Hagia Sophia ranks first in popularity
ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
In 2012 Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia Museum received above three million visitors.The Hagia Sophia Museum, Topkapı Palace and the ruins of Ephesus were the most-visited tourism attractions in Turkey last year, according to the Culture Ministry’s General Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Museums.
According to data given by the directorate, in 2012 a total of 28,781,308 tourists visited museums and historical ruins in Turkey, bringing the sites 280,206,955 Turkish Liras in ticket revenue.
A total of 9,569,847 people visited the museums and ruins free of charge, while 19,211,461 paid entrance fees. And 843,019 people used the Culture Ministry’s Müzekart (Museum Card) for admission to museums and ancient sites.
The Hagia Sophia Museum, a 1,475-year-old church that is regarded as one of the most significant architectural structures in the world, became the most-visited museum in 2012.
Istanbul’s Topkapı Palace, which was built by Ottoman Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror in 1478, came in second place, while the ruins of Ephesus in the Aegean province of İzmir’s Selçuk district, which date back to 6000 B.C., followed in third place.
In 2012 the Hagia Sophia received 3,345,347 visitors, who paid a total of 69,349,316 liras for tickets. In the same year, 3,334,925 tourists visited Topkapı Palace, paying a total of 66,504,951 liras for admission. Meanwhile, the Mevlana Museum in the Central Anatolian province of Konya and the ruins of Hierapolis in the Aegean province of Denizli ranked among the most popular museums and ruins.
In 2011 a grand total of 28,462,893 tourists visited museums and ruins in Turkey, contributing 253,892,756 liras of revenue.