All About Turkey

Pessinus (Ballihisar)

117 kilometers (73 miles) from Ankara, on the Eskisehir road, and 16 kilometers (10 miles) from Sivrihisar town you will find the Phrygian city of Pessinus. Its contemporary name is Ballihisar.

Pessinus was founded on the ancient Persian Royal Road in Anatolia as a Phrygian cult center, some sources say in the 8th century BC, others in the 5th century BC. It was beleived that the mother goddess descended here from the sky as a black stone, probabily a meteorite. Romans removed this stone from the site and took it to Rome in the 3rd century AD to help to win their fight against the Carthage. In the 4th century AD Pessinus became the seat of a metropolitan bishop, after the Christianity spread in Asia Minor. During the Byzantine rule the city was destroyed by the Arabs in the 8th century. During the Seljuk rule and then the Ottoman rule the site lost its importance and a small village was founded on top of the ruins. The ancient site was discovered by a French explorer in the 19th century. Since 2009 Australian archaeologists are excavating the site and are concentrated around the temple. The Acropolis area is not excavated yet. There are also a colonnaded square and a theater on site.

When you enter the site you can see the ruins of the Temple of Cybele - the mother goddess, and an open-air museum housing interesting sculptures found at the site.

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