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'City of love and emperors’: Number of visitors to Turkey's Sagalassos increase

Ancient city hosted nearly 55,000 tourists between January and September, up from more than 42,000 same time last year

Bilal Altiok   | 24.10.2021
'City of love and emperors’: Number of visitors to Turkey's Sagalassos increase

BURDUR, Turkey

Approximately 400,000 domestic and foreign tourists visited the ancient city of Sagalassos in the past 10 years, and the number is increasing every year, the Culture and Tourism Ministry said.

Sagalassos, located in the Aglasun district of southwestern Burdur province, is known as the "city of love and emperors."

According to the ministry, the ancient city, which hosts the Antonine Fountain and many structures of the Roman period, was visited by 22,331 people in 2012, 24,816 in 2013, 24,526 in 2014, 27,058 in 2015, 29,952 in 2016, 35,912 in 2017, 51,045 in 2018, and 80,472 in 2019.

Visits in 2020 fell because of restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and only 42,285 people could take a tour to the archeological site.

As measures were lifted, visitors increased in 2021, reaching 54,770 in the January-September period.

Sharing that Sagalassos traces its history back to 6,500 BC, and the agricultural settlement to 3,000 BC, Abdullah Kilic, Burdur's culture and tourism manager, said settled life continued in the city until the 13th century AD.

"Although there was a slight decrease during the pandemic, we are glad that the number of visitors increased this year, and our ancient city became a center of attraction again," said Kilic.

Stressing that the most impressive structure of Sagalassos is the Antonine Fountain, Kilic said: "The fountain, which consists of 3,500 architectural pieces with a length of 28 meters and a height of 9 meters, again began to flow in 2010."

“The recognition of the city, which was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List in 2009, has increased even more. Here, visitors seem to hear the conversations of people living in the odeon, the sounds of shopping in the agora, and voices of sellers in the luxury market called the macellum,” he added.

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