Centuries-old bath to become thermal facility
GÖLCÜK, Kocaeli - Doğan News Agency
In the Roman bath area, hot water source is at a depth of 400 to 500 meters. The water is between 32 and 36 degrees Celsius and enough for a daily 9,000 guests at hotels. DHA photoA site featuring a 1,800-year-old Roman bath in the northwestern province of Kocaeli’s Gölcük district is now set to become home to a modern thermal facility, bringing greater opportunities to the area.
Located between Gölcük and İzmit, villagers have using the thermal “Yazlık Hot Spring” to clean their clothes and bathe their children since the Ottoman period. A few years ago, historic artifacts were discovered underground in the region, prompting Kocaeli Museum Directorate teams to initiate an archeological excavation of the area. A 1,800-year-old historic bath from the Roman period was subsequently unearthed.
Museum officials said they had determined the baths dated back to the Roman period and had served as a treatment center for soldiers wounded in wars because of the water’s water sulfuric nature.
“After the historic bath was unearthed, the place where hot water comes from was drilled to reach a hot water source at a depth of 400-500 meters. It is possible to operate a thermal facility there,” Gölcük Mayor Mehmet Ellibeş recently said.
He said the area had been declared a historical site by the Culture and Tourism Ministry and that excavations had been conducted with the ministry’s permission. “As a result of works, we have decided to implement a Health Thermal Project in the region,” he said.
“Thanks to this project, the region will be revived and it will create a big employment opportunity. As soon as the tender is made Jan. 16, construction will start. Hotels established in the region will pay money for the hot spring water. The area around Yazlık will become a tourism center within a short period. The water here is between 32 and 36 degrees Celsius and there is enough for a daily 9,000-bed capacity at the hotels,” Ellibeş said.
The construction of the thermal facility will take one year and is expected to open at the end of 2012. There will be 150-square meter pools for men and women, as well as baths, cafes and restaurants in the facility. The project will cost 3 million Turkish Liras.
The residents of Yazlık are very excited about the imminent thermal facility construction, according to reports.
During the same excavations, a 106-meter road from the same period was also discovered. The road was covered with stones but was still in its original form.