Hellenistic-era city in southern Turkey offers cycling in heart of history

Published 27.12.2016 00:14
Updated 27.12.2016 12:10

An opportunity to embrace nature, all while cycling and exploring an ancient city, is being offered to visitors in the ancient city of Soli Pompeiopolis in Cicilia, located in modern-day Mezitli, in southern Mersin province. Mezitli's newly opened cycling and walking route, which stretches along the ancient pillar-lined street, offers a truly authentic experience.

With a history that dates back 3,000 years, the ancient city's weary road has been re-designed, creating a modern feel. Stretching 360 meters (1,181 feet), the road is lit and features special seating. As part of a project initiated by the Mezitli Municipality and Mersin University, the ancient city is expected to draw more tourists next year.

Having a proximity of 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) from the southern Mersin province, the ancient city, known as "Soli" in the Hellenistic age, was ruled by Persians, Macedonians, Selefkos and Romans. Soli was conquered by Pompeus, one of the most glorious commanders of the Roman Empire and named "Pompeipolis" after some renovations. It was ruined as a result of an earthquake that occurred in 527 B.C. and it is presently known as "Viranşehir." Its road, featuring parallel columns and the old port, are worth seeing. Last year, Roman-era streets were unearthed in Soli during the excavations in the area.

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