Historic path to draw more tourists with a new project
MUĞLA - Anatolia News Agency
Within the scope of the work, tourists will be welcomed by people wearing historical costumes on the road to the ancient city of Stratonikeia. AA photos
3,500-year-old road in the Aegean province of Muğla’s Yatağan district is expected to become a new tourist attraction thanks to a project from the Muğla Governor’s Office.
The path is known to have been used by soldiers and officials of the ancient city of Stratonikeia, as well as Ottoman Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent during his campaign to conquer Rhodes.
“When the work is done, people will be able to travel on the road on coach horses and camels. The first stage of the project is done and some part of the road will open. But our goal is to bring the whole road to tourism,” said Bilal Söğüt, an associate professor at Denizli’s Pamukkale University Archaeology Department and the head of the excavations at the ancient city.
The ancient city and its environs have kept the traces of history for thousands of years, he said. The road, known as the “Culture Path,” begins at the Belen Coffee House in Gevenes village and extends to Stratonikeia, Söğüt said.
“The continuation of this path is the route, known as the ‘Holy Path’ and located between Stratonikeia and Lagina and used during religious ceremonies in the ancient age. It is possible to see the unbelievable harmony of history and nature on these routes,” the professor said.
Söğüt said the Muğla Governor’s Office had initiated the “Cultural Road Promotion Project” six months ago, adding that the project was backed by a couple of institutions, including Pamukkale University.
He said Hittite soldiers had walked on the road to Stratonikeia 3,250 years ago, and that it was used for thousands of years after then.
According to some documents, Süleyman the Magnificent used the path during his campaign to Rhodes, he said.
“All roads reaching to the Stratonikeia are very important. But especially the road from the Belen Coffee House to Stratonikeia and the road from Stratonikeia to Lagina have very different features. The center was always the ancient city of Stratonikeia all through the ages,” the archaeologist said.
“Within the scope of the work, we have cleaned the road … and made it clear. We have brought the mosaics and columns to light,” he said.
Tourists to be welcomed by historical costumes
Yatağan District Gov. Hasan Tanrıseven said they had also placed English signboards on different points of the ancient city. “We are working on a 10-kilometer part of the road,” he added. “The road will be promoted by officials wearing costumes of different periods. We will also start working next year to promote the historic road to tour agencies in European countries,” Tanrıseven added.