Ancient city of Ephesus limits visitor numbers

Ancient city of Ephesus limits visitor numbers

Ancient city of Ephesus limits visitor numbers

The management of the ancient city of Ephesus in the picturesque Aegean region has decided to limit the number of daily visitors due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

A total of 650 people will be allowed to visit the historic site at a time, said Cengiz Topal, director of the Ephesus Museum. Normally around 10,000 people visit the site daily, he told the state-run Anadolu Agency.

The magnificent city of the Hellenistic and Roman periods, Ephesus has recently opened its doors to visitors again with the necessary measures taken during the pandemic. The number of visitors in the ancient city will be followed by toll gates in the entrance.

The ancient city was visited by nearly 2,000 people only in 2019. Now those who want to visit the city have to wait due to the 650 people at a time rule.

Just like in all ancient sites, the ancient city accepts visitors after taking their temperatures in the entrances and do not allow the ones without a face mask in. In the city, where the rules of hygiene are reminded with posters, brochures and stickers on the ground, security guards warn visitors if the social distance rule is violated.

Ready for the season with new projects

Topal said that within the scope of the COVID-19 rules, they had prepared a visitor plan in order to isolate the visitors, stuff and the structures in the ancient city.

Stating that they had given training to the stuff members about the effects of the pandemic and necessary applications, Topal said they had places for disinfections and warning in necessary areas.

“We used to welcome more than 10,000 people a day in the past years. However, considering the social distance in the new period, we limited the number of visitors to 650. We think that the total visitors will vary between 4,500-6,000 during the day,” he said.

Topal said that mostly local people visited the ancient city since June 1, the beginning of the normalization process.

“We can follow the entrances and exits. We ask people to wait for a while if necessary. There is a distance of 1,300 meters in the area, and when we walk around, the distance reaches 1,800 meters. It is not a very troublesome process; we pay attention to the entrances the most. Those who have been coming since June 1 are generally families. They move together. We kindly warn other guests who do not follow the social distancing rules.”

Stating that they are working to increase the comfort of the visitors in the new season, Topal said, “We also have preparations for the protection and restoration of the site, and the management and planning of visitors. We have activities for night lighting and restoration of the theater. Now we are working on these projects.”

The ancient city of Ephesus, which was closed on March 19 due to the outbreak, is now returning to its good old days. Guests of the ancient city spend their time on the Liman Avenue, Celsius Library and Yamaç houses.

Ephesus was added to UNESCO’s prestigious World Heritage List in 2015. Previously an ancient Greek city, and later a major Roman settlement near present-day Selçuk in İzmir, boasts a rich cultural heritage dating back to 6,500 B.C.

Turkey, Izmir,