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AKHİSAR

One of the Biblical "Seven Churches"                       Population: 78,000

akh1Old name: Thyateira

Midway between Balıkesir and Manisa, the thriving town of Akhisar started life as Thyateira, whose church was one of the seven mentioned in the Book of Revelation in the Bible.

Backstory

In pre-Biblical days there was a Lydian settlement here. The town's name seems to be derived from the Lydian word “teira,” meaning castle and the town  stood at an important junction where the roads connecting Sardis to Pergamum and Smyrna to Bithynia intersected.

There is believed to have been an important shrine to the Lydian sun god Tyrimnus here although no trace of it apparently remains. 

Around town

Today there's not a great deal to see even of the later Roman site which sits right in the heart of the shopping centre. Walls of a large but much later basilica still stand amid scant remains of the Roman settlement including large chunks of fallen triumphal arch.

It's a pretty spot much frequented by tortoises and giant snails but you may think the admission fee hardly worth paying when you can see what there is to see through the railings. 

Otherwise Akhisar has a number of mosques dating back to the Middle Ages and with pleasing brick minarets. The most attractive is the Paşa Cami (1469) which overlooks a pretty square with its old hamam to the side. The slightly newer Ulu Cami is said to stand on the site of a Roman temple although there's nothing to show for it today. 

The old bazaar area is near the Yeni Cami which is also near a large and very pleasant collection of tea gardens in a small park.

Sleeping

Otel Tütün

On the main road leading into town.

Tel: 0236-413 1993

Palm City Hotel

Close to the bus station so useful for early starts.

Tel: 0236-412 1220, www.palmcityhotel.com

Transport info

Buses from Balıkesir and Manisa pass through Akhisar. 

Day trip destinations

Balıkesir

Manisa

Soma

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