Private tours organized for Stratonikeia
In about five months, 40,000 people visited the ancient city of Stratonikeia, located in the western province of Muğla, which is fetching considerable tourist attention. The city opened its doors on June 15 this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
People who come to the ancient city, which lies in the village of Eskihisar in Yatağan district, get excited to click photos and learn about its historic buildings.
Head of the Stratonikeia excavations, Professor Bilal Söğüt said the 3,000-year-old city, which was on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List, carried traces from every period of history.
Stating that they have been working on different structures of the ancient city, Söğüt said, “One of the most important of these is the project we are carrying out for the village square. In previous years, the number of visitors was around 2,000. Despite the pandemic this year, the number has increased to 40,000 people.”
Söğüt states that people from all walks of life come to see the beauty of the city as it holds unique characteristics and that it is also a breeding ground for many academics conducting their study on this historical site.
Noting that the married couples like to click photos in the ancient city, Söğüt said: “Everyone finds something for themselves here. The interest in the artifacts unearthed in ongoing excavations has been increasing.”
Stating that the excavation work has been continuing in the city for the last 12 months, Söğüt said, “Visitors come here to see the beylics, Ottoman and Republic Period village square. At the end of this place, there are colonnaded streets belonging to the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods.”
“There is also an increasing interest due to all these studies. Despite the pandemic period, people come to the city in groups, taking all their precautions. This makes us proud,” he added.
Noting that the ancient city is fetching the attention of foreign tourists, he said, “This year, many foreign visitors from England, Russia, Poland and Germany, who came to Muğla, visited the city.”
“There are visitors from abroad who come here with private tours organized for four-five people. They also visit Ephesus in the country. We will work hard to preserve this wealth in the best possible way,” he added.