Centuries-old temples revived in Turkey's ancient city of Side

Centuries-old temples revived in Turkey's ancient city of Side

ANTALYA - Anadolu Agency
Centuries-old temples revived in Turkeys ancient city of Side

This year’s excavation works are continuing on the eastern gate of the ancient city of Side and in the area of temples. AA photo

The southern province of Antalya’s district Side will soon welcome a new open-air museum when centuries-old temples in the area are restored as part of ongoing archaeological works.

“When the 1,800-year-old Apollo and Athena temples in Side and the 1,300-year-old Basilica Church in the same area are restored and revived, the region will have a new open-air museum, a new attraction place for tourism,” said Professor Hüseyin Alanyalı, a member of Anadolu University’s Archaeology Department and the head of the excavations.

This year’s excavations started on July 2 with the participation of 92 people, including volunteer German archaeologists and a team of 15 archaeologists led by Professor Peter Scherrer from the Archaeology Department of Austria’s Graz University, Alanyalı said.

He said works were continuing on the eastern gate of the ancient city and in the area of temples, adding that excavations and restorations could take two years in the latter.

Temple of Apollo

He said the Temple of Apollo, located in the area of temples, was a very significant tourism symbol for the country.

Noting that the excavation and restoration of the temples and the basilica would soon be finished, Alanyalı said: “Besides the Temple of Apollo, we also want to make the Temple of Tyche more attractive. We want to make this area a center of attraction as Side’s gate, opening to the world.”

The professor said some circles had reacted to the fact that the temple area had been enclosed and that entrance fees were now being charged, but added that such steps were necessary to ensure the area is protected.

Alanyalı said excavation works in Side had been continuing for five years and that they would make a report on the artifacts unearthed during the five-year process.