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BİLECİK

Last resting place of Şeyh Edebalı                   Population: 55,000

bile1Old name: Belekoma (Roman)

Driving from Eskişehir to Adapazarı you will see, to the right of the road, the unexpected sight of a group of broken minarets.

This is Bilecik, built on the edge of a dramatic gorge, that, is worth visiting for the spectacularly sited shrine of Şeyh Edebalı (1206?-1326), spiritual advisor to Ertuğrul Gazi and father-in-law to his son Sultan Osman I.

The walk to the shrine passes through the gorge with the shattered minarets rising from its sides as silent reminders of the fighting between Greeks and Turks during the Turkish War of Independence (recent "restoration" makes no sense in this context).bile2

Bilecik itself is not a pretty town but it’s a good base for day trips into the surrounding area. Its prominent half stone, half wooden clocktower in front of the Valilik and overlooking the shrine to Şeyh Edebali was built in 1907 for Sultan Abdülhamid II.

In the town itself the one minor attraction is Bilecik Museum (closed Mondays) housed in an attractive Ottoman-style building on the site of the old prison. The ethnographic section upstairs has replicas of typical house interiors and collections of embroidery, pottery etc, all nicely displayed but poorly labelled. More unusual is the room dedicated to nomadic tent life. There's also a great collection of photographs of local attractions.

bile3Downstairs, with the exception of a small collection of Roman terracotta figurines, the archaeological section is dull. The most interesting pieces are in the garden outside where there are some fine and distinctive tombstones with Greek inscriptions. 

In 2014 a new Kent Müzesi (City Museum) was being built to the north of the town centre.

Signs around town record Şeyh Edebalı’s most famous saying: “İnsanı Yaşat Ki, Devlet Yaşasın (Let man flourish and the state will also flourish)”.

Sleeping

Başaran Hotel. Tel: 0228-212 3921 $$$

Grand Kent Hotel. Tel: 0228-212 7888 $$

Hotel Eronur $$$

Transport info

For the time being the bus station remains at the foot of the hill running up to the centre although a new more elaborate one is on the drawing board. 

There are regular buses from Eskişehir and Adapazarı (Sakarya) to Bilecık although a new bypass means that you may have to swap to a servis bus for the final run into town.  

Local minibuses ply up and down the high street to Özgürlük Anıtı (Freedom Monument) near the hotels. 

From the bus station half-hourly bus services go to Söğüt and Osmaneli passing through Vezirhan.

Although the new high-speed train line is very visible in the vicinity of Bilecik it doesn't pass through the town. The nearest station is on the outskirts of Bozüyük. 

bile4Day trip destinations

Bozüyük

Osmaneli

Söğüt

Vezirhan

More: http://www.todayszaman.com/newsDetail_getNewsById.action?newsId=241859

 

 

 

 

 

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