Ancient city’s mansion becomes a museum

Ancient city’s mansion becomes a museum

MUĞLA - Anatolia News Agency
Ancient city’s mansion becomes a museum

The Zahide Hanım Mansion is an example of one of the ancient and historical “Ağa Houses” in the middle of the city. “These mansions belong to the 19th century and display characteristics specific to Stratonikeia. AA photo

The Zahide Hanım Mansion in the ancient city of Stratonikeia in Muğla’s Yatağan district will soon be restored by the Muğla Governor’s Office.

The building was used as an archaeological base during excavations at the ancient city and is thought to date back over 100 years.

“The restoration of the ancient city was decided upon a year ago. The renewal project has finished and now it is time for the Zahide Hanım mansion to be restored,” Muğla Gov. Fatih Şahin told Anatolia news agency. The building will be transformed into a “beautiful” boutique museum, he added. Stratonikeia is a place unrivalled in its diversity Şahin said. “The restoration of the historical mansion is another important project for this ancient city. With the initiation of this project, we will be supporting 100 years of heritage.”

The aim of the development is to revive tourism and cultural events in the area, he said. “We have started restoration work on five historical structures in the area. We are planning to buy some of the mansions we restore, one of which will serve as the Culture Management building.”

The center of Muğla contains many examples of old and civil architecture that have been very well protected, the governor said. “The houses and mansions restored will open to tourists and provide great sightseeing opportunities. We hope that as a result of this development, the province will become a key tourism destination in Turkey.”

A love story
“The ancient city is about 3,000 years old and houses very important and well-preserved Turkish art works,” said Bilal Söğüt, a Pamukkale University Archaeology Department scholar and the head of the excavation works at Stratonikeia.

The Zahide Hanım Mansion is an example of one of the ancient and historical “Ağa Houses” in the middle of the city. “These mansions belong to the 19th century and display characteristics specific to Stratonikeia,” Söğüt said. The name of the mansion itself is derived from a love story that was very popular in the region during ancient times. According to an old tale, “Hasan Şar was the son of Murat Ağa’s maid. He was in love with Zahide Hanım but Ağa did not want Şar to marry her daughter,” said Söğüt. Zahide Hanım and Hasan Şar escaped to Bursa to be together but Ağa sent his men to kill both of them. Finally, with the help and support of the governor, the two young lovers married.” A song named after the bride and sung in the region from then on and that’s why the mansion is also known as Hasan Şar Mansion in the region.

Muğla, Zahide Hanım, Fatih Şahin, Stratonikeia, Pamukkale University, Archaeology