From the modern center of Afyon, I walked to the historic part of the city. The old town has some of the most beautiful Ottoman homes in Turkey. It’s best to just wander up and down the streets to admire them. A few have been turned into boutique hotels or restaurants serving authentic Ottoman or local dishes.
On some of the streets, you’ll find yourself facing some incredible views of the rock.
There are some mosques of note in the old town as well. The Sultan Divani Mevlevihanesi is a Sufi complex dating back to the 13th century. It’s now a museum that should definitely be visited. Afyon was once second in importance for Sufis because Mevlâna’s (Rumi’s) son, Sultan Veled Çelebi, lived there. The complex was restored in 1908 by Sultan Abdülhamit II.
The museum has the ubiquitous disturbing Sufi mannequins that you typically find in every Mevlevihane museum. The first part of the museum is in the former kitchen and shows how Sufis gathered to eat and prepare meals.
The second part of the building shows Sufis in their private cells, either praying, studying, or performing their ritual Sema ceremony.
The last part I visited was the mosque, where the Sema was performed.
Inside are the tombs of several Sufis, including Sultan Divani.
The other mosque is Ulu Cami, built in 1273. This fine work of Selçuk architecture has a flat roof that’s supported by wooden columns.
The caretaker here was the only friendly person I met in all of Afyon. He gave me a quick tour of the mosque and explained the history. It’s very impressive to see these columns and the wooden minbar. Click here for a virtual tour.
In front of Ulu Cami is a tomb, Ahmet Türbesi. I don’t know anything about it.
After Ulu Cami, I climbed up to the castle, back down, and walked back to Zafer Meydanı. I had a quick bite to eat and went back to the bus terminal.