Domaniç

The county of Domaniç contains an 28km segment of the Evliya Çelebi Way, which is part of the Via Eurasia. The route was re-waymarked and signposted in 2016-7 and includes 2 days of trekking on footpaths, old roads and forestry tracks. All of the route is suitable for horseriding and mountain-biking, with some short. Because there is easy main road access from İnegöl or Kütahya to Domaniç town, and public transport to the villages from Domaniç, the route is very suitable for day-hikers.

Located at altitude of 880m, Domaniç county has a population of 15.000 people.

The surrounding forested mountains usually include pine and beech, with oak and hornbeam, which cover almost all of the area.

When you climb up to Dikili Kaya, a standing rock in Sefa village and look out to the east, you will see the mountains around Domaniç; the settlement within the mountains reminds us of the mythical Ergenekon region in Central Asia.

The climate of the region is continental – with snow in winter.

Local people work in the lignite coal mines in Tunçbilek and furniture factories in İnegöl, contributing to the economy, but maintain their retirement life here. The soil is not good for cultivation and there are a small number of animals farmed, as well as trout farming.

Dumlupinar University has a vocational high school in Domaniç with about 400 students.

History of Domaniç

The first settlers arrived around 3000 BCE and was settled right through the Roman and Byzantine eras. A 2nd century AD Roman tomb has been discovered in the centre and a Byzantine marble from a church is placed over a spring in the town.

After Byzantine rule, the Germiyanoğulları took over the control of the region in 13th century. The first Turks arrived around 1230, at the time of Alaaddin Keykubad I, when a group of people from the Kayı Clan was settled here under the leadership of Ertuğrul Gazi and his mother Hayme Ana.

Then Ottomans came and allocated the lands to Ertuğrul Gazi, whose clan spent the winters in Söğüt and summers in Domaniç.

Domaniç became a sub-district of Söğüt County of Bilecik Province, then transferred to İnegöl County of Bursa Province during Republic times. In 1932, it was transferred to Tavşanlı County of Kütahya and finally on 1 April 1960, it became the 6th county of Kütahya Province.

Interesting Places in Domaniç

Mizik Çami

A short way off the route, beside the road running south from the village of Domur. A pagoda-style, protective roof shelters the remains of a tree from which Osman Gazi’s cradle is supposed to have swung. The sign at the site states that the tree was 1,000 years old and fell in 1987.


Ilicaksu

İlicak is a village situated around tranquil hot pools. According to legend, the death and metamorphosis of Sarıkız, a beautiful fair-haired girl, created these pools and the steam that rises is thought to be her breath. The water, which is a different temperature in each pool, is believed to have health-giving properties.


Selim Baba Türbesi

Standing on an isolated mound overlooking the Domaniç Valley, southeast of Çukurca, is the well-kept türbe of Selim Baba, an early Ottoman saint. The türbe is lit with candles and lamps and decorated with banners. The cells of the dervishes and the kitchen were built around a courtyard, but are no longer there.


Stages

  1. Kocayayla Geçiti to Çukurca (12.1km)The route is almost all on beautiful kaldırım running downhill through huge beeches to the village of Safa, where the old road divides. We follow the east branch through more beeches and pines to rolling uplands with junipers, gnarled pears and oaks. Here, you could turn off the route to visit an ancient fir where, according to legend, the cradle of the first Ottoman sultan, Osman Gazi, was once hung. If you do this, walkers should be prepared to camp en route and take two days to complete this section.
  2. Çukurca to Elmalı (15.8km) 

    After Çukurca and the nearby shrine of Selim Baba, the route, mainly on kaldırım, climbs a total of 800m. From the türbe we descend to a series of valleys, then climb over a ridge topped with scrubby oaks before a descent to the almost-deserted hamlet of Seydikuzu. The final switchback is through pines, then scrub and farmland to Fındıcak and its little sister Elmalı, perched on the edge of a deep valley.

Accommodation

There is a pleasant hotel in Domaniç but no other accommodation on the route. You can camp in many places as water is frequent.

Transport

Buses on the road from İnegöl to Tavşanlı pass the start of the route at the Kocayayla geçiti. There are minibuses from Domaniç to the villages including Çukurca.

                        


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