means “beatiful pastry” in English.
Specifically in Odunpazari historical area, you can taste ciborek in many authentic restaurants. Met halva is also a very famous kind of dessert. The name of the dessert came from an old game called Celik-Comak. This game was played by adults in the past. The loser made halva and offered to the winners. Over the time, the game and halva have been referred to the same name. Balaban Kebap is also a very famous dish which consists of meatball, pide (some kind of bread), yogurt and sauce with butter.
The list of famous flavors in Eskişehir;
-Met Halva, Nuga Halva, Çi Börek, Balaban Kebap, Haşhaşlı çörek (Poppyseed pastry)