A historical village in the ancient Phrygian Valley in western Turkey attracts local and foreign tourists with its historical places and “fairy chimneys.”
Üçlerkayası village in Ihsaniye district of Afyonkarahisar province is a “hidden paradise,” according to Tanju Tetik, head of the Phrygian Culture Foundation.
Tetik said the village carries traces of Phrygian, Hellenic, Galatian, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman civilizations.
Noting that there are many Phrygian artifacts in their village, he said more tourists are visiting the region with the increased tourism investments under the leadership of Afyonkarahisar Gov. Gökmen Çiçek.
The village, with its open-air temples, rock tombs, single and multistory rock-carved houses, wine cellars, dungeons, king’s tombs and fairy chimneys which are around 3,000-year-old, offers a glimpse into the lives of Phrygians.
"We can call this place the mysterious village of the Phrygians. However, of late the mystery has slowly started disappearing," Tetik said.
Saying that the area has become well-known by people, he added that Emre Lake and Ayazini village in the region are also famous.
“Local and foreign tourists stop by Üçlerkayası village when they see the rock settlements on the way while visiting these areas. The number of tourists coming to our village is increasing day by day,” he said.
Aziz Ahmet Özdemir, who runs a restaurant and boutique hotel in the village, said there is a large number of European visitors coming to the region.
“Natural habitats, villages and historical places top people’s lists due to the (coronavirus) pandemic,” Özdemir said.
Inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List, the Phrygia Valley spreads across the capital Ankara and central Eskişehir as well as its neighbors in the Aegean region, Kütahya and Afyonkarahisar.
According to UNESCO, Phrygia is a civilization that existed in 800 B.C. and dominated central Anatolia from the Mediterranean Sea to the south and the Black Sea to the north.
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