Afyonkarahisar is located in the Inner Aegean Region, lying beneath Great Karahisar Fortress, in a significant position in respect to its being on a passageway in Turkey. More than 5000 years Afyon has been home to many civilizations and has been delivered many kinds of heritages from them: Hittites, Phrygians, Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks and Ottomans.
Thermal and cultural facilities of Afyon developed in these times related with geological activities for thousands of years and thermal areas has been shaped in four main areas as Ömer-Gecek, Hüdai, Heybeli and Gazlıgöl.
The civilization has begun in Early Bronze Age, about 5000 years ago in Afyon. In 1800 BC, Hittite domination had started these lands until Phrygian time in 1200 BC. After the collapse of Phrygians in 546 BC, this territory was ruled by Persians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks and Ottomans.
The thermal tradition had been formed in ancient times and was continued by all of the societies which had lived in Afyon to utilize from this gift. Historical studies and archeologic excavations indicate that thermal past of Afyon dates back to early times of Bronze Age. With the other evidences found in Gazlıgöl excavations demonstrate that the city and its towns have been thermal centres for centuries. Gazlıgöl has been a thermal centre since Phrygian Age. Sandıklı-Hüdai Thermal Bath is another historical thermal centre which has been built approximately between 3th-5th centuries AD and known since Early Christian Age.
Romans contributed this tradition by developing marble industry which could be used in baths, as well. Therefore, Afyon became not only the centre of thermal but also marble. Besides Apemia, Synnada, Dokimeion and Amorion, in Pentapolis Region; Eucarpia, Hieropolis, Stectorium, Bruzes, Otreus; furthermore Metrepolis, Prymnessos, Kidyessos, Lysias, Julio, Ococleia, Sanaus Cities had been built by them. Amorium Bath is one of the most important ruins of this time.
Especially in Ottoman times, many baths, caravanserais and social complexes had been built. İmaret (Gedik Ahmet Paşa) Bath (built in 1475), Alaca (Kasım Paşa) Bath (built in 1475), Kadı Bath (built in 15th or 16th centuries) and Millet Bath (built in 17th-18th centuries or earlier) are some of the famous thermal heritages.
Afyon is famous with mostly its thermal springs and its therapeutic effects. There are four main thermal areas in Afyon: Ömer-Gecek, Heybeli, Hüdai and Gazlıgöl.
Ömer Springs are 15-18 km away from the centrum. The waters are between 46-71oC heats and include sodium chloride, bicarbonate and hyper thermal.
Gecek Springs are 18 km away from the city centre. The area is famous not only for its springs but also promenade fields. The waters are between 46-71oC heats include sodium chloride and bicarbonate.
Heybeli Springs are 20 km away from the city centre. The spring zone was known as Leontes Come according to Roman sources. The waters are about 56oC heats and include sodium bicarbonate, magnesium and calcium.
Hüdai Springs are 62 km from the centrum and has been known and used since early ages. The waters come out from different parts of fault. They are between 80-85oC heats and include sodium sulphate and bicarbonate.
Gazlıgöl Springs are 21 km distance from the city centre and the waters are about 64oC heats.
These waters can heal skin diseases, stomach, kidney and bowel illnesses. Besides they are curative for respiratory, nervous system and muscle ailments. Further rheumatic treatments, physical rehabilitation and gynecologic healings; the waters are also beneficial for lungs and circulation system of human body by the inhalation of vapour. With their sodium bicarbonate, magnesium and calcium facilities; they are convenient for dermatologic diseases, as well.
Afyon has been an important place for culture, thermal and cuisine. These facilities harmonized with religion in historical process and diversified with many cultural assets and activities. The city is not only famous for its healing springs but also entertainment in the form of concerts, festivals, sports, historic monu¬ments and museums.
Gazlıgöl has been a thermal centre since Phrygian Age and Sandıklı-Hüdai Thermal Bath is a historical thermal centre which had been built approximately between 3th-5th centuries AD and known since Early Christian Age. These places present history, culture and thermal together.
Apemia, Synnada, Dokimeion and Amorion, Eucarpia, Hieropolis, Stectorium, Bruzes, Otreus, Metrepolis, Prymnessos, Kidyessos, Lysias, Julio, Ococleia, Sanaus are ruins of Roman Empire. Byzantines and Seljuks contributed the heritage treasure with some architectures like Kırkgöz Bridge, Umurbey Bath and Sahipata Caravanserai. Especially in Ottoman times, many baths, caravanserais and social complexes had been built. İmaret (Gedik Ahmet Paşa) Bath, Alaca (Kasım Paşa) Bath, Kadı, Millet and Döğer Caravanserai are some of the famous thermal heritages.
In addition to historical places and monuments, festivals and cultural activities are an important part of culture of Afyon. Commemoration of Sultan Divani and Sanative Ashura (Noah’s Pudding) Events with 40 Completions, Bolvadin Traditional Cream Festival, Iscehisar Marble Handicrafts Festival, Victory Week and Sultandağı Cherry Festival are some of the traditional festivals. Moreover Afyon Classical Music Festival, Afyon Jazz Music Festival, International Marsyas Culture, Art and Music Festival and World Motocross Grand Prix are other annual activities.
As consequence of this richness, the city has two UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List elements: Mountainous Phrygia and Afyon Great (Ulu) Mosque and has been designated as UNESCO Creative Cities by UNESCO with its world-renowned cuisine on 30 October 2019.
Afyonkarahisar is located in the Inner Aegean Region
Afyon has been an important place for culture, thermal and cuisine
Afyon is famous with mostly its thermal springs and its therapeutic effects
In Roman Times, Afyon became not only the centre of thermal but also marble industry