Yazılıkaya (lit. ‘inscribed rock’), Phrygian Yazılıkaya, or Midas Kenti (Midas city) is a village in Eskişehir Province, Turkey known for its Phrygian archaeological remains and inscription mentioning Midas.
The ancient remains are sometimes called the Midas Monument or Midas City and were formerly identified as the tomb of Midas.
Midas Monument (Yazılıkaya) (Khan)
MIDAS MONUMENT (YAZILIKAYA)Han – Eskisehir It is the most magnificent example of Phrygian rock façades. It is located on the northeastern skirt of the Midas city plateau, on a rock mass projecting forward. It was first examined and sketched in 1800 by WM Leake et al. This drawing by G. Koehler has a special place as it is the first drawing to give an idea about the general appearance of Phrygian façades, despite its many errors and deficiencies. In 1834 Ch. Texier examined the monument and made its engraving. This is the first and only engraving to reflect the monument’s original and all its splendor. The monument was named after the word Midai in the Phrygian inscription on the flattened bedrock in the upper left part of the monument. Local people named the monument as Yazılıkaya due to the inscriptions on it. Both names are used today. East facing monument 17.00 m high, 16. It is 50 m wide. Its height from the ground is 1.20-1.80 m. The apex acroterium consists of two opposing circles. The pediment and façade wall are decorated with a rich decoration consisting of geometric motifs. In the center of the monument, there is a large niche symbolizing the door. This is the most sacred part where the statue of the goddess Matar is placed during religious ceremonies. There are Phrygian inscriptions on the monument.
It is 500 m southwest of Cukurca village, carved into the eastern face of a large rock mass in Doganly valley. Behind the monumental entrance hall, there were two burial chambers that the visitors can enter by two different doorways. Gerdekkaya rockcut tomb dates from the Helenistic period (3-1thcentury BC)
Located 1.5 km northwest of Mukurca Village, Doganli Castle stands on a rocky plateau quite higher then the valley floor. It was used as an observation post to take control of Doganly Valley.
Doğanlı kale lies close to Cukurca Village. Seen from afar, it looks like a hawks head (Doğanlı meaning with hawk) and its the most eye-cathing rock structure in the valley. It is a seven storey rock-cut sculpture.
Gökgöz Kale used to serve as a patrol of Pismis Castle in the Phrygian period. There are niches, cistens and steps carved into the rock overlooking the plateau.
History of King Midas
After Gordios, the first king of the Phrygians, his son Midas took his place. Midas establishes relations with Urartu, northern Syria and Assyria in eastern and southeastern Anatolia on the one hand, and with western Anatolian coasts and Greece on the other. Midas became famous as the first Iron Age king of Anatolia. The famous geographer of antiquity, Strabon from Amas, tells that during the Midas period, the Phrygian country was invaded by the nomadic Cimmerian tribes and that Midas ended his life in the face of this disaster. (676 BC)
Legends of Midas
There are two known legends about Midas. One is that Midas was punished by the god Apollo and his ears were turned into donkey ears when he said that he liked the pincer that Pan played, not the lyre that Apollo played, in the musical contest between Pan and the god Apollo. But Midas wears a hat to hide his ears. Nobody knows this secret either. Until the barber cutting his hair saw his ears. Midas warns the barber not to tell anyone about this secret. But when this secret is too heavy for the barber, he goes and shouts in the empty field and tells the secret. According to the legend, the reeds that heard the secret whispered “Midas’ ears are donkey ears” for years.
The other legend begins with Dionysus saying “Whatever you wish from me” after Midas’ pleasing behavior of the god Dionysus. Midas wants everything he touches to be gold, and his wish comes true. However, the fact that everything he touches is gold, after a while, puts Midas in trouble. Midas becomes unable to even eat. Therefore, the god asks Dionysos to break this wish. Dionysos tells Midas that the spell will be broken when he is bathed in the Pactalos River. Midas goes and washes and the spell is broken. This time, the feature of making everything gold passes to Paktalos. Paktalos (Sart Stream) is therefore believed to carry gold among its alluviums.
The rocks that you will see in the Midas Ancient City look like the rocks of Cappadocia. Apart from the Midas monument, you can see the Unfinished Monument, water cisterns, altars, monumental tomb and cave rooms where people lived in the city.