Turkey's world-famous ancient cities and archaeological sites will welcome visitors again during the process of normalization in the fight against the coronavirus.
Many of these sites are on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) World Cultural Heritage List and are now ready for the process of controlled normalization. Here is a list of places where the silence will soon be replaced by the hustle and bustle of visitors.
Ancient city of Perga
The Mediterranean Region, one of the most preferred areas for vacation, attracts attention with its ancient cities and ruins. The ancient city of Perga, located in the Aksu district of Antalya province, bears traces of the late classical, Hellenistic and predominantly Roman periods. It is among the most-visited places by tourists.
Ancient city of Termessos
The ancient city of Termessos, located in the Döşemealtı district of Antalya province, left its mark on history as the city that Alexander the Great could not seize due to its strong defenses. It opens the door to another world for its visitors with its unique structures and endemic plants and wildlife.
Ancient city of Patara
Patara, one of the 16 cities of the ancient Lycian League that had the right to vote, is among the cities that were besieged by Alexander the Great. It is worth noting that Patara, which was an important trade center during the Roman period, maintained its importance during the Byzantine period. The Turkish government has declared 2020 as the year of Patara.
Ancient city of Myra
The ancient city of Myra, located in and around the Demre district of Antalya, is named after the plain it was founded on. The city was connected to the sea via a thoroughfare canal to the west of Demre Creek, while sea transportation and trade were carried out from Andriake Port on the other side of the canal. In Myra, which is famous for its Lycian rock tombs, Roman theater and Byzantine Church of St. Nicholas (Santa Claus), excavations are being carried out by the Archaeology Department of Akdeniz University.
Ancient city of Andriake
Andriake, located in Çayağzı, also in the Demre district, is known as the Port of Myra. Rumor has it that there was a city named Andriake at the estuary of the River Andriakos in 200 B.C. and that Antiochus III left Antiocheia in 197 B.C. and came to Andriake with his fleet, seizing the places held by Ptolemaios.
Ancient city of Aspendos
The ancient city of Aspendos, located in the Belkıs village of Antalya’s Serik district, is among the historical sites visited by local and foreign tourists due to its historical structures, including its famous ancient theater.
Ancient city of Phaselis
The ancient city of Phaselis, founded in the seventh century B.C. in Tekirova in the Kemer district of Antalya, was home to many civilizations. Its harbors, agoras and the depictions of ships printed on its coins are among the features that emphasize Phaselis' identity as a trade port.
Stratonikeia: City of Gladiators
The ancient city of Stratonikeia, integrated with Ottoman buildings in the Yatağan district of Muğla province, which is on the UNESCO’s World Heritage Tentative List, fascinates its visitors with new artifacts and structures unearthed every year. The ancient city of Stratonikeia, referred to as the “city of gladiators,” maintains its place in the sightseeing routes of domestic and foreign visitors.
Ancient city of Knidos
The 2,600-year-old ancient city of Knidos, which is famous for its prime location at the junction of the Aegean and the Mediterranean and for hosting many famous scientists in the past, is being reerected with various projects. The ancient city attracts attention with its churches, theaters, port streets and columns.
The ancient city of Sagalassos, known as the "city of loves and emperors," in the Ağlasun district of Burdur province, dates back to 3000 B.C. and was placed on UNESCO’s World Heritage Tentative List in 2009. It takes visitors on a historical journey through its streets. The ancient city of Kibyra, also known as the "city of gladiators" in the Gölhisar district of Burdur, offers magnificent views with its huge, monumental buildings. Excavation work in the city, where all visible architectural remains belong to the Roman Imperial period, is being carried out by Mehmet Akif Ersoy University.
Ancient city of Uzuncaburç
The 2,500-year-old ancient city of Uzuncaburç in Mersin province, one of the most important tourist attractions of the Eastern Mediterranean, is awaiting guests seeking a journey through history. Uzuncaburç, which is reminiscent of the ancient city of Ephesus in Izmir with its tall columns, offers its visitors the opportunity to see the main street with columns, a ceremonial gate, a historical fountain structure, the Temple of Zeus, the sarcophagus with a cluster of grapes, the temple of chance, the north city gate, an amphitheater, bastions, a Hellenistic mausoleum and churches.
Ancient city of Anazarbus
The ancient city of Anazarbus in Adana province, which is on the UNESCO’s World Heritage Tentative List, bears traces of culture from the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Sassanid and Ottoman periods. Known as "The City of the Undefendable" in history, Anazarbus ancient city is notable for its magnificent gate and fortifications, as well as its road.
Ancient city of Ephesus
The ancient city of Ephesus, which is on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List, one of the landmarks of Izmir located in the Selçuk district, is one of the most important centers of the ancient period. It is a crucial port city and cultural and commercial center at all stages of its history, which started from the prehistoric period and was inhabited uninterruptedly throughout the Hellenistic, Roman, Eastern Roman, principalities and Ottoman periods. The ancient city of Ephesus, visited by an average of 1 million people a year, has been attracting local and foreign tourists to the region for a century.
Agora of Smyrna
The Agora of Smyrna, located in the Mezarlıkbaşı neighborhood in Izmir, bears witness to the history dating back to the present day from Rome and the Ottomans. The ancient city, which was established between Kadifekale and the sea with a view of the gulf, has welcomed its residents, visitors and travelers from different cultures for centuries. It presents sections of history with its basilica, historical graffiti, structures protected against earthquakes and 2,000-year-old water channel.
Ancient city of Pergamon
Pergamon, which entered the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List in 2014, has been home to civilizations as a strategic point despite being subjected to invasions and destruction throughout its history. The ancient city of Pergamon houses the Temple of Traianus, built for Roman emperors Trajan and Hadrian, and on the lower terrace just south of the temple, there is the famous Pergamon Library, which has a collection of 200,000 books dating back to the Hellenistic period.
Pergamon Asklepion ruins
The ruins of Asklepion, founded in the name of the Greek god of medicine, Asclepius, outside the Acropolis of Pergamon in the fourth century B.C., was the most important treatment center of the period with its improved architectural layout and treatment methods. Asklepion, where surviving remains date back to the arrangements made by the Roman Emperor Hadrian, is one of the must-see ancient cities in Turkey.
Ancient city of Aphrodisias
The ancient city of Aphrodisias in Aydın's Karacasu district, which is on the UNESCO’s World Heritage Tentative List, is one of the most famous cities dedicated to Aphrodite, known as the goddess of love and beauty in ancient times. The city is notable for its well-preserved structures.
Ancient city of Priene
The ancient city of Priene on the UNESCO’s World Heritage Tentative List, named "The Pompeii of Anatolia" in the archaeological world due to its well-preserved structures and unique city plan, is notable for its theater, agora, Temple of Demeter, Temple of Athena, Temple of Zeus, bouleuterion, Upper Gymnasium, Lower Gymnasium, Egyptian temple, Byzantine church and residential areas.
Ancient City of Sardis
The ancient city of Sardis, the capital of the Kingdom of Lydia, which minted the first coin in history, is frequently visited by photographers. Located in the Salihli district of Manisa province, Sardis' history of urbanization dates back to 1200 B.C. The city contains a large number of artifacts including structures that have survived from multiple civilizations.
Ancient city of Laodicea
The ancient city of Laodicea in Denizli province is on the UNESCO’s World Heritage Tentative List. The excavation and restoration work in the ancient city, which contains one of the seven churches mentioned in the Bible, has been carried out since 2003 by a team headed by Celal Şimşek, head of the Department of Archaeology at Pamukkale University.
Ancient city of Hierapolis
Pamukkale, which is on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List, is home to faith tourism with its buildings considered sacred by Christians in the ancient city of Hierapolis that surrounds the region, It also attracts those who come to see the unique beauty of its travertines and recover from health issues. The ancient city of Hierapolis, which includes the road leading to the northern gate to Pamukkale, is defined as the "Holy City" in archaeological literature. Although the information regarding the date of founding is not clear, it is estimated that the city was founded in the second century B.C. on behalf of the Amazon queen Hiera. The city was accepted as a center of belief after the killing of St. Philip, one of the disciples of Jesus, by pagans in the 80s.
Troy: City of epics
Çanakkale’s world-famous ancient city of Troy is on UNESCO’s World Heritage List and is mentioned in Homer’s famous epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey, dating back to the 7th century B.C. The city of legends continues to fascinate its visitors.
Ancient city of Assos
The ancient city of Assos, located in the Behramkale village in Ayvacık district of Çanakkale province, listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage Tentative List, comes to the fore as a teaching center of the period as well as a port city.
Ani: Cradle of civilizations
Ani Ruins, on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, is also called the "World City," "Cradle of Civilizations," "1,001 Churches" and "City with 40 Gates." Approximately 25 important buildings, including walls, a mosque, a cathedral, a palace, churches, monasteries, a fire temple, a bath, a bridge and a closed passage, a part of which has been destroyed, have survived to the present day in Ani.
Old Ahlat city
The old city of Ahlat in Bitlis province bears witness to the sovereignty of the Hurrians, Assyrians, Urartians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Umayyads, Abbasids and Marwanids and attracts tourists with its traces of the Seljuk, Shah-Armen, Aq Qoyunlu, Safavid and Ottoman civilizations.
Ancient city of Hattusa
The ancient city of Hattusa in the Boğazkale district of Çorum province, home to the cultural heritage of the Hattians and Hittites, some of the first civilizations in Anatolia, is among Turkey's favorite tourist destinations as the only ancient city on the UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage and World Memory lists.
Alacahöyük is one of the first national excavation sites in Turkey and a place that attracts the greatest number of visitors in the city. It is notable for its Hittite Dam, one of the first known dams in Anatolia, king and prince tombs, the sphinx of Lion Gate, and the archaeological excavation site open to visitors.
Mount Nemrut, which offers one of the most beautiful views of the sunrise and sunset, is on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Mount Nemrut, which bears 5-meter-high and 150-meter-wide tumulus and giant structures belonging to the Kingdom of Commagene at an altitude of 2,206 meters, hosts thousands of visitors every year.
Ancient city of Aizanoi
The ancient city of Aizanoi, located in the Çavdarhisar district of Kütahya province, stands out as one of the most important cities of the Roman period with its Zeus Temple, stadium-theater complex and macellum, which was one of the first stock exchanges in the world.
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