Odunpazarı is an old neighborhood and first Turkish settlement in Eskişehir, which is currently on the tentative UNESCO World Heritage List as a Historical Urban Site, having historical indications from the Seljuk and Ottoman periods, with a well-preserved urban fabric rich with examples of Turkish vernacular architecture.
Odunpazarı, literally meaning Wood Market, has its name from the market place where wood was sold, and its architecture rightfully stands up for this name. It consists of typical timber houses representative of traditional Turkish civil architecture.
While walking down the district of Odunpazari, you can see a lot of colorfull houses, little markets on the streets, a lot of jewelry, little stands with turkish coffee that is being prepared on the hot sand and offcourse turkish restaurant with Eskisehirs most popular dishes like ciborek and balaban kebap.
Odunpazari has historical indications from the periods of Seljuk, Ottoman and Turkish Republic; such as Alaaddin Mosque (1271), Kursunlu Mosque Complex (1525), Haci Hasan Mosque (13th century) etc. Being one of the few religious centers of Anatolia, the Kursunlu Mosque Complex located at the centre of the site and built by Palace Architect Acem Ali has a basic characteristic of Ottoman architecture. The complex today includes Eskisehir Handicraft Center where almost extinct traditional handicrafts -such as hand writing, gilding, marbling, miniature and reed flute- are performed through master-apprentice system. The complex also includes the world’s only Meerschaum Museum where the most beautiful examples of Turkish and foreign meerschaum artists are exhibited.
The konaks, historical residences that constitute very special examples of traditional civil architecture, express the family life and traditions of the time. Fountains are also other important urban elements that regulate and shape the traditional patterns of Turkish neighborhoods and social relationships.
The Odunpazari Modern Museum
The Odunpazari Modern Museum has been designed by Kengo Kuma and Associates. Odunpazari used to be a centre for timber trading and Kengo Kuma and Associates took this history as the basis for the design.
Built to house the modern art collection of architect and chairperson of Turkish contractor Polimeks, Erol Tabanca, the museum in the Odunpazari district of Eskisehir is formed of a cluster of boxes made from stacked, interlocking timber beams.
The building consists of a group of square-shaped blocks that are surrounded by laminated-timber beams stacked on top of each other. These have been arranged to continue the streetscape of the surrounding Ottoman houses.