Ancient Seleukeia now opens to visitors in Antalya

The ancient city of Seleukeia (Lybre) in Antalya was opened to visitors.

Ancient Seleukeia now opens to visitors in Antalya

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism has opened the site of the ancient city of Seleukeia (Lybre) to the public, now that a road to the site, which is located in the village of Bucaksıhlar in Antalya's Manavgat district, has been completed.

The ancient city was discovered during an excavation 41 years ago led by Professor Arif Mufid Mansel. Professor Jale Inan, who had previously conducted digs in Side and Perge, was also instrumental in the work of uncovering the ruins of Seleukeia, from 1972 to 1979. Inan brought the city to the world's attention in a book she wrote about her seven years working at the site, “Toroslarda Bir Antik Kent Lyrbe” (An Ancient City in the Taurus Mountains).

Seleukeia is one of the nine cities that were established in the name of Seleucid King Seleucus I Nikator (ca. 358-281 B.C.E.), a general of Alexander the Great.

Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism Abdurrahman Arıcı said on Monday that the problem of insufficient transportation to the ancient city has been eliminated. He expressed the belief that the two ancient cities of Seleukeia and Selge are the most important sites, after Side, in the entire Mediterranean region.

“Our Antalya is an open-air museum. There are 160 historic sites in Antalya, and Manavgat is one of the most fortunate districts,” Arıcı said. He added that for tourists who come to Antalya, these historic sites offer something more than the sun and sea and provide a glimpse into the beauties of the Taurus Mountains.

In an effort to turn the Seleukeia site into a welcoming and accessible place for tourists, all the signs within and around the site have been translated into several languages, Arıcı said.

Orienteering in three ancient cities

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Turkish Orienteering Federation Tekin Colakoglu said that the International Orienteering Federation (IOF) organized orienteering events in the three ancient cities in Manavgat -- Side, Seleukeia and Selge. According to Colakoglu, orienteering athletes, particularly those from Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland, have learned a lot about these ancient sites and have helped increase world awareness about orienteering in Turkey.

A Russian expert on cultural tourism, Dr. Natalie Ibrahimova, says that tourism agencies bring Russian tourists to these three ancient cities as often as three days a week. She added that despite its distance to the sea and altitude of 1,250 meters, Russian tourists are eager to see the ancient mountain cities in the Pisidia region of the Taurus Mountains. According to her, 140,000 Russians join cultural tours in the region annually.

Cihan

Last Mod: 01 Kasım 2013, 16:08
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