Amorium awaits faith tourists

Amorium awaits faith tourists

Amorium awaits faith tourists

The ancient city of Amorium in the Emirdağ district of the western province of Afyonkarahisar is waiting to be opened to faith tourism.

During archaeological excavations in Hisar village, which sits on the ancient city, British scientist Professor Martin Harrison and British researcher Chris Lightfoot have identified the traces of seven civilizations, including Hittite, Phrygian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman.

Mehmet Kurt, deputy chairman of the Amorium excavations, said that the city was a bishopric center during the Byzantine era and also holds an important place in the history of Islam.

“One of the great Islamic companions, Selman-i Farisi, is known to have lived in Amorium for a while,” Kurt said. “Therefore, the ancient city is an important center for both Christianity and Islam.

Have recognized the rich tourism value in the city, the Culture and Tourism Ministry has started to work to bring in faith tourism.

Excavations at Amorium have been ongoing since 2013 in collaboration with the Culture and Tourism Ministry and Anadolu University. The ministry recently extended the excavations from just two months in the summertime to 12 months each year, said Provincial Culture and Tourism Director Mehmet Tanır in an interview with the state-run Anadolu Agency.

“We also plan to build a welcome center for our faith tourism center. It will be a place where there will be information about Amorium excavations, as well as application areas,” he said.

Tanır said that Amorium had a population of 30,000 and printed money during the Roman period. More academic studies should be performed to enhance the information available to visitors, he said.

“Amorium is visited by around 3,000 tourists a year. In addition to building a welcome center in the region, we think that this figure will increase even more with the other projects planned. Collective and long-term work is required here,” he said.

Kurt, deputy chairman of the excavations, said he and his colleagues “believe that Amorium will be the center of faith with new investments and that people from the Christian and Islamic world will visit here.”